When Galesburg and Knox College were founded 175 years ago, the intersection of Cherry and Berrien didn’t exist under its current name, according to research by local historian Harvey Safford. An early map, drawn in the 1830s before the town was formally surveyed, shows the north-south streets in this section as Broad and Prairie. But the surveyors discovered that the intended location of town’s central square, the intersection of Broad and Main, was “on bad ground.” They moved Broad Street, and the square, one block to the west, while Prairie stayed in its original location. Then, they inserted a new street — Cherry Street — between Broad and Prairie.
Not part of the original town, Berrien Street was later named after J.M. Berrien, chief engineer of the Central Military Tract Railroad, which came to Galesburg in December 1854. The sections of these two streets being rebuilt this summer are now part of the Knox campus (PDF).