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Cholera Cross.

Cholera Cross

Field review by the editors.

Breese, Illinois

We found this attraction marked on older tourism maps of the area, and decided to see if such a source of miraculous power was still standing. It was. In front of some farm buildings and along the Germantown Road stands a white cross about 25 feet tall, with a plaque at the base.

Reads the plaque:

"In 1832, Cholera plagued this area. Entire families were wiped out, sometimes overnight. Jos(eph) Altepeter made a covenant with his maker if his large family was spared he would erect a large cross on his farm near the public road as a perpetual memorial. The family was spared and the original wooden cross that was built was replaced many times."

What caught our attention when we researched a bit was that although God apparently saved the Altepeter's from the disease scourge of 1832, it wasn't until 1850 -- 18 years later -- that Joe got around to making the big cross. You might wonder if other unfortunate families, completely wiped out, also promised in their prayers to build crosses, and just weren't as persuasive as Joe. Of course that kind of cynical speculation could get you earmarked for the next plague...

The current cross is concrete, and its cholera-repelling days are probably over. Hmmm... wonder if the prophylactic power of the Cholera Cross offers at least partial immunization for Swine Flu?

Cholera Cross

Germantown Rd, Breese, IL
One mile south of town on Germantown Rd, on the right (west) side.
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