In Illinois, townships were established as units of state government under the 2nd Illinois Constitution of 1848.
Up to this point, a County Commission form of local government prevailed. Under this form, the county unit was the governing body, with commissioners responsible for the administration and legislative affairs of towns and villages within a county.
In 1849, voters within Illinois counties were given the right to adopt the township form of local government. With the option of choosing a township type of government, voters had the opportunity to elect officials from their local communities who would be directly responsible for conducting business necessary to maintain their communities.
Over the next several decades, the response to adopting township government exploded and today, 85 of Illinois' 102 counties operate under a township form of local government, with 1,433 townships serving more than 8 million people.
Maps on this page used with the kind permission by Michael L. Hebert. To see more maps like this please visit Illinois County Boundaries 1790 - Present This account is taken from early histories of the county and other sources.
Atlanta was founded in 1853. Abraham Lincoln attended a Fourth of July celebration here at Turner's Grove in 1859.
Location of grist mill, saw mill, and brick tile factory built by Samuel Baker.In 1833, Samuel Baker came to Illinois when in his mid-teens. He probably came to Bakerville after the Civil War. Previously, the Baker family lived at the Yankeetown Settlement about 2 miles southwest. The chimney and some clay pits remain from Baker's grist and saw mills, and the brick-tile factory. The site is marked by a historical marker.
Founded in 1872 and platted by Silas Beason and others. Silas Beason was a lawyer and was instrumental in attracting the Illinois Central Railroad to Beason.
Originally a branch of the Sugar Creek Congregation located east of Bethel, the church was built in 1854. Big Prairie post office was located east of the present church and Bethel grade school stood across the road. The cemetery adjoins the church.
Is the smallest town in Logan County. In 1871 a rail road was started and it was completed in January 1873. The town was settled in 1873. Originally it was known as Burton, then Burton View in 1873 when a post office was established there. Later it was changed to one word Burtonview.
Platted in 1872 by David Clark and named in honor of railroad official Logan B. Chestnut. The Illinois Central Railroad played an import role in development of community. It claims to be the geographic center of the state of Illinois. A monument in the village park and common honors this distinction.
Was surveyed and platted in August,1871, and named by Joshua Day who had owned the land. The town was dedicated September 28, 1871.
Elkhart Hill is 777 feet high and covers more than 600 acres. Native Americans believed the hill to be in the shape of an elk's heart. The gravesite of Captain Adam Bogardus, wing shot champion of the world, who traveled with Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show and a Mississippi River boat show, is here. The John Dean Gillett Memorial Chapel is on Elkhart Hill. J. D. Gillett became known as the "Cattle King of the World" because of his breeding of short-horn cattle He was a personal friend of Abraham Lincoln. The Hill is also the gravesite of Richard J. Oglesby - General, Governor, and Senator.
Emden was named for Emden, on the River Ems in northern Germany. The town was surveyed in 1871. Teis Smid, a blacksmith and William Smith are credited with the establishment of Emden.
Founded in 1871 by David Harts and surveyed by Thomas Gardner of Pekin, Illinois.
Founded in 1881. Indian mounds have been identified in the area.
Surveyed in 1871 and incorporated in 1884. A station on the Peoria, Decatur and Evansville Railroad. Named for Colonel Latham of Lincoln, who helped build the Railroad.
Lawndale was laid out and platted by Thomas Easten in 1854. Easten had already erected a saw mill, home, and store on the Kickapoo Creek near the site. At one time, the Lawndale elevator handled more grain shipments than any elevator between Chicago and St. Louis. Lawndale was also known as Kickapoo by the early settlers of the area.
Lincoln is the County Seat of Logan County. Lincoln was the first city to be named for Abraham Lincoln, an event which occured in 1853 before he became a nationally known figure. Abraham Lincoln christened the new town, named in his honor, with juice from a watermelon. Stephen A. Douglas spoke here on September 4, 1858, during his famous campaign against Abraham Lincoln for the Senate seat. Lincoln was in attendance but did not speak.
Was founded by Hiram S. Allen on October 13, 1832. It is the oldest town in Logan County. Abraham Lincoln, then living in New Salem, witnessed the deed to the first lot sold in the community in June 1833. The town was a stagecoach stop midway on the route between Peoria and Springfield.
Founded in 1836. Named for Count Casimir Pulaski, a Revolutionary War Patriot. Mt. Pulaski Courthouse in Mt. Pulaski served as Logan County Courthouse from 1847 to 1853. The courthouse is one of two remaining courthouses on the Eighth Judicial Circuit where Abraham Lincoln practised law. It is listed on the National Historic Register and was purchased and restored by the State of Illinois.
Founded by Oliver W. Holland in April, 1875.
The town itself lies in two counties: Logan and Mason. It lies in the extreme northwest part of Logan County. It was surveyed and platted by E.Z. Hunt in 1857.
The towns in RED were known as grain stations or elevators which only had a few houses located there.
The town lot boom of the 1830's was one of the most interesting episodes of the early history of central Illinois. The proprietors of a town needed to have a site surveyed and file a plat in the office of records in the county seat. The lots depicted in the plat became articles of commerce, just like shares of stock in a corporation, to be traded actively in the real estate market. Abraham Lincoln himself signed the plat for Albany as Deputy Surveyor of Sangamon County. Like many such speculative episodes, the Town Lot Boom came to a sad end within a few years. The drawing shows where towns of the "Town Lot Boom" were located and when each town was started.
Middletown (1832) and Mt.Pulaski (1836)are the only ones to have survived as independent towns that still exist today. Postville (1835) survived as part of Lincoln. Bloomingdale (1836) had a few buildings for a few years. All the rest Georgetown (1829), Richmond (1834), Rushbrook (1834), Albany (1836), Madison I (1836), Madison II (1836), Eminence (1836), New Castle (1836) and London (1839) have no physical signs of existence today.
Reproduction of the first Logan County Courthouse at Postville which was in use from 1840 to 1847.
The Mt. Pulaski Courthouse served as the second Logan County courthouse from 1848 to 1855. It is one of two surviving court house buildings on the old Eighth Judicial Circuit, which was traveled by Abraham Lincoln.
The current Logan County Courthouse located in downtown Lincoln, Illinois.
Township government adopted November 7, 1865 - Completion of township organization was delayed until 1867 by a court suit. There are 17 Townships. Prior to Township government the county was divided into 13 Precincts.