Illinois was part of the French colonial empire, and the city of Cahokia, located near present-day Collinsville, was one of the largest pre-Columbian cities in North America. At its peak, around 1250 CE, Cahokia had a population of around 20,000 people.
Moultrie County, Illinois has a rich history that dates back to the early 19th century. The county was established on February 16, 1843, and was named after William Moultrie, a prominent military figure during the American Revolutionary War. At the time of its establishment, the county encompassed a large area of land that was still largely unsettled.

The first European settlers arrived in the area in the early 1820s, with the majority coming from Kentucky and Tennessee. These settlers were attracted to the fertile land and abundant natural resources of the region. Agriculture quickly became the dominant industry, with corn, wheat, and livestock being the main products.

Moultrie County played a significant role in the development of central Illinois. The county seat, Sullivan, was founded in 1845 and became a hub for trade and commerce in the region. The construction of the Illinois Central Railroad in the late 1850s further boosted the county's economy, connecting it to major cities such as Chicago and St. Louis.

Over the years, Moultrie County has experienced periods of growth and change. The county saw a population boom in the late 19th century, attracting more settlers to its fertile farmland. The early 20th century brought advancements in technology and transportation, further expanding the county's economy and increasing its population.

Today, Moultrie County continues to be primarily agricultural, with farming and agriculture-related industries playing a vital role in its economy. The county is also home to several recreational areas, including Lake Shelbyville, which attracts visitors from across the state. Moultrie County's rich history and natural beauty make it a place of interest for both residents and tourists alike.

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

  • 1843: Moultrie County is established on February 16 by an act of the Illinois General Assembly.
  • 1844: The first settler, Benjamin Franklin Moultrie, arrives in the area.
  • 1845: The county's first post office, named Jonathan Creek, is established.
  • 1860: The county's population reaches 4,959.
  • 1862: Moultrie County residents participate in the American Civil War.
  • 1877: The county seat is moved from Jonathan Creek to Sullivan.
  • 1893: The county's population peaks at 16,228.
  • 1916: Construction of Lake Shelbyville begins.
  • 1968: Lake Shelbyville is completed, providing recreational opportunities for Moultrie County residents.
  • 2010: The county's population is recorded at 14,846 in the United States Census.