Abraham Lincoln, one of the most famous presidents in U.S. history, spent much of his early political career in Illinois. He served in the Illinois state legislature and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Illinois in 1846.
Clinton County, IL is located in southern Illinois and has a rich history dating back to the early 19th century. The county was officially established on December 27, 1824, and was named in honor of DeWitt Clinton, an American politician and architect of the Erie Canal.

The early settlers in Clinton County were primarily of German descent, with many immigrating from the Baden-W├╝rttemberg region in Germany. They developed successful farms and businesses, establishing a strong agricultural foundation that still exists today. The county's fertile soil made it an ideal location for farming, and corn and wheat became important crops.

In the late 19th century, the county experienced a period of rapid growth and industrialization. The construction of railroads, particularly the Illinois Central Railroad, played a significant role in the county's development. New industries, such as coal mining and manufacturing, emerged and provided employment opportunities for residents.

During the Prohibition era in the 1920s, Clinton County became a hotbed for illegal alcohol production and distribution. Many residents turned to moonshining as a way to make a living during this time. The county's location between St. Louis and East St. Louis made it an ideal location for bootlegging operations.

Today, Clinton County remains primarily rural, with agriculture continuing to be a vital part of the economy. The county is known for its charming small towns, beautiful landscapes, and friendly communities. Visitors can explore historical sites, enjoy outdoor recreational activities, and experience the rich cultural heritage of Clinton County, Illinois.

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

  • 1816: Clinton County is established in the Illinois Territory.
  • 1819: The first courthouse is built in Carlyle, the county seat.
  • 1824: The oldest existing log cabin in Illinois is built in Clinton County.
  • 1829: The first newspaper, the Carlyle Observer, is published in the county.
  • 1851: The first railroad, the Illinois Central Railroad, reaches Clinton County.
  • 1861-1865: Many men from Clinton County serve in the Union Army during the Civil War.
  • 1875: Carlyle Lake, the largest man-made lake in Illinois, is completed.
  • 1930: The Kaskaskia River is dammed to create the Carlyle Lake Reservoir.
  • 1967: The Centralia Power Plant begins operation in Clinton County.
  • 1997: The Clinton County Historical Society is established.