Place:Vermilion, Illinois, United States

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source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


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Vermilion County is a county located in the eastern part of the U.S. state of Illinois, between the Indiana border and Champaign County. It was established in 1826 and was the 45th of Illinois' 102 counties. It is part of the 'Danville, Illinois, Metropolitan Statistical Area' which encompasses all of Vermilion County.

According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 81,625, which is a decrease of 2.7% from 83,919 in 2000. It contains 21 incorporated settlements; the county seat is the largest city, Danville. The county is also divided into 19 townships which provide local services.

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Vermilion County is named after the Vermilion River, which passes through the county and empties into the Wabash River in Indiana near Cayuga; the river was so named because of the color of the earth along its route.

The area which became Vermilion County was under the flag of France from 1682 to 1763, as part of New France. It was owned by Great Britain for fifteen years after the French and Indian War; it then became part of the colonies after the Revolutionary War when the area was ceded to Virginia and was known as "the Illinois County of Virginia". Later it was part of the Indiana Territory, then the Illinois Territory, and finally the state of Illinois. The county was officially created on January 18, 1826 from a portion of Edgar County. There was an unorganized territory to the north and west which was attached to the county; Champaign and Iroquois counties were formed from part of this territory in 1833. The remainder was used to create Ford County in 1859; this was the last county to be formed in the state.

The existence of saline springs in the county proved to be a strong attraction to early white men, and were mentioned as early as 1801, when Joseph Barron, an interpreter fluent in a number of Native American languages, stated in an affidavit that he was present at the "Vermilion Salines" that year. The production required 100 gallons of water for one bushel of salt and proved to be profitable from the first run 1822 to 1829, when salt became less expensive and the venture was no longer economical.

The saline springs were also the site of the first settlement, made by Seymour Treat in 1819, along with the Beckwith and Whitcomb families. James Butler, from Ohio, followed in 1820 and settled in the Catlin area; within a few years, the settlement grew to encompass several families and became known as "Butler's Point". About the same time, the southern area of the county also attracted an early settler named Henry Johnson, who built a cabin approximately two miles west of Georgetown; this area later became known as "Johnson's Point". The southern portion of the county soon became populated with a number of cabins and small settlements. The majority of those coming to Vermilion County originated in the American South and left because of their opposition to slavery.

Some of the early settlers were of the Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers. Some of these settlers founded the settlement of Vermilion Grove in the south part of the county; it is not only one of the oldest settlements in the county but also the site of the second school in the county.

The county has strong ties to Abraham Lincoln. He practiced law in Danville from 1841 to 1859 with Ward Hill Lamon, who later served as his bodyguard. Lincoln also gave a brief speech in Danville in 1858 while campaigning for U.S. Senate against Stephen A. Douglas; Lincoln gave the speech in his stocking feet while standing on the balcony at the home of Dr. William Fithian, a prominent local physician. Today, the Fithian home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and serves as the Vermilion County Museum; visitors can see Lincoln memorabilia including a bed in which Lincoln slept.

The maps below illustrate the various stages in the evolution of Vermilion County.

Timeline

Date Event Source
1826 County formed Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1826 Court records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1826 Land records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1826 Marriage records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1826 Probate records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1830 First census Source:Population of States and Counties of the United States: 1790-1990
1860 No significant boundary changes after this year Source:Population of States and Counties of the United States: 1790-1990
1877 Birth records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources

Population History

source: Source:Population of States and Counties of the United States: 1790-1990
Census Year Population
1830 5,836
1840 9,303
1850 11,492
1860 19,800
1870 30,388
1880 41,588
1890 49,905
1900 65,635
1910 77,996
1920 86,162
1930 89,339
1940 86,791
1950 87,079
1960 96,176
1970 97,047
1980 95,222
1990 88,257

Research Tips

External links

  • Outstanding guide to Vermilion County family history and genealogy resources (FamilySearch Research Wiki). Birth, marriage, and death records, censuses, wills, deeds, county histories, cemeteries, churches, naturalizations, newspapers, libraries, and genealogical societies.
  • www.co.vermilion.il.us/


This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Vermilion County, Illinois. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.