Cities Near Edwardsville, IL
Local city information for Edwardsville, IL
is a city in Madison County, Illinois, United States. As of the 2005 census, the city population was 24,047. It is the county seat of Madison County and is the third oldest city in the State of Illinois. The city was named in honor of Ninian Edwards, Governor of Illinois.
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, the Edwardsville Journal
, the Madison County Record
and the Edwardsville Intelligencer
are located here.
Edwardsville is a part of Southern Illinois, the Metro-East region, and the St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area. It neighbors with Glen Carbon, Illinois. It is part of the Edwardsville School District No. 7, which also includes the villages of Glen Carbon, Hamel and Moro, as well as the unincorporated areas around them.
Edwardsville was originally incorporated in 1818, making it the third oldest city in Illinois. The first settler was Thomas Kirkpatrick who came in 1805, laid out a community and served as the Justice of the Peace. He named the community after his friend Ninian Edwards who was territorial governor of Illinois at the time. (Illinois did not become a state until 1818.)
In 1890, St. Louis industrialist N.O. Nelson chose a tract of land just south of Edwardsville to locate his plumbing factories. He would also create a model cooperative village here called Leclaire
, where workers were offered fair wages with reasonable working hours and a share of the profits. The village also provided educational and recreational opportunities and made it financially possible for anyone to own their own home. Unlike company towns like Pullman near Chicago, this was a company town where the welfare and quality of life for the workers and their families was a major concern. Nelson was a visionary and is considered to be a renaissance man, years ahead of his time.
In 1934 the Village of Leclaire was incorporated into the City of Edwardsville. It remains a vibrant area with a beautiful lake and park, baseball field, the Edwardsville Children's Museum that is located in the former Leclaire school house, and the renovated Nelson factory buildings that are now the Historic N. O. Nelson Campus of Lewis and Clark Community College.
Each year on the third Sunday in October, the "Friends of Leclaire" host the annual Leclaire Parkfest with food, live heritage music, historic displays & tours, artisans, children's activities, a book sale, and much more. (Additional information about the Leclaire National Historic District can be found at www.historic-leclaire.org.)
Five Illinois governors came from Edwardsville: namesake Ninian Edwards, who became a territorial governor in 1809 and later served as governor from 1826-1830; Edward Coles, elected in 1822 and a strong opponent of slavery; John Reynolds, governor from 1830 to 1834; Thomas Ford, governor from 1842-1846; and Charles Deneen, governor from 1909 to 1913.
Future president Abraham Lincoln was in Edwardsville twice, as an attorney in the 1814 courthouse and a speaker outside the 1857 courthouse on Sept. 11, 1858. The present courthouse, a square, four-story neo-classic structure of white marble, and six stories tall in the back, was constructed from 1913-15.
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