Galesburg, city (1990 pop. 33,530), seat of Knox co., W Ill., in a farm, livestock, and coal area; chartered 1841. A trade, rail, and industrial center, it has railroad shops and plants that manufacture paint, rubber hoses, apparel, and plastics. Galesburg was founded by Presbyterians from the Mohawk valley, N.Y., under the leadership of George Washington Gale. They established Knox College, and in 1858 a debate between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas took place in Knox Old Main, the oldest building on the campus. The birthplace of the poet Carl Sandburg has been preserved.
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