Welcome to Illinois Genealogy Trails

part of the Genealogy Trails History Group

Fayette County History Index

Fayette County History

FAYETTE COUNTY, situated about 60 miles south of the geographical center of the State; was organized in 1821, and named for the French General La Fayette. It has an area of 720 square miles; population (1900), 28,065. The soil is fertile and a rich vein of bituminous coal underlies the county. Agriculture, fruit-growing and mining are the chief industries. The old, historic "Cumberland Road," the trail for all west-bound emigrants, .crossed the county at an early date. Perryville was the first county-seat, but this town is now extinct. Vandalia, the present seat of county government (population, 2,144), stands upon a succession of hills upon the west bank of the Kaskaskia. From 1820 to 1839 it was the State Capital. Besides Vandalia the chief towns are Ramsey, noted for its railroad ties and timber, and St. Elmo.

Farina - a town of Fayette County, on the Chicago Division of the Illinois Central Railroad, 29 miles northeast of Centralia. Agriculature and fruit-growing constitute the chief business of the section; the town has one newspaper. Population in 1890 was 618; In 1900, 693; 1903 (est.) 800

Townships of Fayette County

Avena -    Name changed from Howard on September 24, 1860.
Bear Grove - Formed as Johnson sometime in 1869; name changed to Bear Grove in June, 1869.
Bowling Green
  - Formed from Bowling Green (date unknown).
Lone Grove - Formed from LaClede and Wilberton in September, 1876.
North Hurricane - Formed from a split in Hurricane after 1921.
Otego - Name changed from Cumberland on September 24, 1860.
Pope - Formed from Kaskaskia in March, 1878.
 - Formed from Sharon in December, 1920.
South Hurricane
 - Formed from a split in Hurricane after 1921.
 - Name changed from Richland on September 24, 1860.

Towns and Cities in Fayette County: 

Brownstown (village)

Farina (village)
Ramsey (village)
 Saint Elmo (city)
Saint Peter (village)
Vandalia (city)

© 2001-2008