Volunteers Dedicated to Free Genealogy Our goal is to help you track your ancestors through time by
transcribing genealogical and historical data and placing it
online for the free use of all researchers.
This website is available for adoption!
If you have a love for history, a desire to help others, and basic web-authoring skills, consider joining us!
Get the details on our Volunteer
[A desire to transcribe data and knowledge of how to make a basic webpage is required.]
If hosting isn't for you, we can use your help in other ways.
More information can be found on the Volunteer Page.
We regret that we are unable to perform personal research for you.
All data we come across is added to this site, so please keep checking back!
Richland County -- situated in the
southeast quarter of the State, and has an area of 361 square miles. It was organized from Edwards County in 1841.
Among the early pioneers may be mentioned the Evans brothers, Thaddeus Morehouse, Hugh Calhoun and son, Thomas
Gardner, James Parker, Cornelius De Long, James Gilmore and Elijah Nelson. In 1820 there were but 30 families in
the district. The first frame houses - the Nelson and Mourehouse homesteads - were built in 1821, and, some years
later, James Laws erected the first brick house. The pioneers traded at Vincennes, but, in 1825, a store was opened
at Stringtown by Jacob May; and the same year the first school was opened at Watertown, taught by Isaac Chauncey.
The first church was erected by the Baptists in 1822, and services were conducted by William Martin, a Kentuckian.
For a long time the mails were carried on horseback by Louis and James Beard, but, in 1824, Mills and Whetsell
established a line of four-horse stages. The principal road, known as the "trace road," leading from
Louisville to Cahokia, followed a buffalo and Indian trail about where the main street of Olney now is. Olney was
selected as the county-seat upon the organization of the county, and a Mr. Lilly built the first house there. The
chief branches of industry followed by the inhabitants are agriculture and fruit-growing. Population in 1880 was
15,545; in 1890 the population was 15,019 and 16,391 in 1900. Source: "Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois",