Historical Markers in
Monroe County, Illinois

American Freedom Fighter and Palestinian Girl American Legion Memorial Park Arlington Hotel & Saloon Armin Henry Krueger Bellefontaine House Bond Breidecker House City Hotel Civil War Grave Markers Col. William R. Morrison Columbia Columbia Star Printing Co Combat Wounded Veterans Commercial State Bank Corn Stalk Cutter Eagle Cliff / Miles Cemetery Eichmuller-Rau Building First National Bank Ford Ford Monument Franklin Inn & Buck Tavern Gedern - Columbia Sister Cities since 1993 German Style Cottage Gundlach-Grosse House Gundlach-Wagner House Harrisonville Telephone Company Henry's Grocery Historic Conservation at Foglepole Historic Shoemaker School Holy Cross Lutheran Cemetery Holy Cross Lutheran Church of Wartburg Immaculate Conception Church Immaculate Conception Church In Loving Memory of Alois Luhr In Memory of Myron A. Roever In Memory of Robert Kidd International Harvester Horse-Drawn Hay Tedder James Lemen James Moore Cabin John Deere Two Bottom Plow - Model 49C Junze Saloon Kaskaskia Cahokia Trail Kaskaskia-Cahokia Trail Kidd, Illinois Koch House Kolmer Family Log Cabin La Belle Fontaine Louis E. Miller M102 Howitzer Maeystown Martini Cemetery Masonic Lodge & State Theater Memorial in honor of our sons and daughters Metzger-Crook Post 6504 Miller-Fiege Home Monroe Brewery Monroe County Bicentennial Bandstand Monroe County World War Veteran Memorial Monroe County's World War I and World War II Dead Old Engine House & Faust Dry Goods Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish War Memorial Palmier Cemetry Patriotic Mural Peterstown and the Merchant Prince Pfeffer Mercantile Store Pioneer Mill Potter's Field POW ★ MIA Revolutionary Patriots of Monroe County, Illinois Robert and Mary McGowan Kidd / Jacob & Elizabeth Green Fults Roessler Building Rohm House Rose's Drug Store Salem-Baum Evangelical Church Schaefer House Schmidt Beer Cave Schmidt House & Brewery Schneider House Schorr Brewing Co. Sears Roebuck Handiman Jr. Walk-Behind Tractor Site of the First English Speaking School in Illinois Smokehouse Southern Hotel St. John's First Church St. Peter & Paul Catholic Church The Adelsberger House The Advocate Building The Bellefontaine Bridge The Bison The Braun Property The Brey Building The Floarke Pavilion The Garretson Home The Küenster Building The Morrison Talbott Library The Odd Fellows Building The Oldendorf-Horn Building The Pluth Building The Schatte Cabin The Schmitt-Nobbe Building The State Bank of Waterloo The Stroh Building The Village of Maeystown, Ill. The Wallhaus Building The Wissmath Property The Ziebold Fountain / The Courthouse Cannon Twin City Thresher Valmeyer Community Heritage Society Veterans Memorial Veterans Memorial Veterans Memorial for All Wars Village of Maeystown Vogt Building Waterloo City Hall Waterloo Fire Department Memorial Bell Plaza Weilbacher General Store Weinel Hardware & Lumber Whiteside Station William H. Bissell World War I Grave Markers "James McRoberts and Mary his wife settled this place in the year of our Lord 1798"*
Available on Amazon
The first McDonald's restaurant was opened in Des Plaines, Illinois in 1955. The restaurant was designed to be a drive-in, but it quickly became popular with families and eventually evolved into the fast-food chain we know today.
Monroe County, Illinois has a rich and fascinating history that dates back to the early 1800s. The county was officially established in 1816 and was named in honor of James Monroe, the fifth president of the United States. The area has a strong German heritage, as many German immigrants settled here in the mid-19th century.

The early years of Monroe County were marked by small, agrarian communities and the development of infrastructure such as roads and schools. The county became a popular destination for settlers looking for fertile farmland and a peaceful way of life. Agriculture played a vital role in the county's economy, with crops such as corn, wheat, and tobacco being grown.

During the mid-19th century, Monroe County experienced significant growth and development. The arrival of the railroad in the 1850s opened up new opportunities for trade and commerce. The county seat, Waterloo, became a hub for businesses and attracted residents from surrounding areas. The growth of industry and commerce brought about the need for better transportation and infrastructure systems, leading to the construction of bridges and roads.

Monroe County has also witnessed its fair share of historical events. During the Civil War, the area was divided in terms of allegiance, with some residents supporting the Union and others supporting the Confederacy. The county saw skirmishes and troop movements, and its citizens played an active role in the war effort. In the early 20th century, the county faced challenges such as the Great Depression and World War II, but managed to rebuild and adapt to changing times.

Today, Monroe County continues to thrive as a vibrant community that embraces its history while looking toward the future. Its charming small towns, picturesque landscapes, and strong sense of community make it a wonderful place to live and visit.

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

  • 1722 - French explorer Philippe François Renault leads an expedition to the area that would later become Monroe County.
  • 1802 - The United States acquires the region as part of the Louisiana Purchase.
  • 1816 - Monroe County is founded and named after President James Monroe.
  • 1820 - The first courthouse is constructed in Waterloo, the county seat.
  • 1825 - The original county boundaries are established.
  • 1829 - The Illinois General Assembly grants a charter for the construction of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, which would pass through Monroe County.
  • 1831 - The first steamboat arrives in Waterloo, marking the beginning of its importance as a river port.
  • 1862 - The county experiences significant Civil War activity, including the Battle of Fort de Chartres.
  • 1873 - The first railroad is completed in the county.
  • 1918 - Lewis Bridge, the longest highway bridge in Illinois, is constructed.
  • 1950 - The population of Monroe County exceeds 20,000.
  • 2010 - The population reaches over 32,000.