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A small-town American left Belleville, Ill., and turned his weapons on Washington

June 18, 2017 4:42 PM
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A small-town American left Belleville, Ill., and turned his weapons on Washington

BELLEVILLE, ILL. — On the western edge of town, where midcentury suburban streets give way to cornfields and farms, a weathered barn sits among neat rows of soybeans. This bucolic stretch was long accessible only via a gravel lane, and the barn was one of the only buildings.

A few miles to the east, a renaissance has been transforming Main Street after decades of decline. A stately fountain marks the official seat of St. Clair County. The old brick storefronts host trendy restaurants and boutiques. The community received an “All-America City Award” from the National Civ...

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