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Champaign County

Champaign County was organized in 1833, having been previously a part of Vermilion County. The county and county seat were named for Champaign County, Ohio and Urbana, Ohio, respectively, the original home of the Illinois legislator who sponsored the bill to create the county.

Champaign was founded in 1855, when the Illinois Central Railroad laid its rail track two miles west of downtown Urbana. Originally called "West Urbana," it was renamed Champaign when it acquired a city charter in 1860.

Lincoln found a home wherever he went in Champaign County. He became a friend of two of the most influential citizens of Champaign - Mark Carley and Benjamin Franklin Harris. It is also said that Lincoln dazzled John W. Scroggs and William O. Stoddard with the Central Illinois Gazette with his feel for the county's politics. Champaign sites associated with Lincoln include the Doane House, the Cattle Bank and the Goose Pond Church. Lincoln spoke in support of the newly formed Republican Party and John C. Fremont at the Goose Pond Church.

Champaign County today is a vibrant county, featuring the sister-cities of Urbana and Champaign that host a number of events, shopping districts, and historical landmarks.

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

Champaign County Historical Archives
Champaign County History Museum
Krannert Art Museum

For more information on Champaign County, please visit: