Category Archives: Place Names of Illinois

The official publication date of Edward Callary’s Place Names of Illinois has arrived.  I conclude our month-long feature with the derivation of our state’s name. Illinois. State. The name is from the Illinois, a group of loosely organized but independent … Continue reading

West Point. Hancock. Village (1893) eleven miles south of Carthage. Formerly known as Pumpkinville and then as Wigletown, named for early settler David Wigle. Renamed in 1856 for their former home, West Point, N.Y., by Wigle’s wife, who felt this … Continue reading

Sneak Out. Franklin. Former community. Supposedly named for the otherwise respectable citizens who would sneak out of their houses, get drunk, and sneak back home. According to Sneed (Ghost Towns of Southern Illinois, 30), Sneak Out had one jail in … Continue reading

Ipava [eye PAY vuh]. Fulton. Village (1853, 1872) nine miles west-southwest of Lewistown. Platted for John Easley as Easleyburg in 1846 and apparently replatted as Pleasantville later that same year. A post office was established, also as Pleasantville, on Sept. … Continue reading

On November 3, 2008, we are publishing Place Names of Illinois by Edward Callary.  Every weekday since October 1 we have posted one of the book’s nearly 3,000 entries.  Today is a two-fer: LaSalle. LaSalle. City (1852, 1876). Platted about … Continue reading

Nauvoo [nah VOO, naw VOO]. Hancock. City (1841, 1899) six miles south of Fort Madison, Iowa. The area around modern Nauvoo was known as Quashquema, named for a minor Sauk leader of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Quashquema … Continue reading

Hoopeston [HUP stuhn]. Vermilion. City (1877). Modern Hoopeston is the result of an early 1870s merger of three communities: Hoopeston, laid out by Thomas Hoopes and Joseph Satterwhaite; North Hoopeston, laid out by Alba Honeywell; and Leeds, established by the … Continue reading

Coffee. Wabash. Precinct. Also Coffee Island and Coffee Creek. The traditional story is that a keelboat loaded with coffee was proceeding up the Wabash River and took shelter for the night at the mouth of what is now Coffee Creek, … Continue reading

Cairo. Alexander. City (1818, 1873). Chartered in 1818 as the City and Bank of Cairo by John G. Comegys, Shadrach Bond (the first governor of the state of Illinois and the namesake of Bond County), and several others who organized … Continue reading

Kinmundy. Marion. City (1867, 1875) ten miles northeast of Salem. Laid out about 1857 on the line of the Illinois Central Railroad by William T. Sprouse and named for the birthplace in Scotland of William Ferguson, a British stockholder in … Continue reading