Historical Markers in
Cook County, Illinois

(Former) Cosmopolitan State Bank (Former) Marshfield Trust and Savings Bank 116 W. Euclid 1877 Keystone from City Hall Building 227 East Walton Place Apartment Building 333 North Michigan Building 609 N. Dunton 910 South Michigan A Road Well Traveled Aaron Montgomery Ward Gardens Abandoned Shoreline of Lake Michigan Abraham Lincoln Monument Alan Mathison Turing Alexander Robinson Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool Allan Pinkerton Allerton Hotel Alvin Ailey American Book Company Building American Indian - Potawatomi Tribe Eagle Dancer American Veterans for Equal Rights Military Memorial Archange Ouilmette Arthur J. Dunham Centennial Home Auditorium Building Audre Lorde Augustus Garrett Automobile Love Affair Barbara Jordan Bataan- Corregidor Memorial Bridge Battery A Chicago Light Artillery Battle of Fort Dearborn Bayard Rustin Benny Goodman Bertha Honore Palmer and Potter Palmer Berwyn, Illinois Bessie Coleman Billy Strayhorn Birthplace of Ernest Hemingway Birthplace of Oak Park Blackstone Hotel Brewster Apartments Brooks Building Bryan Lathrop House Burial Site of Josette Beaubien Camp Douglas Camp Thornton #2605 and the Civil Conservation Corps Carbide and Carbon Building Catherine and Jean-Baptiste Point du Sable Catholic Cemetery Central Station Fragments Charles E. Merriam Center for Public Administration Charles N. Loucks House Charles R. Walgreen Sr. Chess Records Office and Studio Chess Records Recording Studio Chicago & North Western Railway Powerhouse Chicago Bee Building Chicago Board of Trade Battery Chicago Defender Building Chicago Heights Chicago Remembers Chicago River Chicago Water Tower Chicago's First Movable Bridge Churchill Corner City Cemetery Claude Seymour Reebie Co. B. 1st Reg. Ill. L't Artillery. Cole Porter Columbia Yacht Club Confederate Mound Monument Continental and Commercial Bank Building Couch Tomb Couch Tomb Courthouse Plaza Crane Company Building Cruising the Strip David Kato Kisule Dearborn Street Dedicated to Adam Brown DeWitt Clinton Cregier Dixie Highway Dixie Highway connected Chicago to Miami in the early days of automobile travel Douglas Plaza Dr. Sally K. Ride Dr. Tom Waddell Dra. Antonia Pantoja Earl Seymour Wharton Reebie Early Businesses in Old Town (#6) Early Prominent Residents of Old Town (#2) Eating on the Run Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church Edison Park World War I Memorial Elks Memorial Headquarters Building Ellis Chesbrough Emil Bach House Enrico and Laura Fermi Ernest Hemingway Boyhood Home Ernie Banks, "Mr. Cub" Essanay Studios Eternal Flame Memorial Eugene Williams Memorial Fairbanks Morse & Company Building Finley Peter Dunne Firefighters Memorial First Jewish House of Worship First McDonald's Franchise First Post Office Florsheim Shoe Company Building Former Chicago Historical Society Building Former Site of Eden Inn Former Site of Soo Line Hotel Former Site of the “Zum Deutschen Eck” Restaurant Fort Dearborn Fr. Mychal Judge Frances E. Willard Frank Kameny Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio Freddie Mercury Frida Kahlo Gauler Twin Houses George B. Armstrong George Halas George Pullman George S. Bangs Getty Tomb Grace W. Trout Grant Park Graves Family Monument Great World War Green Bay Road Greenwood Row Houses Grosse Point Light Station Gwendolyn Brooks: The Oracle of Bronzeville Hannah Greenebaum Solomon Harold Washington Harold Washington Harrer Park Harris and Selwyn Theaters Harvey Milk Haymarket Martyrs’ Monument Henry B. Clarke House Henry Gerber House Hidden Truths Horse-Shoe Inn Hotel Somerset Hotel St. Benedict Flats Ida B. Wells-Barnett Illinois & Michigan Canal Indian Boundary Park Indian Boundary Village Indian Trading Post Irna Phillips Jack Brickhouse James Baldwin James Charnley House Jane Addams Jane Addams' Hull House Jane Addams' Hull-House and Dining Hall Jean Baptiste Beaubien Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable John A. Logan John A. "Jack" Johnson John B. Murphy Memorial John Dewey John J. Glessner House John Peter Altgeld John Wellborn Root Joseph and Betty Kettlestrings Joseph Kettlestrings Joseph R. Scott Josephine Baker Julius Rosenwald Juvenile Court of Cook County Building Keith Haring Kennicott House Kennison Boulder Monument Kenwood Kenwood United Church of Christ Kwanusila Lake View High School Lake-Franklin Group Landmark Landings László Moholy-Nagy Lincoln Park Lincoln Park Transitions Lincoln's Nomination Site Lion House, Lincoln Park Zoo Logan Square • Palmer Square Lorraine Hansberry Louis Henri Sullivan Louis Henry Sullivan Louis Jolliet & Père Jacques Marquette Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong Louise DeKoven Bowen Ludington Building Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Mahalia Jackson Mahlon D. Ogden Residence Margaret Anderson Marsha P. Johnson Marshall Field and Company Building Mary Bartelme, Illinois’ First Female Judge Masaryk Memorial Monument Matteson, Illinois Maxwell Street McCormick Double House McKinley Morganfield "Muddy Waters" Melamerson Athletic Field Melissia Ann Elam Home Mid-North District Milton L. Olive III Park Monument of the Millennium Moore-Dugal Residence Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini Nat "King" Cole Nicholaus Copernicus North Chicago Hospital Building Oak Park Station Obama Kissing Rock Office and Studio of Perkins, Fellows & Hamilton, architects Old Fort Dearborn Old Northlake Library site Old Town and The Great Fire (#3) Old Town Architecture Reflects Neighborhood History (#10) Old Town Triangle Old Town's Early Settlers (#11) Old Town’s Entrepreneur Spirit (#1) Old Treaty Elm Old Water Tower Oscar DePriest Oscar Wilde Overton Hygienic Building Oz Park Palmer House Hotel Park Forest, Illinois Patterson-McCormick Mansion Paul Muni Pauli Murray Peace Triumphant Pearl M. Hart Percy L. Julian Philip Rogers Home Site Pilgrim Baptist Church Pizzeria Uno Portage Creek Passage Portage Passage Potter's Field Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Q.S.M.V. Abegweit Quinn Chapel Regeneration Reinaldo Arenas Rene Robert Cavalier Sieur de La Salle Residence of Charles Gates Dawes Reverend Georg L. Mulfinger Reverend J. Ward Morrison Boulevard Richard Wright Richard Wright House River Forest, Illinois Robert McCormick Robert S. Abbott Rookery Building Rosehill Cemetery Entrance Rowe Building Ruth Ellis Ruth Page Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini Sauganash Hotel - Chicago - 1831 Sauganash Veterans Memorial Sauk Village Scoville Park is the Heart of Oak Park Scoville Park's Designer: Jens Jensen Second City Second Presbyterian Church Senator William J. Connors Sgt. Leonard Matlovich Shelter Building Site of Absolem Wells Cabin Site of Fort Dearborn Site of the First Self-sustaining Controlled Nuclear Chain Reaction Site of the Haymarket Tragedy Site of the Sauganash Hotel/Wigwam Soldiers & Sailors Monument South Michigan Avenue Motor Row South Water Street St. Boniface Union Soldiers Monument St. Patrick's Church State Street State Street Stephen A. Douglas Memorial Stephen A. Douglas: Douglas and Lincoln Stephen A. Douglas: The Chicago Years Stephen A. Douglas: The Douglas Tomb Stephen Arnold Douglas Stonewall Sunset Cafe Supreme Life Building Sylvester Sylvia Rivera Terminal Building The 1992 River West Gas Fires The American Legion Memorial The Annoyance Theatre The Arcade The Baha'i House Of Worship And Welcome Center The Benjamin Franklin School (#5) The Blues Trail: Mississippi to Chicago The Boulevard System The Boulevard System The Boulevard System The Chicago Board of Trade's Statues The Chicago Fire Department - Engine Company No. 27 (#7) The Chicago Portage The Chicago Public Library Cultural Center The Christmas Tree Ship The Churches of Old Town (#8) The DePaul Center The Discoverers The Donohue Building The Eastland Disaster The Forum (1897) The Great Migration Centennial, 1916-2016 The Green Bay Trail The Grove The Harlem Renaissance The Historic Maywood Home for Soldiers' Widows The History of Austin Gardens The Honorable Harold Washington The Honorable Joanne H. Alter The Ida B. Wells Homes The Legacy of Matthew Shepard The Marx Brothers The Morton Building / Hotel Blake The Nine Dragon Wall in Chicago’s Chinatown The Norway Building The Pink Triangle The Pioneers The Platt Luggage Building The Sisters of Mercy The Spirit of the Fighting Yank The Standard Time System in the United States The Water Tower & Great Chicago Fire Third Church Building This was "Countryside" Thomas A. Dorsey Thomas Edwin Greenfield Ransom Trail Blazer Tree Studios Tribune Tower Trinity Slovak Lutheran Church Trustees System Service Building Two Spirit Union Civil War Soldiers Unity Hall Victory, World War I Black Soldiers’ Memorial Viet Nam Memorial Visionary Vito Russo Wacker Drive Walgreens Walt Whitman Washington Block Washington Park Racetrack Washington Square Park Waveland Clock Tower Welcome to Bronzeville West Side Grounds Western Wheel Works Factory and Dr. Scholl Footwear Factory (#4) Wheeler–Kohn House White Castle #16 Wise Road Wooden Alley World War I Memorial World War I Monument: Peace Triumphant World War II Memorial Wrigley Field WWI Memorial "Barmaids Ordinance" "Original Professors’ Row" “Hubbard’s Folly” “Rites of Spring”
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Illinois was part of the French colonial empire, and the city of Cahokia, located near present-day Collinsville, was one of the largest pre-Columbian cities in North America. At its peak, around 1250 CE, Cahokia had a population of around 20,000 people.
Cook County, located in the northeastern part of Illinois, has a rich and vibrant history that dates back centuries. The area was first inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Potawatomi, Miami, and Sauk, who utilized the abundant natural resources of the region for their livelihoods.

European settlement of Cook County began in the late 18th century with the arrival of French explorers and traders. However, it was not until the early 19th century that the permanent settlement of the region started to take shape. In 1831, the area was officially organized as Cook County, named after Daniel Cook, an early attorney and politician.

The construction of the Illinois and Michigan Canal in the 1830s played a significant role in the development of Cook County. This waterway connected the Illinois River to Lake Michigan, making Chicago a crucial transportation hub and contributing to its rapid growth. The county's population surged, attracting immigrants from around the world who sought work in industries like meatpacking, steel manufacturing, and brewing.

Throughout its history, Cook County has been a focal point of notable events and achievements. It was in Cook County that the iconic Chicago Fire of 1871 broke out, resulting in significant destruction but also paving the way for the city's subsequent architectural and urban redevelopment. The county was also key to the rise of the labor and civil rights movements, with significant protests and strikes occurring throughout the 20th century.

Today, Cook County is the most populous county in Illinois and home to the city of Chicago, a global center of commerce, culture, and innovation. It continues to evolve and adapt, with diverse communities, renowned cultural institutions, and a dynamic economy that contributes to its reputation as a vibrant and influential county.

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

  • 1830: Cook County is established as a separate county in the state of Illinois.
  • 1835: The city of Chicago is incorporated within Cook County.
  • 1840: The population of Cook County reaches over 10,000.
  • 1850: The Illinois Central Railroad is completed, connecting Chicago to the rest of the country.
  • 1871: The Great Chicago Fire destroys a large portion of the city, including parts of Cook County.
  • 1889: The Chicago Board of Trade Building, the world's first modern skyscraper, is completed in Chicago.
  • 1920: The population of Cook County surpasses 3 million.
  • 1933: The beginning of the prohibition era leads to increased organized crime activities in Cook County, notably led by Al Capone.
  • 1955: The construction of the Eisenhower Expressway begins, marking the start of an extensive highway system in Cook County.
  • 1969: The Sears Tower (now Willis Tower) is completed in Chicago, becoming the tallest building in the world at the time.
  • 1971: The Richard J. Daley Center, a prominent government building, is completed in Chicago.
  • 1995: The Chicago Bulls, with Michael Jordan, win their fourth NBA championship, bringing recognition and pride to Cook County.
  • 2016: Chicago experiences a surge in violence and homicides, leading to increased efforts to address and reduce crime in Cook County.