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Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo was founded in 1868, making it one of the oldest zoos in the United States. The zoo originally housed a pair of swans, but it has since grown to house over 1,000 animals from around the world.
Iroquois County, Illinois has a rich history that dates back to prehistoric times. Before European settlers arrived, the area was inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Potawatomi, Kickapoo, and Miami. The region was known for its fertile land and abundant wildlife, making it an attractive place for these indigenous groups to settle.

In the early 19th century, European settlers started to arrive in Iroquois County. The first permanent settler was John Wooden, who established a homestead in what is now Beaverville in 1826. As more settlers arrived, the county began to develop, with the first town, Milford, being founded in 1836. Agriculture quickly became the dominant industry, with farmers planting crops such as corn, wheat, and soybeans.

During the mid-19th century, Iroquois County experienced significant growth and development. The Illinois Central Railroad was completed in 1855, providing a vital transportation link for the county. This led to the establishment of several new towns, including Watseka, the county seat, in 1865. The railroad also facilitated the growth of industries such as logging and manufacturing.

In the 20th century, Iroquois County continued to thrive as an agricultural and industrial hub. The introduction of mechanization in farming allowed for increased productivity, and the county became known for its corn and soybean production. The manufacturing sector also expanded, with industries such as automotive and food processing becoming prominent. Today, Iroquois County remains an important agricultural and manufacturing region, preserving its historical legacy while continuing to adapt and grow with the changing times.

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

  • 1830: Iroquois County was established by the Illinois General Assembly.
  • 1836: The first settlers began arriving in the area.
  • 1837: The county seat was established in the town of Iroquois.
  • 1843: The county seat was moved to Watseka.
  • 1851: The Illinois Central Railroad was completed, connecting the county to other parts of the state.
  • 1861-1865: Many residents of Iroquois County fought in the American Civil War.
  • 1871: The Great Chicago Fire caused a significant increase in population as many people moved to the county.
  • 1893: The Watseka Street Railway was established, providing public transportation within the county.
  • 1930s: The Great Depression had a significant impact on the county's economy.
  • 1940s-1950s: The construction of highways and improved transportation infrastructure further connected Iroquois County.
  • 2000s: The county continues to be primarily rural, with agriculture being an important part of its economy.