• LOCATION 36 | Interstate 55: St. Louis, MO to Springfield, IL

    Benld and Number 5 Mine

    Several mines operated within a few miles of where we are now, but none more intriguing than the “Number 5 Mine” which, not coincidentally, opened in 1920 right after the beginning of prohibition. Number 5 mine was hidden somewhere in the trees to our left about a mile and a half away, and while from all outside appearances it looked like a mine, it was nothing more than a front for a still where nearly 2,000 gallons of booze was made each day. It is believed that the notorious gangster Al Capone was the owner of half of the still, and that he and other gangsters frequently visited the area, including the city of Benld.

    Benld is about four miles to our left and it was named after Ben L. Dorsey, one of the earliest settlers to this area. Dorsey sold the mining rights below his land and when a painter began painting Ben's name on a tipple, a tipple is a device used to load coal onto railroad cars, the painter fell after he finished the first letter of Ben’s last name and never completed the job. Benld has been the city’s name ever since.

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Interstate 55: St. Louis, MO to Springfield, IL