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.
Macoupin County is located in the state of Illinois and has a rich history that can be traced back to the early 19th century. The county was first settled by European Americans in the early 1800s, with the town of Carlinville being established as the county seat in 1829. The name 'Macoupin' is said to come from the Native American word for 'white potato', reflecting the fertile soil and agricultural importance of the region.

During the early years of its settlement, Macoupin County experienced rapid growth due to the availability of land for farming and the development of transportation routes such as railroads. The county's economy primarily revolved around agriculture, with farming becoming the main occupation for its residents. Corn, wheat, and soybeans were among the major crops grown in the area.

In the mid-1800s, Macoupin County played a significant role in the abolitionist movement and the battle against slavery. Carlinville, in particular, was known as a center for antislavery activities and was home to many staunch abolitionists. The county was also an important stop on the Underground Railroad, providing shelter and assistance to escaped slaves on their journey to freedom.

Throughout the 20th century, Macoupin County continued to thrive with advancements in industry and technology. The discovery of coal in the region led to the establishment of coal mines, which became a major source of employment for the local population. However, as the coal industry declined, the county shifted its focus to other sectors such as manufacturing and services.

Today, Macoupin County remains a primarily rural area with a strong agricultural heritage. It boasts numerous historic sites and landmarks, including the Macoupin County Courthouse and the Blackburn College campus. The county continues to be a hub for farming and agribusiness, while also embracing tourism and other industries to diversify its economy.

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

  • 1829 - Macoupin County is established on January 17th.
  • 1830 - The first courthouse and jail are built in the county seat, Carlinville.
  • 1847 - Carlinville becomes the permanent county seat.
  • 1857 - A new courthouse is constructed in Carlinville.
  • 1861-1865 - Macoupin County residents serve in the Civil War.
  • 1875 - A new jail is built in Carlinville, replacing the old one.
  • 1888 - The St. Louis, Peoria & Northern Railway (later Chicago, Peoria and St. Louis Railroad) is opened, improving transportation in the county.
  • 1928 - A new county courthouse is built in Carlinville.
  • 1942-1945 - Macoupin County residents serve in World War II.
  • 1962 - Blackburn College is established in Carlinville.
  • 1978 - The Macoupin Art Collective is established, promoting the arts in the county.
  • 1984 - The Macoupin County Historical Society is founded, preserving local history.
  • 2007 - The city of Gillespie celebrates its sesquicentennial (150 years).