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The famous Route 66, one of the first highways in the U.S., passed through Illinois. The highway, which stretched from Chicago to Santa Monica, California, was a popular route for tourists and truckers and played an important role in American culture and history.
Cumberland County, IL has a rich history that dates back to the 19th century. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Kickapoo and Shawnee, who relied on hunting and agriculture for sustenance. European settlers began arriving in the early 1800s, primarily from Kentucky and Tennessee, and gradually established permanent settlements.

In 1843, Cumberland County was officially established and named after the Cumberland Road, an important transportation route that ran through the county. The county seat, Toledo, was chosen and soon became a hub for trade and commerce in the region. Agriculture played a vital role in the early economy, with settlers cultivating crops such as corn, wheat, and tobacco.

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, Cumberland County experienced periods of growth and development. The arrival of the railroad in the late 1800s further connected the county to other parts of Illinois and facilitated the transportation of goods and people.

In the early 20th century, Cumberland County saw an increase in oil drilling activity, which brought economic prosperity to the area. Numerous oil wells were drilled, and the industry became a significant part of the county's economy. Today, Cumberland County continues to be primarily rural, with agriculture as the main industry, while also embracing modern developments in technology and industry.

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

  • 1818: Cumberland County is established as part of the Illinois Territory.
  • 1820: First permanent settlers arrive in the county.
  • 1826: The first county courthouse is built in Toledo.
  • 1852: County seat is moved from Toledo to Greenup.
  • 1858: The Charleston and Mattoon Railroad is completed, improving transportation in the county.
  • 1861-1865: Cumberland County residents serve in the Union Army during the American Civil War.
  • 1872: Cumberland County suffers from a devastating tornado outbreak.
  • 1906: Oil is discovered in the county, leading to a boom in oil production.
  • 1930s: The Great Depression impacts the county's economy.
  • 1946: Cumberland County Memorial Airport is opened.
  • 1950s-1970s: The county experiences a decline in population due to economic changes.
  • 1990s-2000s: Agriculture becomes the dominant industry in Cumberland County.