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Macon County

Decatur and Macon County were founded in 1829, formed out of Shelby County. Although fur traders and trappers had arrived as early as 1816, the first settlers in what was to become Macon County arrived in 1822. Decatur was the first home in Illinois of Abraham Lincoln, who settled just west of Decatur with his family in 1830 and then returned a few scant years later for good.

It was named for Nathaniel Macon, who served in the Revolutionary War and later served as the Speaker of the House and then as the United States Senator from North Carolina until his resignation in 1828.

Today, Decatur, Illinois still sits in the heart of Illinois and sits as the ideal hub from which to explore all of central Illinois – The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield to the west; Illinois Amish Country to the east; dozens of other Abraham Lincoln historic sites within a 360-degree radius.

Following the Looking for Lincoln Heritage Trail, the sites of the Lincoln Family's first Illinois home, Abraham Lincoln's first political speech, the site where Lincoln was nominated to run for President of the United States, the log courthouse where Abraham Lincoln tried several cases and other landmarks will be found in Decatur, Illinois.

Decatur and Macon County offers a wonderful cultural tourism experience as well: quaint shops in a charming historic downtown business district, galleries exhibiting all media of art, and a wide variety of unique, quality restaurants. Over 300 events and festivals take place in our area each year encompassing arts, crafts, music, dance, fun fairs, sports, Farm Progress Show™, and just about anything else you can imagine.

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

Macon County Museum Complex
Paris-Springfield Road
Richard J. Oglesby Mansion
Downtown Decatur
Homestead Prairie Farm
Bethel School

For more information on Macon County or the city of Decatur, please visit: