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Illinois was the first state in the country to ratify the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which abolished slavery. The amendment was ratified by Illinois on February 1, 1865, before it was ratified by any other state.
Jackson County, Illinois has a rich history that stretches back thousands of years. The area was first inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Mississippian Culture, which flourished from approximately 800 to 1500 AD. These Native American groups left behind a legacy of impressive earthworks and artifacts.

European explorers arrived in the region in the early 18th century, with French traders and explorers mapping and trading in the area. However, it wasn't until the early 1800s that permanent settlements began to take root in what is now Jackson County. The region was named after President Andrew Jackson, who was a highly influential figure of the era.

The 19th century brought significant growth to Jackson County, with the establishment of towns and infrastructure. The Illinois Central Railroad arrived in the county in the 1850s, connecting it to larger cities like Chicago and facilitating economic growth. This transportation network also played a crucial role in the county's significant agricultural development.

During the Civil War, Jackson County saw its share of conflict. While the county remained largely pro-Union, there were instances of skirmishes and even the presence of Confederate forces. After the war, the county experienced a period of reconstruction and rebuilding.

In more recent times, Jackson County has continued to develop and diversify its economy. The Southern Illinois University, Carbondale campus was established in the county in the late 19th century, bringing with it educational and employment opportunities. Today, the county is known for its strong educational institutions, vibrant arts and culture scene, and outdoor recreational opportunities, making it a diverse and dynamic community.

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

  • 1813 - Jackson County is established by the Illinois Territorial Legislature.
  • 1818 - Illinois becomes a state, and Jackson County is officially recognized as part of the state.
  • 1839 - The Illinois Central Railroad is chartered and begins construction through Jackson County.
  • 1855 - The town of Carbondale is founded as the county seat of Jackson County.
  • 1862 - Southern Illinois University is established in Carbondale.
  • 1873 - Murphysboro becomes the second largest city in Jackson County.
  • 1893 - The Tri-State Tornado, one of the deadliest tornadoes in U.S. history, strikes Jackson County.
  • 1924 - The Kincaid Mounds, an archaeological site in Jackson County, is designated as a State Historic Site.
  • 1942 - Camp Delta, a German prisoner of war camp, is established in Jackson County during World War II.
  • 1993 - The Shawnee National Forest expands to include parts of Jackson County.