Abraham Lincoln, one of the most famous presidents in U.S. history, spent much of his early political career in Illinois. He served in the Illinois state legislature and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Illinois in 1846.

Saline County, located in southern Illinois, has a rich historical background dating back thousands of years. The area was once home to Native American tribes, including the Shawnee and Illini, who utilized the abundant natural resources of the region. The first European settlers arrived in the late 18th century, drawn by the fertile soil and opportunities for trade along the Saline River.

In the early 1800s, Saline County experienced rapid growth as more settlers arrived, establishing communities and farms. The county was officially organized in 1847, named after the salt deposits found along the Saline River. These salt deposits played a significant role in the county's early economy, as salt production became a major industry.

The mid-19th century brought more development and infrastructure to Saline County, including the construction of railroads and the growth of coal mining. The county's rich coal reserves attracted numerous mining operations, leading to an influx of immigrants looking for work. The mining industry thrived until the mid-20th century when mechanization and declining coal prices resulted in a decline of mining activities.

Today, Saline County's economy is diverse and includes agriculture, manufacturing, and healthcare sectors. The county also offers a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities, including fishing and camping along the scenic Saline River. With its history deeply rooted in the exploration of natural resources and the growth of communities, Saline County continues to evolve and adapt to the changing times while preserving its unique heritage.

  • 1816: Saline County is officially established as a county in the state of Illinois.
  • Early 1800s: The area is primarily inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Shawnee and Delaware.
  • Early 1800s: European settlers begin to arrive in the area, attracted by the fertile land and abundant wildlife.
  • 1834: The Illinois and Michigan Canal is completed, helping to stimulate economic growth and transportation in the region.
  • 1850s: Saline County experiences a boom in coal mining, with numerous mines opening throughout the area.
  • 1861-1865: The American Civil War takes place, impacting Saline County as many local residents join the Union Army and Confederate Army.
  • Late 1800s: The railroad industry expands into Saline County, further facilitating transportation and trade in the area.
  • Early 1900s: The coal mining industry continues to thrive, attracting more workers to the county.
  • 1925: The notorious Tri-State Tornado, one of the deadliest tornadoes in U.S. history, hits Saline County and causes significant devastation.
  • Mid-1900s: The decline of the coal mining industry leads to a decrease in population and economic activity in Saline County.
  • 2009: A major storm system hits the county, causing significant damage and prompting disaster relief efforts.
  • Present: Saline County remains a predominantly rural area, with agriculture and small businesses contributing to the local economy.