Wee-Ma-Tuk Hills is located on land once mined by the Truax-Traer Coal Company, now a division of Consolidation Coal Company, which
operates worldwide. By the 1950s, Truax-Traer made the Fortune 500, with operations in North Dakota, West Virginia, Georgia,
Minnesota, and Saskatchewan as well as several Illinois counties. Company head Harold Truax apparently selected Fulton County as his
home, and it was his son Glenn's land that became the Wee-Ma-Tuk Country Club in 1956. The Truax's and company official Gene Long
spearheaded the development.
Over the next decade, Putt Creek was dammed to create Lake Wee-Ma-Tuk, with the necessary excavating and clearing done by off-duty Truax-Traer miners. The numerous small lakes, once strip mines, filled in with rainfall. The land around the lakes was divided into lots.
Wee-Ma-Tuk translates to Land of many lakes. Glenn Truax's wife Margie named the streets after Native American tribes and literary characters. (Pau-Puk-Keewis, for example, was a character in Longfellow's The Song of Hiawatha. His phonetically misspelled name graces a street on the south shore of the big lake.) Other street names not spelled in the familiar way include Schochonie, Washaki, and Pokihantus, which are alternative spellings of Shoshone, Washakie, and Pocahantas. Native American languages, we are reminded, had no written component until European settlers set the names to paper phonetically, and an anthropology major-turned-telemarketer once told this writer that Pokihantus is "correct."
By the 1960s, lots were being sold, homes were being built, and people were moving in. Some put up fishing cabins; others built near-palatial homes.