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.
Montgomery County, located in central Illinois, has a rich and diverse history that dates back to the early 19th century. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Kickapoo and Piankashaw. The county was established in 1821 and named after Richard Montgomery, a Revolutionary War general.

The county developed rapidly in the mid-1800s, attracted by a growing agricultural sector. The fertile soil and ample water resources made farming a prominent industry in Montgomery County. The construction of railroads in the late 19th century further boosted the county's growth, connecting it to major markets and facilitating the transportation of goods.

The discovery of coal in the region during the late 19th century led to the establishment of numerous coal mines. Mining became a significant industry in Montgomery County and brought an influx of immigrants, primarily from Eastern Europe, to work in the mines. The mining boom resulted in the development of multiple mining towns, including Hillsboro and Litchfield.

Montgomery County also played a role in the struggles for workers' rights during the early 20th century. The area witnessed labor strikes and demonstrations, notably the 1914 "Mother Jones March" led by labor activist Mary Harris "Mother" Jones. These events symbolized the ongoing struggle for fair working conditions and improved labor rights.

Today, Montgomery County continues to be predominantly rural, with agriculture playing a vital role in the local economy. The county's heritage is celebrated through various historical sites and museums, providing visitors with a glimpse into the rich history and development of the area.

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

  • 1821 - Montgomery County is established.
  • 1829 - The first marriage recorded takes place.
  • 1837 - The first post office is established in Shoal Creek Township.
  • 1843 - First school is built in Hillsboro.
  • 1852 - The first county courthouse is built in Hillsboro.
  • 1872 - The first railroad is completed in the county.
  • 1922 - The first paved road is built in Montgomery County.
  • 1937 - Nokomis Memorial Recreation Park is established.
  • 1981 - Lake Lou Yeager is completed, becoming a popular recreational spot.
  • 2018 - A new veterans memorial plaza is dedicated in Hillsboro.