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Alton(ôl`tən), city (1990 pop. 32,905), Madison co., SW Ill., on bluffs of the Mississippi River 5 mi (8.1 km) above its confluence with the Missouri; inc. 1837. Alton is a shipping and industrial center, and there are oil refineries nearby. Food products, lime, crushed stone, lumber, crystal, paperboard, maechinery, and steel are produced. Riverboat gambling, a redeveloped riverfront, and antique stores attract tourists. The Clark Bridge across the Mississippi connects Alton with West Alton, Mo., and the St. Louis metropolitan area. Of interest are a monument to the abolitionist Elijah LovejoyLovejoy, Elijah Parish,
1802–37, American abolitionist, b. Albion, Maine, grad. Waterville (now Colby) College, 1826, and later studied theology at Princeton. In 1833 he became editor of the Observer, a Presbyterian weekly in St. Louis.
..... Click the link for more information. , who was killed by a mob in Alton; a tablet marking the site of the last Lincoln-Douglas debate (1858); and a cemetery where many captured Confederate soldiers are buried. Alton suffered extensive flood damage in 1993.