The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 was one of the most devastating fires in U.S. history. The fire destroyed much of the city, including over 17,000 buildings and left more than 100,000 people homeless. The fire started in a barn owned by Patrick and Catherine O'Leary, but the cause of the fire is still debated to this day.
Christian County, Illinois has a rich history that dates back to the early 19th century. The county was established in 1839 and named after Christian County, Kentucky, as many of the early settlers hailed from this region. The County’s first European settlers were primarily of English, Irish, and German descent, making it a diverse and vibrant community from the start.

In the early years, agriculture played a significant role in the county's economy. The fertile land allowed farmers to grow a variety of crops, including corn, wheat, and soybeans. The arrival of the railroad in the 1850s further stimulated economic growth and allowed for the transportation of goods to nearby markets.

The county experienced rapid development in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many small towns emerged, including Taylorville, the county seat, which became a center for commerce and industry. Coal mining also became a major industry, attracting more residents and contributing to the local economy.

Over the years, Christian County has faced challenges, including economic downturns and population changes, but has always demonstrated resilience and adaptability. Today, the county continues to be primarily rural, with agriculture and manufacturing as key sectors of its economy. It is also known for its natural beauty, with parks, lakes, and recreational areas that attract visitors and offer opportunities for outdoor activities.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Christian County, Illinois.

  • 1839: Christian County is established on February 15th.
  • 1842: The county seat is located in Taylorville.
  • 1855: The first railroad, the Great Western, is built in the county.
  • 1863: The Civil War leads to a decline in population and economic activity in the county.
  • 1873: Construction of a new courthouse begins in Taylorville.
  • 1881: The new courthouse is completed and opened to the public.
  • 1904: The Taylorville coal mine disaster occurs on December 4th, resulting in the death of 54 miners.
  • 1925: The Taylorville Tornado hits on March 28th, causing severe damage and claiming 101 lives.
  • 1937: The Christian County Fair is established, becoming an annual tradition.
  • 1958: Lake Taylorville, a reservoir, is constructed.
  • 2009: The Christian County YMCA opens its doors in Taylorville.