National Register Listing in
Edwards County, Illinois

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Illinois is home to several prestigious universities, including the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Northwestern University, and the University of Chicago. These universities are known for their strong academic programs and research facilities, and they attract students and scholars from around the world.
Edwards County, Illinois is located in the southeastern part of the state. The county was officially established on February 27, 1814, and was named in honor of Ninian Edwards, the territorial governor of Illinois from 1809 to 1818. Prior to its establishment, the area was home to Native American tribes, including the Kickapoo and Iroquois.

During the 1800s, the county experienced rapid growth and development. The discovery of coal in the area in the mid-19th century led to an influx of miners and the establishment of several coal mining towns, such as Albion and West Salem. The coal industry played a significant role in the economy of Edwards County for many years.

The county's rich agricultural resources also contributed to its growth. The fertile soil was well-suited for farming, and agriculture became a major industry in the area. Throughout the years, crops such as corn, soybeans, wheat, and livestock farming have played important roles in the county's economy.

In more recent decades, Edwards County has faced challenges due to the decline of the coal industry and changes in the agricultural landscape. However, efforts have been made to diversify the economy and promote tourism, taking advantage of the county's natural beauty and recreational opportunities. Today, Edwards County continues to be a rural community that values its history and natural resources, while also adapting to meet the needs of its residents.

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

  • 1814: Edwards County is established in the Illinois Territory.
  • 1818: Illinois becomes a state, and Edwards County is included within its borders.
  • 1824: The county seat is established in Albion.
  • 1827: Albion officially becomes the county seat of Edwards County.
  • 1839: The first courthouse is built in Albion.
  • 1841: The county seat is moved from Albion to Palmyra after a controversial vote.
  • 1845: The county seat is moved back to Albion.
  • 1847: The second courthouse is built in Albion.
  • 1859: The third courthouse is constructed in Albion.
  • 1894: The fourth courthouse is built in Albion.
  • 1913: The fifth and current courthouse is completed in Albion.
  • 1925: The discovery of oil leads to an economic boom in the county.
  • Present day: Edwards County remains an agricultural community with a rich history.