National Register Listing in
Scott County, Illinois

The first televised presidential debate in history was held in Illinois in 1960 between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon. The debate was held at the studios of CBS in Chicago and was watched by an estimated 70 million people.
Scott County, Illinois is located in the state's western region and has a rich history that dates back to the early 1800s. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Kickapoo and Fox, who used the fertile land for hunting and agriculture.

In the early 1800s, European settlers began to arrive in the area, establishing farms and small communities. The county was officially founded in 1839 and named after General Winfield Scott, a hero of the War of 1812 and the Mexican-American War. The town of Winchester was designated as the county seat, and it remains so to this day.

Throughout the 19th century, Scott County developed as an agricultural hub, with farmers producing a variety of crops, including corn, wheat, and livestock. The rise of the railroad in the late 1800s further facilitated economic growth, providing a means of transporting goods to distant markets.

In the early 20th century, Scott County faced challenges brought about by the Great Depression and shifting demographics. Many residents moved to larger cities in search of better opportunities, leading to a decline in population. However, the county persevered and found new ways to adapt, including diversifying its economy with the establishment of manufacturing and service industries.

Today, Scott County is a charming rural community that values its agricultural heritage while embracing modern advancements. The county continues to be a hub for farming, with its picturesque rural landscapes attracting visitors and residents alike. Its rich history is celebrated through various local landmarks and festivals, showcasing the pride of its past and promising a prosperous future.

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

  • 1825: Scott County is established as a county in the state of Illinois.
  • 1830: The first permanent settlers arrive in the area.
  • 1832: The Black Hawk War occurs, and some residents of Scott County participate.
  • 1839: Winchester becomes the county seat of Scott County.
  • 1845: The Illinois Rivers and Lakes Commission is established, benefiting the transportation of goods in Scott County.
  • 1856: Scott County experiences rapid growth due to the construction of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad.
  • 1859: The county courthouse in Winchester is completed.
  • 1861-1865: Many residents of Scott County serve in the American Civil War.
  • 1873: A devastating tornado hits Scott County, causing significant damage.
  • 1880: Significant population growth is experienced as railroads continue to expand through the county.
  • 1925: The county courthouse in Winchester is destroyed by a fire and subsequently rebuilt.
  • 1959: The Scott County Historical and Genealogical Society is established.
  • 1982: The Scott County Jail, built in 1887, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • 1999: The Scott County Fair celebrates its 150th anniversary.
  • 2010: The population of Scott County is recorded at 5,355.