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The Illinois State Capitol building, located in Springfield, is home to the world's largest collection of stained glass windows by Louis Comfort Tiffany. The windows were installed in the Capitol between 1885 and 1917 and depict scenes from Illinois history.
Located in southeastern Illinois, Lawrence County has a rich history that spans centuries. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Shawnee and the Miami, who relied on the region's resources for their livelihood. European exploration of the area began in the late 17th century, but it was not until the early 19th century that permanent settlements were established.

In 1821, Lawrence County was officially organized and named after Captain James Lawrence, a naval officer during the War of 1812. The county's early economy was driven by agriculture, with farms and livestock becoming the foundation of the local community. The construction of the Wabash and Erie Canal in the 1840s offered new opportunities for trade and transportation, further boosting the county's development.

During the Civil War, Lawrence County played a significant role. Many residents enlisted in the Union Army, and the county itself became a crucial recruitment center and supply depot. The war brought about economic difficulties and social tensions, but the community managed to overcome these challenges and embrace the Reconstruction era.

In the 20th century, Lawrence County saw further advancements in infrastructure and technology. The discovery of oil and natural gas reserves in the early 1900s brought prosperity to the area, and numerous wells were drilled, creating jobs and boosting the local economy. The construction of highways and railways provided better transportation connections, facilitating trade and commerce.

Today, Lawrence County continues to be a thriving agricultural community, with farming and related industries playing a vital role in its economy. The county also boasts a rich cultural heritage, with historic landmarks and events that commemorate its past. As it looks towards the future, Lawrence County remains focused on preserving its history while embracing opportunities for growth and progress.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Lawrence County, Illinois.

  • 1821 - Lawrence County is established on January 20th as an original county of the state of Illinois.
  • 1841 - The village of Lawrenceville, the county seat, is founded and named after Captain James Lawrence.
  • 1872 - The Wabash & St. Louis Railway is built through Lawrence County, connecting the area to other parts of the state and facilitating trade and transportation.
  • 1894 - The Coal Belt Electric Railroad is established, providing an additional transportation option for both passengers and freight.
  • 1902 - The Lawrenceville Municipal Airport is opened, enhancing the county's accessibility and promoting aviation.
  • 1925 - The Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce is formed to promote economic development and support local businesses.
  • 1940 - The Red Hill State Park is established, offering recreational activities and preserving the natural beauty of the region.
  • 1966 - The formation of the Lawrence County Historical Society aims to preserve and promote the county's rich historical heritage.
  • 1970 - A new Lawrence County Courthouse is constructed, replacing the original 19th-century courthouse.