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Livingston County

Located in Livingston County, Illinois, Pontiac was settled in 1838 after being chosen in 1837 for settlement and named after the Ottawa Chief Pontiac.

In the mid 19th century, a rail depot was opened on the line that connected the rail lines between Chicago, Springfield, and St. Louis. Abraham Lincoln travelled this way on the circuit in the early to middle 1840’s and visited his friend Jason Strevell at his home here. A rich and vibrant community, this area only grew exponentially with the placement of an important railroad stop in town.

Later located on Route 66, one of the nation’s first interstate highways, this contributed greatly to the city’s growth and Pontiac now houses more than 12,000 citizens in an area with a strong downtown community, surrounded by farmland and limited forests.

A stop not to be missed, Pontiac is also home to the Historic Route 66 Museum and a host of local activities and downtown sites that explore Pontiac’s importance in the ongoing evolution of the landscape of Illinois.

By looking at the pictures below, you can get an idea of Pontiac, Illinois, and Livingston County in Lincoln’s time and as it stands today. Maybe you’ll find something unexpected when you go Looking for Lincoln in Pontiac, Illinois, and Livingston County!



Following the route of Lincoln on the Eighth Judicial Circuit is easy, to learn more about the history of the courthouse in this county, just click here!

You may also want to consider a stop by the following sites of interest!

Jones House
Catharine V Yost Museum
Strevell Home

For more information on Livingston County or the city of Pontiac, please visit: