Historical Markers in
Madison County, Illinois

A Changing Waterfront A National Cemetery System A-7E Corsair II Acme School Alton & Sangamon Railroad Alton and the Flood of '93 Alton National Cemetery American Legion Post 365 Veterans Memorial American Legion Post 917 Veterans Memorial Baseball Benjamin Godfrey Benjamin Godfrey Memorial Chapel Benjamin Stephenson House Bethalto's Original Fire Bell Bethel Meetinghouse Bob Turley Brooks Catsup Bottle Water Tower Cahokia Called to Duty Capt. Curtis Blakeman and the Marine Settlement Churches City of Collinstown Uptown Tour Civil War Memorial Cleaon Etzkorn Bandstand Coal Mining in Glen College Avenue Presbyterian Church College Avenue Presbyterian Church and the Old Rock House Collinsville Collinsville Masonic Temple Confederate Cemetery Monument Corporal Aaron Joel Ripperda Corporal Richard A. Hoffmann Crossroads of Transportation Culp Lane Park Deck Cemetery Dedicated to the Glory of God and to the Veterans of all Wars Dennis H. Rinderer Discover History All Around Alton Dr. Nick Holonyak, Jr. Way East St. Louis & Suburban Railway Electric Line Streetcar Edwardsville Edwardsville National Bank Clock Edwardsville, Illinois Elijah Parish Lovejoy Elijah Parish Lovejoy First Cemetery in the City of Edwardsville First Soybeans Planted in Illinois, 1851 Fort Russell Founders' Monuments Freedom Shrine Freedom's Martyr Glen Carbon Glen Carbon Veterans Monument Glen Carbon Volunteer Fire Department Glen Carbon Won the Inter-City Championship in 1934 Glenwood Cemetery Godfrey Cemetery Godfrey Mansion Godfrey, Gilman & Co. Warehouse Goshen Road Terminus Governor Charles Deneen Governor Coles and Slavery Governor Edward Coles Governor John Reynolds Governor Ninian Edwards Governor Thomas Ford Great River Floods Haskell Playhouse Highland Highland POWs Homesteads Illinois Remembers Illinois Remembers POW/MIA Illinois Remembers POW/MIA Imaginary Theatre in Henry's Park In grateful memory of the early settlers In Honor of Our Heroes In Memoriam In Memoriam In Memory of Dr. Thomas R. Yates In Remembrance - Wood River Massacre - July 10, 1814 Industry Industry and Notable Buildings John Mason Peck John "Owen" Brendel LeClaire, Illinois Lewis and Clark Expedition Lewis and Clark Expedition Lincoln School Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Alton Lincoln-Douglas Debates! Lindbergh Relay Station Louis Latzer Monument Lyman Trumbull House Madison Coal Corporation Coal Mine #1 & Clover Leaf Station Madison Coal Corporation Coal Mine #4 Main Street of America ran right through Venice Marine Chapter House Maryville Miles Davis Monks Mound Monks Mound - 4th Terrace Monks Mound - South Ramp Monks Mound - Southwest Corner Mont Station Monticello College Navy Memorial Ninian Edwards Nix/Judy Pioneer Cemetery North Alton Confederate Cemetery Old Chain of Rocks Bridge Pan People Peters Station Plank Road Railroad Control Tower Railroads Revolutionary War Patriots Revolutionary War Veterans Robert Pershing Wadlow Robert Prager Lynching Site Ruins of First State Prison in Illinois Ryder Building Schiller Chapel Schools Scott Bibb and the Alton School Desegregation Case Sergeant 1st Class Gary J. Vasquez Sergeant Junior Floyd Roniger Setting the Stage for the Great Debate Site of Abraham Lincoln's Speech Six Mile Prairie Smallpox Island Spanish War Veterans Spindler Monuments St. Jacob St. Paul's Episcopal Church Stockade The 1937 Main Building The 1960's Additions to the Library Building The 1986 Additions to the Library Building The Blum House The Collinsville Historical Museum The Cost of Freedom The D.D. Collins House The Dorris Fountain The Duel That Never Happened The Freedom Tree The Journey Begins Here The Legend of the Piasa The Lewis & Clark Expedition The Lewis and Clark Expedition in Illinois: A Bicentennial Tribute The Madison County Centennial Monument The Madison County Poor Farm The Magnolia Tree The Mississippi River Festival The Pogue Store The Stockade Path The Village of Hartford The Weir House Trailhead Troy Truckin Down 66 - Cassens Transport and Hamel United States Airmen Memorial V.F.W. Post 1300 Veterans Memorial Veterans Memorial Veterans Memorial Veterans Memorial Veterans Memorial Veterans Memorial Veterans Memorial Veterans Memorial Fountain Victory Mothers Village Government 1912 Village Hall & Firehouse Wanda Methodist Church Wann Railroad Disaster War Memorial Woodhenge World War I Memorial Yanda Log Cabin "fixed on a place to build huts"
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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.
Madison County, located in southwestern Illinois, has a rich and varied history dating back thousands of years. The area was originally home to Native American tribes, including the Illini Confederation. European settlement of the region began in the late 17th century with the arrival of French explorers and fur traders. The French established a fortified trading post on the Mississippi River known as Fort de Chartres, which became an important hub for the fur trade in the region.

In the early 19th century, after the Louisiana Purchase, the United States gained control of the area. Madison County was officially established in 1812 and was named in honor of President James Madison. The county became an important transportation and industrial hub due to its strategic location along the Mississippi River and its proximity to St. Louis. The growth of transportation infrastructure, including the construction of canals and railroads, further contributed to the county's development.

During the mid-19th century, Madison County experienced significant population growth and economic prosperity. The county's proximity to coal deposits in southern Illinois led to the establishment of numerous coal mines and the development of the coal industry. In addition, manufacturing and agriculture flourished, with industries such as steel production, pottery, and grain farming becoming prominent. The county's population continued to grow throughout the 20th century, and suburbanization became a significant trend.

Despite its economic success, Madison County also faced challenges and social issues. Racial tensions and inequality persisted, and the county played a significant role in the civil rights movement. In 1953, Madison County became the first county in the state to implement a fair housing ordinance, marking an important step towards equality. Today, Madison County continues to be a vibrant and diverse community, with a strong economy, rich cultural heritage, and a commitment to progress and inclusivity.

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

  • 1805 - Madison County is established by an act of the Illinois Territory Legislature.
  • 1812 - The first permanent settlement, known as Fountain Creek, is established.
  • 1818 - Illinois becomes a state, and Madison County is incorporated.
  • 1820 - The county seat is established in Edwardsville.
  • 1835 - Alton becomes the county seat, replacing Edwardsville.
  • 1837 - The Alton and Sangamon Railroad, the first railroad in Illinois, begins operations in Madison County.
  • 1843 - The Illinois State Normal University, now known as Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, is established in Edwardsville.
  • 1861-1865 - Madison County residents actively participate in the American Civil War.
  • 1877 - East St. Louis is officially incorporated as a city in Madison County.
  • 1894 - The famous Piasa Bird painting is restored and placed on the limestone bluffs along the Mississippi River in Alton.
  • 1917-1918 - Madison County supports the war effort during World War I.
  • 1942-1945 - Madison County contributes to the war effort in World War II, with multiple defense industries operating in the area.
  • 1954 - Alton becomes the first city in the nation to have a McDonald's restaurant.
  • 1973 - The Great Flood of 1973 affects Madison County and causes significant damage.
  • 2005 - Madison County celebrates its bicentennial anniversary.