Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tazewell County Genealogical & Historical Society July 12th Meeting

Greg Laun will be presenting an 1820-1860 history of the the Springfield to Peoria Stagecoach Road which passed through Tazewell, Logan, Menard and Sangamon Counties.  The road became a major artery for passenger & mail service as well as enabling trade & commerce that encouraged the establishment of early settlements along the route.

Stagecoach service reached Springfield from Edwardsville in 1822 and began serving Peoria in 1825.  On February 12, 1827 the State Legislature in Vandalia declared the route from Springfield to Peoria a state road the first state road leading from Peoria.  Abraham Lincoln sponsored bills in the Illinois Legislature supporting the road.   Mr. Lincoln also traveled the road as an attorney in the Eighth Judicial Circuit and during his campaigns for the U.S. Senate & the Presidency.

The road basically followed a direct south to north path between Springfield & Peoria.  It passed through Sherman, Middletown, New Holland, Delavan, Dillon and Groveland before entering Peoria.

Many remnants of the original route still exist today.  The current highway through Sangamon County is named Peoria Road and its counterpart in Tazewell County is designated Springfield Road.  Using Greg's research as a basis, the Illinois Legislature designated the route a historic road in 2010 by adopting Senate Joint Resolution 62, titled "The A. Lincoln & Springfield to Peoria Stage Road".     Greg lives in Springfield and works for state government. He also farms the land on which he was raised, along Peoria Road near New Holland. He has found this particular history rewarding and hopes individuals in Tazewell County will expand on the project.

The meeting will take place Tuesday, July 12th at 7:00PM at the TCGHS Ehrlicher Research Center, 719 N 11th St., Pekin.  Regular membership meeting will follow his presentation. For more information about TCGHS or the meeting phone 309-477-3044 or visit www.tcghs.org

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