Illinois is the birthplace of several famous people, including former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Enrico Fermi, and writer Ernest Hemingway.
Edgar County, located in Illinois, has a rich history that dates back to the early 19th century. The area was initially inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Kickapoo and Piankeshaw tribes. However, with the arrival of European settlers in the early 1800s, the Native American presence began to wane.

The county was officially formed in 1823 and named after John Edgar, an Irish pioneer who played a significant role in the early development of the region. In the 1830s, the county saw an influx of settlers, including farmers and merchants, who were attracted to the fertile plains and the potential for economic prosperity.

During the mid-1800s, Edgar County faced many of the challenges presented by the rapidly changing United States. Political tensions surrounding the issue of slavery were prevalent, and the county became a stop on the Underground Railroad, which helped escaped slaves find freedom in the North. Several prominent abolitionists, including Owen Lovejoy, a Presbyterian minister and political figure, hailed from Edgar County and played a crucial role in the anti-slavery movement.

By the late 19th century, the county had established itself as a center for agriculture, with vast expanses of farmland and prosperous farming communities. In the 20th century, the county witnessed various changes and developments, including the rise of industry and the establishment of several educational institutions.

Today, Edgar County is known for its charming small towns, beautiful countryside, and historical significance. The county continues to thrive through its diverse agricultural industry, while preserving its rich heritage through the maintenance of historic landmarks and community events celebrating its past.

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

  • 1823: Edgar County is established.
  • 1831: Paris becomes the county seat of Edgar County.
  • 1833: The first courthouse in Edgar County is built.
  • 1850: The Illinois Central Railroad reaches Paris.
  • 1859: The Edgar County Bank is established.
  • 1861-1865: Edgar County residents participate in the American Civil War.
  • 1871: A devastating fire destroys much of downtown Paris.
  • 1883: The first public library in Edgar County is established in Paris.
  • 1926: Construction of the Edgar County Memorial Hospital begins.
  • 1956: The Paris High School football team wins the state championship.
  • 1975: Edgar County celebrates its sesquicentennial.
  • 1996: The Edgar County Historical Society Museum opens in Paris.
  • 2010: The population of Edgar County reaches over 18,000.