Historical Markers in
McLean County, Illinois

1897 1926 Route 66 Alignment 1954 Route 66 Alignment A Home on the Road A Station and a Home Abraham Lincoln - Eighth Judicial District Abraham Lincoln - Eighth Judicial District Adlai Ewing Stevenson I Adlai Ewing Stevenson II An Arthur L. Pillsbury Design Angeline Strode Turner Lamon Asahel Gridley's Bank Augustus & Jennie Elbe House Benjaminville Friends Meeting House Bloomington Fire Department Bloomington Fire Fighters IAFF Local #49 Bloomington, Illinois Bloomington-Normal, Illinois Cedar Crest Historic District Center Street Site Charles Lindbergh Crash Site Charles "Old Hoss" Radbourne Cloverlawn David Davis III & IV House David Davis Mansion Dead Man's Curve Dome Dorothy Louise Gage Dr. David & Elizabeth Moore House Edmund O'Connell House Edward & Ora Gridley House Eliel & Malinda Barber Cottage End of the Journey Eugene and Mary Funk House Ezra & Barbara Prince House Florence Fifer Bohrer Franklin Square Historic District Freedom and Henry C. Johnson House Funks Grove Pure Maple Sirup, Funks Grove, Illinois George H. & Clara Bruner Cox House Gridley Family Plot Having a Picnic / A Transportation Corridor Helen L. Cooper Henderson's Standard Highland Historic District Historic Camelback Bridge Home of Adlai E. Stevenson I Home of Joseph W. Fifer Horace and Nora McCurdy House Illinois Central R. R. Illinois Soldiers' and Sailors' Children's School Illinois State Normal Illinois U.S. Route 66 In Memory of Maude Henline Isaac Funk James S. Neville House John & Matilda Heffernan House John A. Wilcox House John and Caroline Roush House John M. Scott John M. Scott / Charlotte Ann Perry Scott Lawrence and Mary Jane Weldon House Lincoln Oak Memorial Lincoln The Lawyer Lincoln's Real Estate Lucius T. and Arabella Bruner Wilcox House Major's Hall Matthew and Julia Scott House Matthew T. Scott McCormick Family Plot Miller Park's Segregated Beaches Miller-Davis Building Miller-Davis Buildings My Good Friend Normal, Illinois Oscar and Sara Mandel House Phillip & Sophia Young House Phoenix Hall Plane Crash Memorial Pure Oil Truck Stop Rhodes Mill Stones Risk of the Road Robert Greenlee House Ruben & Laura Benjamin House Sain & Gertrude Welty House Samuel & Electa Bishop House Sgt. Joshua P. Rodgers Veterans Field Sigmund Livingston Site of the Grand Village of the Kickapoo The Crothers and Chew Building The Dewenter's Building The Grand Village of the Kickapoo Park The Grand Village of the Kickapoo Park The Home of Julia Green Scott The John Patton Cabin The Lost Speech The National Hotel The Phoenix Block The Pike House The Rounds Block Train Whistle Monument Van Leer's Broadview Mansion Bell William Florville World War II War Memorial "Memory Lane"
The word "Illinois" comes from a Native American word meaning "tribe of superior men." The Illinois were a confederation of several Native American tribes that lived in the region.

McLean County, Illinois, situated in the central part of the state, has a rich history dating back to the early 19th century. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Kickapoo and Pottawatomi. In the early 1800s, European settlers began to arrive, establishing the first permanent settlements in the county.

In 1830, McLean County was officially established and named in honor of Judge John McLean, a U.S. Supreme Court justice. As the county developed, Bloomington, now the county seat, emerged as a prominent center of commerce and culture. The town's strategic location along the Illinois Central Railroad further contributed to its growth.

During the mid-1800s, McLean County experienced rapid development, with agriculture playing a crucial role in its economy. The invention of the grain reaper by Cyrus McCormick revolutionized farming practices, and McLean County became known as the "Prairie State's Breadbasket." The county's fertile soil allowed for the cultivation of corn, wheat, soybeans, and other crops, contributing to its prosperity.

In the 20th century, McLean County continued to evolve, embracing technological advancements and diversifying its economy. The county became home to several major manufacturing plants, including those of the Caterpillar Inc., further fueling its economic growth. Today, McLean County is a thriving community with a strong agricultural base, a vibrant downtown area, and a diverse economy that includes industries such as healthcare, education, and information technology.

  • 1830: McLean County is established and named after John McLean, a prominent Illinois pioneer and U.S. Senator.
  • 1831: The first settlers arrive in the area, mainly farmers from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia.
  • 1837: Bloomington is chosen as the county seat.
  • 1841: The first courthouse is built in Bloomington.
  • 1847: The Illinois Central Railroad reaches Bloomington, boosting the local economy and population.
  • 1861-1865: McLean County sends soldiers to fight in the American Civil War.
  • 1909: McLean County's first automobile is registered.
  • 1935: The first radio station, WJBC, begins broadcasting in Bloomington.
  • 1948: Illinois State University (then called Illinois State Normal University) moves to Normal, becoming a major presence in the county.
  • 1990: The population of McLean County surpasses 150,000.