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city, seat (1873) of Knox county, western Illinois, U.S. It lies about 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Peoria. George Washington Gale, a Presbyterian minister for whom the city is named, selected the site for a college community. In 1836 the first settlers arrived, and in 1837 a charter was granted to Knox Manual Labor College (renamed Knox College in 1857); in 1930 it absorbed Lombard College, which had been founded by Universalists in 1851. The Knox campus was the site of the fifth Lincoln-Douglas debate on the slavery issue in 1858.