Category Archives: Place Names of Illinois

Cave in Rock. Hardin. Village (1901) twenty-five miles southeast of Harrisburg. Named from the natural cave in the bluff along the Ohio River, a landmark for boatmen since the seventeenth century. The name was recorded in a French account of … Continue reading

Equality. Gallatin. Village (1851, 1872) ten miles east of Harrisburg. Founded about 1827 by Willis Hargrave, John Black, and Thornton Cum(m)ings. Formerly known as the Gallatin Salines, a tract of some hundred thousand acres set aside for the federal government’s … Continue reading

Shawneetown. Gallatin. City (1814, 1874) nineteen miles east of Harrisburg. Also Shawnee Township. Named from the Shawnee Tribe, the “southern people,” members of which migrated to the area from southern Ohio around 1745. Their stay in Illinois was brief, lasting … Continue reading

Savoy. Champaign. Village (1956) two miles south of Champaign. Named for Princess Clotilde of the Alpine Duchy, the House of Savoy, who visited Illinois in 1861 with her husband, Prince Napoleon; the French minister, Baron Mercier; and Mercier’s wife, the … Continue reading

Lickskillet. Lickskillet is a popular (usually informal) place name, occurring at least a hundred times in the United States. The stories told to explain the name are remarkably similar, usually having to do with the fact that the cook for … Continue reading

Golf. Cook. Village (1928). Named for the game of golf. The local story is that Albert J. Erling, president of the Milwaukee Road, would have the train stopped at this point so that he and his friends could play a … Continue reading

Goofy Ridge. Mason. Nine miles northeast of Havana. The origin of the name is unknown. According to a local story, the name dates from the Prohibition era of the 1920s, when moonshine whiskey flowed freely in the area. As the … Continue reading

Wing. Livingston. Seven miles northeast of Fairbury. Founded in 1883 by a man named Byrd. According to a local story, there was already a Byrd in Illinois so there ought to be a Wing as well (History of Livingston County … Continue reading

My hometown! Park Forest. Cook, Will. Founded in 1946 as a residential community for returning veterans of World War II by Carroll F. Sweet and American Community Builders. The name was coined by Sweet, who, although recognizing that Forest Park … Continue reading

Foosland [FOOS luhnd]. Champaign. Village (1959) seven miles southwest of Gibson City. Founded in 1874 and named for William Foos, an absentee landlord who owned some 3,500 acres in Champaign county in the 1840s (Bateman and Selby, eds., Historical Encyclopedia … Continue reading