What's The Story
Manito or manitou is an Algonquian word meaning unknown power. A plaque erected in town in 2003 relates the following: “The town was first known as Black Hawk Grove, but the citizens were not satisfied with that name. They searched for a stronger name and many wee suggested. One resident, inspired by Henry Longfellow’s “Song of Hiawatha” proposed the name “Manito.” Manito was the name given by many of the early Indian tribes to “The Great Creator, The Master of Life.”
Virgil J. Vogel. 1962. Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society (1908-1984) , Autumn, 1962, Vol. 55, No. 3 (Autumn, 1962), pp. 271-308.