Available on Amazon
The Illinois State Fair, which takes place annually in Springfield, is one of the oldest state fairs in the United States. The fair was first held in 1853 and features a variety of agricultural displays, carnival rides, and live entertainment.
Cass County, Illinois, located in the central part of the state, has a rich history dating back to the early 19th century. The area was initially inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Illini and Kickapoo, who hunted and lived off the land. European settlers began arriving in the early 1820s, attracted by the fertile soil and the opportunity for farming.

In 1837, Cass County was officially established and named after Lewis Cass, a prominent politician and diplomat. The county quickly flourished as more settlers arrived, and towns such as Beardstown and Virginia were founded. The county's economy revolved around agriculture, with farmers growing crops such as corn, wheat, and tobacco.

During the Civil War, Cass County played a significant role in supporting the Union cause. Many men from the area volunteered to fight, and local industries supplied goods for the troops. After the war, the county continued to develop, with improvements made to transportation infrastructure, including the construction of railroads.

Throughout the 20th century, Cass County experienced both economic highs and lows. The agricultural industry remained the backbone of the county, but it faced challenges such as the Great Depression and the decline in small family farms. In recent years, efforts have been made to diversify the local economy and promote tourism, highlighting the county's historical sites and natural beauty.

Today, Cass County remains a close-knit rural community, proud of its heritage and committed to preserving its history. The county's rich past continues to be celebrated through events, museums, and the efforts of local historical societies.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Cass County, Illinois.

  • The area now known as Cass County was inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Illini Confederation, before European settlement. (Pre-1819)
  • Cass County was officially established on March 3, 1837, named after Lewis Cass, a prominent statesman and politician at the time. (1837)
  • The first permanent settlement in Cass County, Beardstown, was established in 1819. (1819)
  • The construction of the Illinois & Michigan Canal, connecting Lake Michigan to the Illinois River, began in 1836 and was completed in 1848. This greatly contributed to the county's growth and prosperity. (1836-1848)
  • The county witnessed a significant influx of settlers during the mid-19th century, mainly from the southern states. (Mid-19th century)
  • During the American Civil War, Cass County residents actively participated in both the Union and Confederate armies. The county experienced some conflicts and incidents related to the war. (1861-1865)
  • In the late 19th century, agriculture became the dominant industry in Cass County, with corn and wheat being major crops. (Late 19th century)
  • By the early 20th century, improvements in transportation, such as the railroad, contributed to the county's economic growth and accessibility. (Early 20th century)
  • Throughout the 20th century, Cass County experienced developments in education, healthcare, and infrastructure, shaping it into a thriving rural community. (20th century)
  • Today, Cass County continues to be primarily agricultural, with a strong sense of community and a rich historical heritage. (Present)