Timeline of Vermilion County, Illinois history

Timeline of Vermilion County, Illinois history

This article is a timeline of Vermilion County, Illinois history.

19th century


*1809 - The Illinois Territory is formed.


*1818 December 3 - Illinois is admitted to the Union.

*1819 November - Salt Springs becomes the first European settlement in what is to become Vermilion County.


*1826 January 18 - Vermilion County is created.

*1826 March - The county is divided into two townships, Carroll in the south and Ripley in the north.

*1826 - James Haworth plats the town of Georgetown.

*1827 January - Salt Springs, at the mouth of the North Fork of the Vermilion River, is made the county seat.

*1827 January 31 - The future site of Danville is identified as the new county seat.

*1827 April 10 - Lots in the new town of Danville go on sale.

*1827 May - Post office at Danville opens in the home of Amos Williams.

*1828 - Post office at Georgetown opens.


*1833 - Champaign County is founded to the west, taking a strip ten miles wide from the west side of Vermilion County.

*1833 - Iroquois County is founded to the north, and Vermilion County is extended by 6 miles on the north side.

*1835 - Daniel Beckwith (after whom Danville was named) dies of pneumonia following a horseback ride from Washington.

*1837 - The town of Franklin is founded near the future site of Bismarck, but only lasts a few years.

*1838 September 17-20 - The Potawatomi Trail of Death camps at Sandusky Point near what became the town of Catlin.

*1839 - Post office at the future site of Rossville opens.


*1843 - The town of Myersville is founded near the future site of Bismark.


*1851 - Vermilion County is divided into eight townships: Danville, Georgetown, Elwood, Carroll, Ross, Middlefork, Newell (first called Richland), and Pilot.

*1851 - B. E. Conkey founds Conkeytown.

*1856 - Blount Township is created.

*1857 - Mann's Chapel is constructed south of the future site of Rossville.

*1858 - Catlin Township is created.

*1858 - Abraham Lincoln gives a speech in Danville at the home of Dr. William Fithian (now the Vermilion County Museum) while campaigning for U.S. Senator against Stephen A. Douglas.


*1862 - Grant Township is created.

*1862 - The town of Rossville is founded.

*1864 - Butler Township is created.

*1866 - Vance Township is created.

*1866 - Josiah Hunt and Guy Merrill plat the town of Catlin.

*1867 - Sidell Township is created.

*1868 - Oakwood Township is created.


*1870 September - Danville High School is established.

*1871 - The town of Hoopeston is founded.

*1872 - Construction on the Pumpkin Vine Railroad begins, to carry coal from south of Covington, Indiana to the Bismarck area.

*1872 - The town of Gilbert is founded south of the future site of Alvin.

*c. 1873 - The town of Bismarck is founded.

*1873 - William P. and E. A. West lay out the town of Westville.

*1875 - The town of Alvin is founded at a new railroad intersection just north of Gilbert, supplanting the earlier town.


*1883 - The Danville Public Library is formed.


*1897 - An Old Soldiers' Home is established on the southeast side of Danville.

*1899 - Jamaica Township is created.

20th century


*1900 August 2 - Helen Morgan is born in Vermilion County.

*1902 - Love Township is created.

*1904 November 7 - Danville's Carnegie Library opens.cite web |url=http://www.danville.lib.il.us/about.htm |title=About Danville Public Library |accessdate=2007-10-09 |format= |work= ]

*1905 January - Hoopeston's Carnegie Library is dedicated. [cite web |url=http://www.hooplib.org/hooplibhist.html |title=Hoopeston Public Library History|accessdate=2007-10-09 |format= |work= ]


*1912 - McKendree Township is created.

*1919 - The first Grab It Here grocery store opens.


*1924 - Danville High School moves to the current building.

*1924 September 15 - Bobby Short is born in Danville.

*1925 December 13 - Dick Van Dyke is born in West Plains, Missouri.

*1927 - South Ross Township is created.


*1931 July 27 - Jerry Van Dyke is born in Danville.


*1942 March 16 - The town of Alvin is hit by a tornado at 11:40 AM, killing six people and causing much destruction.

*1946 - The University of Illinois establishes an extension center at Danville High School.

*1949 - The University of Illinois extension becomes Danville Community College.


*1950 January 21 - Joseph R. Tanner is born in Danville.

*1951 - Danville Community College is renamed Danville Junior College.


*1965 - Danville Junior College moves to buildings acquired from the Veterans Administration at 2000 East Main Street.

*1966 - Danville Junior College becomes an independent two-year college.


*1979 - Danville Junior College is renamed Danville Area Community College.


*1980 September 20 Danville's David S. Palmer Civic Center opens. [cite web |url=http://www.palmerarena.com/info/history.html |title=David S. Palmer Arena History |accessdate=2007-10-08 |format= |work= ]


*1994 November 3 - Joe Tanner flies aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis on mission STS-66.

*1995 November 7 - The new Danville Public Library building opens.

*1997 February 11 - Joe Tanner flies aboard Space Shuttle Discovery on mission STS-82, performing two space walks.

21st century


*2000 November 30 - Joe Tanner flies aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour on mission STS-97, performing three space walks.

*2004 February - Several historic buildings in downtown Rossville are destroyed by fire. [cite web |url=http://www.freelists.org/archives/cifnmedia/02-2004/msg00069.html
title=Rossville in Flames |accessdate=2007-10-08 |format= |work= |publisher=freelists.org

*2005 March 21 - Bobby Short dies at the age of 80.

*2006 August 26 - Chittick's Family Eye Care is destroyed by fire. [cite web |url=http://www.commercial-news.com/local/local_story_238222438.html |title=Fire consumes Chittick’s Family Eye Care |accessdate=2007-10-08 |format= |work= |publisher=Commercial-News]

*2006 September 9 - Joe Tanner flies aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis on mission STS-115, performing a space walk.


Unless otherwise cited, much of the information from the 19th century and first half of the 20th century is drawn from these works:

*cite book
last = Stapp
first = Katherine
coauthors = W. I. Bowman
title = History Under Our Feet: The Story of Vermilion County, Illinois
publisher = Interstate Printers and Publishers, Inc.
year = 1968
location = Danville, Illinois
pages =

*cite book
last = Jones
first = Lottie E.
title = History of Vermilion County, Illinois (volumes 1 and 2)
publisher = Pioneer Publishing Company
year = 1911
location = Chicago, Illinois
pages =

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