Illinois Underground Railroad
Illinois Underground Railroad

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South of Chicago, Inc.

3430 W Oakhill Dr

Crete, Illinois 60417


+1 708/769 1894 +1 708/769 1894


South of Chicago, Inc.

This is Larry McClellan's consulting resource.  He is available for research, education and public projects on the Underground Railroad, and on African American and regional history south of Chicago.  Thorn Creek Press is a business activity of South of Chicago, Inc.


Dr. Larry A. McClellan

After graduate work at the University of Chicago, in 1970 Larry helped create Governors State University and served with the University for 30 years.  For many years, he was University Professor of Sociology and Community Studies, and six years Executive Director of the South Metropolitan Regional Leadership Center.  In the mid-70s, he was mayor of University Park (then Park Forest South).  After retiring from GSU, he spent four years as a senior consultant with the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission.  Throughout his career, he also served as pastor with diverse congregations. 

His consulting, research and writing focus on historic highways, the Underground Railroad in Illinois, and on African American and regional history south of Chicago.  Major publications include 25 articles in the Encyclopedia of Chicago [2005]; The Pontiac Trail, Route 66 and the Early Chicago to St. Louis Roads  [2013]; co-author of a chapter on freedom seeker, Caroline Quarlls, in A Fluid Frontier: Slavery, Freedom and the Underground Railroad on the Detroit River Borderland [2016].   Since 2006, he has presented 3 research papers on the Underground Railroad at annual meetings of the Illinois State Historical Society, and 3 for national conferences of the National Park Service Network to Freedom program. He was the principal researcher for successful applications for listings on the Network to Freedom national register of Underground Railroad sites for Crete, Lockport, and the Ton Farm site on the Little Calumet River.  Some of his work will be found at ><.   

He is currently completing book manuscripts on "The Underground Railroad South of Chicago," “To the River, the Remarkable Journey of Caroline Quarlls” [freedom seeker from St. Louis], “Freedom Seekers and the Underground Railroad in Northeastern Illinois,” and on regional history south of Chicago.  For ten years, he wrote a monthly regional history column for The Southtown/Star newspapers.   Larry graduated from Occidental College in Los Angeles, with a year at the University of Ghana in West Africa.  He has done continuing education and research in Great Britain and Jerusalem.  He served on the boards of the Illinois State Historical Society, and the Will County Historical Society.


Larry McClellan, 3430 W. Oak Hill Drive, Crete, IL 60417