The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 was one of the most devastating fires in U.S. history. The fire destroyed much of the city, including over 17,000 buildings and left more than 100,000 people homeless. The fire started in a barn owned by Patrick and Catherine O'Leary, but the cause of the fire is still debated to this day.
Greene County, located in the state of Illinois, has a rich history that dates back to the early 19th century. The county was first settled in the early 1800s by European pioneers, primarily of English and Scottish descent. The area was initially inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Kickapoo and the Osage, who had a significant presence in the region.

In 1821, Greene County was officially established, named after Nathanael Greene, a Major General in the Revolutionary War. The county grew rapidly in the following decades, fueled by the arrival of settlers seeking fertile farmland and opportunities for commerce. Agriculture quickly became the backbone of the local economy, with crops such as corn, wheat, and soybeans dominating the landscape.

During the 19th century, Greene County played a crucial role in the Underground Railroad, a network of secret routes and safe houses used by enslaved African Americans to escape to freedom. Many residents of the county were abolitionists and provided support to those seeking liberation. The community’s commitment to ending slavery and providing refuge to the oppressed played a significant part in the county's history.

In the 20th century, Greene County continued to thrive agriculturally and saw the development of industries such as coal mining and oil drilling. The county's natural resources, including coal deposits and numerous oil wells, attracted businesses and contributed to economic growth. Today, Greene County remains a testament to its agricultural heritage while embracing modern industries and maintaining its historical importance in the Underground Railroad movement.

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

  • 1821 - Greene County is established and named after Nathanael Greene, a Revolutionary War general.
  • 1833 - Carrollton becomes the county seat of Greene County.
  • 1839 - The Chicago and Alton Railroad is completed, connecting Greene County to other parts of Illinois.
  • 1861-1865 - Greene County residents serve in the American Civil War.
  • 1875 - The Greene County Courthouse is built in Carrollton.
  • 1930s - The Great Depression impacts the economy of Greene County.
  • 1960s - The construction of Interstate 72 brings improved transportation to Greene County.
  • 1970s - Agriculture remains an important industry in Greene County.
  • 2000s - Greene County experiences population decline as younger residents move away.