St. Clair County, Illinois
St. Clair County is the oldest county in the U. S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 United States Census, it had a population of 270,056, making it the eighth-most populous county in Illinois and the most populous in the southern portion of the state, its county seat is Belleville. The county was founded in 1790 by the government of the Northwest Territory, before the establishment of Illinois as a state. Cahokia Village in the county was founded in 1697 and was a French settlement and former Jesuit mission. St. Clair County is part of the American Bottom or Metro-East area of the St. Louis, MO-IL Metropolitan Statistical Area. In 1970, the United States Census Bureau placed the mean center of U. S. population in St. Clair County; this area was occupied for thousands of years by cultures of indigenous peoples. The first modern explorers and colonists of the area were French and French Canadians, founding a mission settlement in 1697 now known as Cahokia Village. After Great Britain defeated France in the Seven Years' War in 1763 and absorbed its territory in North America east of the Mississippi River, British-American colonists began to move into the area.
Many ethnic and Catholic French moved to settlements west of the river rather than live under British Protestant rule. After the United States achieved independence in the late 18th century, St. Clair County was the first county established in present-day Illinois; the county was established in 1790 by a proclamation of Arthur St. Clair, first governor of the Northwest Territory, who named it after himself; the original boundary of St. Clair county covered a large area between the Ohio rivers. In 1801, Governor William Henry Harrison re-established St. Clair County as part of the Indiana Territory, extending its northern border to Lake Superior and the international border with Rupert's Land; when the Illinois Territory was created in 1809, Territorial Secretary Nathaniel Pope, in his capacity as acting governor, issued a proclamation establishing St. Clair and Randolph County as the two original counties of Illinois. Developed for agriculture, this area became industrialized and urbanized in the area of East St. Louis, Illinois, a city that developed on the east side of the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Missouri.
It was always influenced by actions of businessmen from St. Louis, who were French Creole fur traders with western trading networks. In the 19th century, industrialists from St. Louis put coal plants and other heavy industry on the east side of the river, developing East St. Louis. Coal from southern mines was transported on the river to East St. Louis fed by barge to St. Louis furnaces as needed. After bridges spanned the river, industry expanded. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the cities attracted immigrants from southern and eastern Europe and from the South. In 1910 there were 6,000 African Americans in the city. With the Great Migration underway from the rural South, to leave behind Jim Crow and disenfranchisement, by 1917, the African-American population in East St. Louis had doubled. Whites were hired first and given higher–paying jobs, but there were still opportunities for American blacks. If hired as strikebreakers, they were resented by white workers, both groups competed for jobs and limited housing in East St. Louis.
The city had not been able to keep up with the rapid growth of population. The United States was developing war industries to support its eventual entry into the Great War, now known as World War I. In February 1917 tensions in the city arose. Employers fiercely resisted union organizing, sometimes with violence. In this case they hired hundreds of blacks as strikebreakers. White workers complained to the city council about this practice in late May. Rumors circulated about an armed African American man robbing a white man, whites began to attack blacks on the street; the governor ordered in the National Guard and peace seemed restored by early June. "On July 1, a white man in a Ford shot into black homes. Armed African-Americans gathered in the area and shot into another oncoming Ford, killing two men who turned out to be police officers investigating the shooting." Word spread and whites gathered at the Labor Temple. From July 1 through July 3, 1917, the East St. Louis riots engulfed the city, with whites attacking blacks throughout the city, pulling them from streetcars and hanging them, burning their houses.
During this period, some African Americans tried to use boats to get to safety. The official death toll was 39 blacks and nine whites, but some historians believe more blacks were killed; because the riots were racial terrorism, the Equal Justice Initiative has included these deaths among the lynchings of African Americans in the state of Illinois in its 2017 3rd edition of its report, Lynching in America. The riots had disrupted East St. Louis, which had seemed to be on the rise as a flourishing industrial city. In addition to the human toll, they cost $400,000 in property damage, they have been described as among the worst labor and race-related riots in United States history, they devastated the African-American community. Rebuilding was difficult as workers were being drafted to fight in World War I; when the veterans returned, they struggled to find jobs and re-enter the economy, which had to shift down to peacetime. In the late 20th c
Mount Vernon, Illinois
Mount Vernon is a city in and the county seat of Jefferson County, United States. The population was 15,277 at the 2010 census. Mount Vernon is the principal city of the Mount Vernon Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Jefferson and Hamilton counties. Mt. Vernon was founded in 1817 by Zadok Casey, elected to the State Senate in 1822 and was elected Lieutenant Governor in 1833, he served in the U. S. Congress between 1833 and 1843; the town was named for George Washington's plantation, Mount Vernon, named for Edward Vernon, a British naval hero. When the town was founded, there was no road to it. Travelers had to get there by either following the high ground from the north or crossing the swamps from the south. In the early 19th century the Goshen Road crossed Illinois in a northwesterly direction from Old Shawneetown, Illinois to the Goshen Settlement, near what is now Edwardsville; this road was the main road in Illinois. When Mt. Vernon was first settled, the Goshen Road made a wide arc across Jefferson County, crossing Casey Creek and the Big Muddy north of Mt. Vernon, avoiding the swamps to the south, but bypassing Mt. Vernon.
The road entered the county at its southeast corner. It passed through, or near, what are now Opdyke, East Salem, Idlewood and Walnut Hill. However, it was apparent to the early settlers. In 1820 -- 1821, Ben Hood and Carter Wilkey built a bridge to the southeast of town; this bridge was near the present bridge on Illinois Route 142. A road was built from there northwest, over ground, now impassable, toward the old cemetery behind the modern Bethel Cemetery. Deep cuts through the old cemetery attest to the location of the road. From there the road followed modern Route 37 into town, somewhere shifting from 10th Street on west to 12th Street. After the state capital was moved to Vandalia in 1819, it became apparent that a road to Vandalia was needed. A party was sent out to the northwest to mark the road. In 1823, Thomas D. Minor and William Maxwell built the "Vandalia Road", now called the "Old Centralia Road." It runs northwest out of Mt. Vernon to Walnut Hill. Although legend says that this road is crooked because of the drunken state of the surveyors, the path is just the natural path of a pioneer road following the terrain.
After the bridge and the Vandalia Road were built, Mt. Vernon was "on the map." The bridge across Casey Creek and the Vandalia Road provided a much shorter path across Jefferson County than the original Goshen Road. The new Goshen Road soon captured most of the traffic, Mt. Vernon became an important stop on the road west. In 1836, Joshua Grant came to Mt. Vernon from Christian County, Kentucky with several of his sons and daughters, his family was an wealthy, slave-owning family, most of which soon moved to Arkansas because slavery was illegal in Illinois. Joshua left behind several daughters and one son, Angus McNeil Grant, who soon became important in the development of the town. "Upon his arrival, there were but four or five houses in the place, from that time to the present he has and ably exerted himself in securing to it the full development of its resources." Angus M. Grant's brother, Joshua Jr. taught school in Mt. Vernon in 1838; some sources cite him as the first schoolteacher in the town.
In 1848, in accordance with the new constitution of Illinois, the Illinois Supreme Court first Grand Division was relocated to Mt. Vernon. There were three divisions total comprised for the first and third areas of the state; the 5th District Appellate Court was constructed in 1854 and is still in use as the Appellate Court House. When the Supreme Court was in session, the important lawyers in Illinois, including Abraham Lincoln, gathered in Mt. Vernon to argue their cases; the lawyers gathered at the Mt. Vernon Inn, owned by Angus McNeil Grant and his in-laws, the Andersons; this building has been on the National Register of Historic Places since July 2, 1973. In the 1870s, Mt. Vernon for a time prohibited the sale of alcohol. A village called. A court fight held that the village was organized illegally. Mt. Vernon voted alcohol back in, the area of East Mt. Vernon was annexed into the city. On February 19, 1888, a tornado cut a path a half mile wide through Mt. Vernon, killing 37 people and destroying more than 450 houses.
The Jefferson County Courthouse was destroyed. This event was one of the first disasters. Clara Barton herself directed the relief efforts; the Mt. Vernon Car Manufacturing Company opened in 1889 after moving from Illinois; this relocation may have been an outgrowth of the relief efforts following the tornado. The Louisville and Nashville Railroad hauled in some 1,900 carloads of supplies for reconstruction of the town. Somehow, this effort translated into a major business building railroad cars, at first building about ten cars per day. By 1909, the car shops were producing 25 cars per day, employing more than 1000 workers, with a payroll of $60,000 per month. During World War II, portions of the "Car Shops", as they had to come to be known, were converted over to wartime production, including the production of bomb casings. Around 1939, a portion of the car shops was purchased by Precision Engineering, which built components for locomotives. During the 1970s, this company purchased old diesel/electric railroad locomotives, which it scrapped out or refurbished.
Today, the plant thrives as a hub for National Railway Equipment Company which rebuilds and services diesel electric locomotives for rail lines across the globe. In 1954, the car
Illinois State Toll Highway Authority
The Illinois State Toll Highway Authority is an administrative agency of the State of Illinois in the United States. The roads, as well as the authority itself, are sometimes referred to as the Illinois Tollway; the system opened in 1958 in the Chicago area, has subsequently expanded to include the eastern and central sections of Interstate 88 extending into the northwestern part of the state. Beginning in 2005, the system was reconstructed to include more lanes and open road tolling, the latter of which uses I-Pass transponders to collect revenue as vehicles pass antennas at toll plazas or designated entrance or exit ramps; as of 2017, ISTHA operates 294 miles of tollways in 12 counties in Northern Illinois. The original Toll Highway Authority was established in 1941. After construction of the first toll highways in Illinois was delayed by World War II, the Illinois State Toll Highway Commission was established in 1953; the first three toll highways in the Chicago area were all planned and opened in 1958 under the authority of this Commission.
These first three toll highways are the present day Jane Addams Memorial Tollway, the Tri-State Tollway and the Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway. The first segment to open was the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway between Devon Avenue and Elgin on August 20, 1958 at 3 p.m. The Toll Highway Act, in its present form, has been amended since. Under this Act, promulgated April 1, 1968, ISTHA assumed the assets and obligations of the Illinois State Toll Highway Commission. In the 1970s, the East–West Tollway was extended west from Sugar Grove to Dixon with a freeway continuing to the Quad Cities; the route was given the I-88 designation in order to obtain a higher speed limit. In 2004, ISTHA voted to rename this route the Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway. In June 1984, Republican minority leader of the Illinois House of Representatives, James "Pate" Philip, helped push through legislation authorizing the construction of the North–South Tollway referred to as the DuPage Tollway. Officials at the Morton Arboretum, one of the nation's premier woodland research centers, promptly filed a federal lawsuit to block construction of the tollway.
They promised to prevent the tollway authority from obtaining environmental approval from federal officials. The lawsuit was settled, I-355 was opened in 1989 as a tollway between Army Trail Road and I-55 near Bollingbrook. On November 24, 2007, a 12.5 miles extension of I-355 opened to link I-55 to I-80. Construction of that I-355 extension began after years of environmental litigation; the Illinois Tollway website launched on September 1, 1997. The website includes online ordering of managing I-Pass accounts. In 2009-2010, the website underwent a $4.4 million e-commerce overhaul. In 2004, ISTHA made a strategic decision to expand and improve the tollway system instead of converting the roads to freeways, it adopted a $6.3 billion Congestion Relief Program. Under the program, the main toll plazas were rebuilt to have open road tolling, so that drivers with transponders would drive at normal speeds under toll collecting equipment instead of stopping to pay tolls; the toll plazas were relocated to the side of the road to handle vehicles without transponders.
The plan included rebuilding and widening many of the toll roads, including most of the original portion of I-88 and the northern and southern sections of I-294. I-355 was extended south of I-55 to connect to I-80 in New Lenox, a distance of 12.5 miles, in order to serve fast-growing areas of Will County. The project includes adding an interchange between the Tri-State Tollway and I-57; these improvements were financed by long-term revenue bonds that require the system to remain as toll roads until the bonds are repaid in 2034. The Congestion Relief Program was followed by another 15 year capital program named Move Illinois. Approved by ISTHA in 2011, the $14 billion capital program will address the remaining needs of tollway system not addressed by the Congestion Relief Program, as well as construct several new projects; the program is expected to add $21 billion to the economy. The projects in Move Illinois include reconstructing and widening I-90 between Rockford and the Kennedy Expressway as well as I-294 between Balmoral Ave and 95th Street.
The Tollway's board of directors has eleven members. The Governor of Illinois and the head of the Illinois Department of Transportation serve as ex officio members of the Tollway Board; the remaining 9 members are named by the governor. No more than 5 appointed members may be of the same political party as the governor; the Authority has the power to collect and raise tolls, is responsible for the maintenance and construction of tollway roads and related signage. The Tollway supervises and manages the seven Illinois Tollway oases; the close relationship between the governor and the near-majority of appointed board members has led to numerous allegations of endemic corruption throughout the tollway authority's lifetime. The ISTHA's annual budget for fiscal year 2010 totals $696 million; the ISTHA has 1,704 full-time employees. As of January 1, 2010, ISTHA has $4,074,675,000 in bond debt, which have been rated Aa3, AA- and AA- by Moody’s Investors Service, Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor's, respectively.
Interstate 55 in Illinois
Interstate 55 is a major north–south Interstate Highway in the U. S. state of Illinois that connects the St. Louis and Chicago metropolitan areas, it enters the state from Missouri on the Poplar Street Bridge near East St. Louis and runs to U. S. Route 41 near downtown Chicago; the Road runs through the cities of Springfield and Joliet. The section in DuPage County is named Joliet Freeway or Will Rogers Freeway and in Cook County is named the Stevenson Expressway. I-55 within Illinois carries heavy traffic, with an average of more than 20,000 vehicles per day for most of its length. Significant portions of I-55 contain six lanes and are used by commuters. I-55 in Illinois begins in East St. Louis on the Poplar Street Bridge over the Mississippi River at the Missouri–Illinois state line and runs southwest to northeast through the state, ending in Chicago at US 41. Along the way, it goes through four metropolitan areas in the state: the Illinois portion of the St. Louis metropolitan area, the Springfield metropolitan area, the Bloomington-Normal metropolitan area, the Chicago metropolitan area.
I-55 enters the Chicago metro area as the Stevenson Expressway and provides easy access to downtown Chicago via both the I-90/I-94 interchange and US 41 at the northern terminus of I-55, near Cermak Road and the lakefront. I-55 in Illinois is the fourth road to connect St. Chicago; the first was the Pontiac Trail in 1915. This was improved and paved as the new Illinois Route 4 by 1924. In 1926, IL 4 was designated as the route of the new U. S 66, a new section of US 66 was built to bypass slower sections of IL 4 south of Springfield by 1930. Through the 1950s US 66 was continually widened and improved to handle its growing traffic, until its entire length was four lanes wide by 1957; the roots of I-55 could be traced back to the need of a national highway system. President Dwight D. Eisenhower saw the need of a national network of highways that would help with the mobilization of the army, he had been impressed with the autobahn he saw in Germany during World War II. In 1956 he signed the Federal Aid Highway Act into existence.
Although the act provided for a highway replacing Route 66, it was spared destruction for a while because of it being more modern than other routes at the time. Illinois would build its first new Interstate highways on other routes such as I-80, I-57, I-70, before turning its attention once again to the St. Louis-to-Chicago route. However, during the 1970s, Route 66 was replaced by I-55 as the fourth St. Louis-to-Chicago highway, serving most of the same communities along the way as the original Pontiac Trail, it was built in sections across Illinois on the original Route 66 roadbed. A common construction tactic where Route 66 was four lanes wide, was to build new southbound lanes for I-55 west of the original road rebuild the original southbound lanes of US 66 to be the new northbound lanes for I-55, leaving the original northbound lanes of old US 66 as a two-way frontage road. One can find many signs posted for Historic US 66 where it deviates from I-55; the earliest stretch of I-55 was a portion of US 66, built as a freeway between Gardner and I-294 in Indian Head Park, and, added to the Interstate system by erecting new signs in 1960.
Portions of the highway were built in the 1960s between East St. Louis and Hamel, as bypasses of Springfield and Bloomington-Normal; the rest of the road was completed in the 1970s. The Stevenson Expressway opened on October 1964 as the Southwest Expressway, it was renamed after Adlai Stevenson, the former governor of Illinois, on September 1, 1965, a month and a half after his death. The Stevenson's original termini were US 66 in DuPage County to the west, the Dan Ryan Expressway to the east. In 1999–2000, the expressway was rebuilt from Central Avenue north to Lake Shore Drive, including the ramps to the Dan Ryan; the Illinois Department of Transportation was criticized at the time for not adding a fourth lane in each direction to the highway. In 2017, the Illinois General Assembly voted to rename 70 miles of I-55 from the Tri-State Tollway to Pontiac in honor of Barack Obama; because of the heavy traffic on I-55, IDOT spends millions of dollars per year maintaining the roadway, adding lanes, replacing bridges to increase the capacity of the highway.
In northeastern Illinois near Joliet, a widening project that expanded I-55 from two to three lanes in each direction between I-80 and Weber Road was completed on October 29, 2008. In the 2000s decade, the Damen Avenue and Pulaski Road interchanges were rebuilt as a single-point urban interchange configuration; the Arsenal Road interchange was under complete rebuilding and reconfiguration as of 2012, the deteriorated overpass at IL 129 was removed in 2012 in anticipation of future construction of a full interchange, temporarily leaving the IL 129 interchange with only a northbound exit and northbound entrance. At St. Louis, the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge carrying I-70 across the Mississippi River, costing $667 million, was completed in 2014 to relieve congestion on I-55's Poplar Street Bridge. Governor Bruce Rauner, in early 2016, made a proposal to explore expanding the Stevenson Expressway portion of I-55 by adding an additional lane
Illinois Route 14
Illinois Route 14 is a major east–west highway in southern Illinois. It runs from U. S. Route 51 south of Du Quoin to the New Harmony Toll Bridge over the Wabash River to State Road 66 at the Indiana state line; this is a distance of 76.24 miles. Illinois 14 runs east–west from Du Quoin to New Harmony, Indiana via State Road 66; the eastern terminus of Illinois 14 is the New Harmony Toll Bridge to New Harmony, which bridges the states of Illinois and Indiana. The bridge is a four-span truss bridge built in 1931, it was built as a toll bridge, but has been closed to automobile traffic since May 21, 2012. Illinois Route 14 followed the present-day routing of Illinois 14, from Du Quoin to Carmi. In 1937 it was extended east to its current terminus across from New Harmony, replacing Illinois Route 139 in the process. From 1947 to 1974, U. S. Route 460 replaced Illinois 14 between the Indiana state line. Illinois Highway Ends: Illinois Route 14
Fairfield is a city in and the county seat of Wayne County, United States, the location of Frontier Community College. The population was 5,421 at the 2000 census. Fairfield is most famous for being the hometown of the "friendly" people, the Shelton Brothers Gang. During the first half of the 20th century gang leaders Carl and Bernie Shelton made Fairfield a household name. Based on testimony of Charlie Birger himself, the Shelton Brothers were convicted for a 1925 unsolved mail carrier robbery of $15,000 and were sentenced to 25 years, they were released a few years later. Birger dominated bootlegging in Southern Illinois until he himself was hanged in Benton for the murder of West City Mayor Joe Adams in 1928. After serving their time, the Shelton brothers built a new criminal empire. Based out of East St Louis, one of the most prosperous cities of its day, they controlled all vice from Peoria and southward, they met their demise at an insider Charles "Blackie" Harris. A land dispute led to Blackie joining forces with the Mob to kill off members of the Shelton gang.
His most notable victim was the leader. He was ambushed several miles southeast of Fairfield, shot from his Jeep. Bernie was killed at his Peoria roadhouse. Earl moved to Jacksonville and became a successful land speculator. Senator William Borah, the "Lion of Idaho," was born in Fairfield. Fairfield was the hometown of Kenneth Michael Kays, recipient of the Medal of Honor for heroism during the Vietnam War, Country music singer-songwriter Lance Miller. Carroll C. Boggs, Illinois Supreme Court justice was born in Fairfield. Drue Pearce, Alaska state legislator, was born in Fairfield. Fairfield is located at 38°22′49″N 88°21′57″W. According to the 2010 census, Fairfield has a total area of 4.054 square miles, of which 4.02 square miles is land and 0.034 square miles is water. As of the census of 2000, there were 5,421 people, 2,495 households, 1,494 families residing in the city; the population density was 1,499.0 people per square mile. There were 2,727 housing units at an average density of 754.0 per square mile.
The racial makeup of the city was 98.40% White, 0.09% African American, 0.26% Native American, 0.63% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.06% from other races, 0.55% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.42% of the population. There were 2,495 households out of which 24.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.4% were married couples living together, 10.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 40.1% were non-families. 37.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 21.3% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.11 and the average family size was 2.74. In the city, the population was spread out with 20.5% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 24.1% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, 24.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females, there were 82.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 77.6 males. The median income for a household in the city was $25,797, the median income for a family was $36,278.
Males had a median income of $28,866 versus $19,985 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,791. About 8.5% of families and 13.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.7% of those under age 18 and 9.6% of those age 65 or over. City of Fairfield official website Fairfield Current Greater Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce Fairfield-Wayne Co. Area Development Commission WFIW Radio Fairfield Community High School
Cahokia is a village in St. Clair County, United States, it is located east of the Mississippi River in the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area; as of the 2010 census, 15,241 people lived in the village, a decline from 16,391 in 2000. The name refers to one of the clans of the historic Illini confederacy, who met early French explorers to the region. Early European settlers named the nearby Cahokia Mounds in present-day Madison County after the Illini clan, but the UNESCO World Heritage Site and State Historic Park was developed by the prehistoric Mississippian culture, active here from 900AD to 1500AD. They created an extensive urban complex, the largest of the farflung Mississippian culture territory through the Mississippi and Ohio river valleys. French Canadian colonists founded Cahokia village in 1696 as a Catholic mission; the historic Church of the Holy Family is the oldest continually active Catholic parish in the United States, as well as the oldest church west of the Allegheny Mountains.
Other significant colonial and Federal-period buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places include the Cahokia Courthouse. Archeologists ascribe the earthwork mounds Cahokia complex to the Mississippian culture, an earlier indigenous people who are not believed to have been ancestral to the Illini; the city site reached its peak in the 13th century and was abandoned centuries before European contact. The Cahokia Native Americans of the Illini did not coalesce as a tribe and live in the Illinois area until nearly the time of French contact 300 years ago. Father Pinet founded a mission in late 1696 to convert the Cahokian and Tamaroa Native Americans to Christianity. Father Pinet and the Seminary of Foreign Missions of Quebec built a log church and dedicated it to the Holy Family. During the next 100 years, Cahokia became one of the largest French colonial towns in the Illinois Country, it was centrally located for trading Indian goods and furs, grew to about 3,000 inhabitants. Its thriving business district reflected a frontier society numerically dominated by needy males, as it had 24 brothels.
The nearby town of Kaskaskia on the Mississippi River became the region's leading shipping port, Fort de Chartres was developed by the French as a military and governmental command center. The 50-mile area of land between the two villages was cultivated by farming settlers, known as habitants, whose main crop was wheat; as settlement expanded, the relationship between the settlers and the Indians continued to be peaceful. Settlers were Canadien migrants whose families had been in North America for a while. Cahokia declined after the French lost the French and Indian War in North America to the British in 1763, as part of the broader Seven Years' War in Europe. Only Fort Kaskaskia was destroyed in the conflict, Cahokia remained regionally important for another four decades. In the treaty ending the war, France ceded large parts of what it called the Illinois Country east of the Mississippi River to the British, including the area of Canada. Many French-speaking residents of Cahokia and elsewhere in what had been Upper Louisiana moved west of the river to territory still controlled by the French rather than live under British rule.
Many moved to Lower Louisiana, where they founded new Canadien villages on the west side of the Mississippi River, such as Ste. Genevieve, Missouri and St. Louis; the Odawa leader Pontiac was assassinated by other Indians in or near Cahokia on April 20, 1769. In 1778, during the American Revolutionary War, Virginian George Rogers Clark captured Kaskaskia and set up a court in Cahokia, making Cahokia an independent city state though it was part of the British Province of Quebec. Cahokia became part of the United States by the Treaty of Paris, by which the United States took over former British territory west of the Appalachian Mountains; the US soon designated this area as the Northwest Territory. Meanwhile, 105 Cahokia "heads of household" pledged loyalty to the Continental Congress of the United States. After Congress passed the Northwest Ordinance in 1787 and established a governmental system for the territory, the Cahokia Courthouse was adapted for use as a United States territorial courthouse.
Cahokia continued as a major political center for the next 24 years. Flood-prone Kaskaskia became the governmental seat of the Illinois Territory, until the territorial seat was moved to Vandalia, in 1809 became the county seat of Randolph County. Cahokia became the seat of St. Clair County, named by and after Arthur St. Clair, the first territorial governor; when St. Clair County was enlarged in 1801 and 1809, Governor William Henry Harrison named the Cahokia Courthouse as the legal and governmental center of a sizeable area extending to the Canada–U. S. Border. By 1814, other counties and territories had been organized, St. Clair County became its current size; the county seat was moved to the more centrally located Belleville, Illinois when a local developer offered to donate land for a new county courthouse and seat. In the late 1950s, Cahokia annexed some population and territory, increasing its population by more than 15,000 in 1960. Cahokia is located at 38°33′43″N 90°10′22″W. According to the 2010 census, Cahokia has a total area of 9.9 square miles, of which 9.4 square miles is land and 0.5 square miles is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 16,391 people