“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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Historical Markers and War Memorials in Coles County, Illinois

Clickable Map of Coles County, Illinois and Immediately Adjacent Jurisdictions image/svg+xml 2019-10-06 U.S. Census Bureau, Abe.suleiman; Lokal_Profil;; J.J.Prats/dc:title> Coles County, IL (45) Clark County, IL (31) Cumberland County, IL (12) Douglas County, IL (5) Edgar County, IL (18) Moultrie County, IL (5) Shelby County, IL (18)  ColesCounty(45) Coles County (45)  ClarkCounty(31) Clark County (31)  CumberlandCounty(12) Cumberland County (12)  DouglasCounty(5) Douglas County (5)  EdgarCounty(18) Edgar County (18)  MoultrieCounty(5) Moultrie County (5)  ShelbyCounty(18) Shelby County (18)
Charleston is the county seat for Coles County
Adjacent to Coles County, Illinois
      Clark County (31)  
      Cumberland County (12)  
      Douglas County (5)  
      Edgar County (18)  
      Moultrie County (5)  
      Shelby County (18)  
Touch name on this list to highlight map location.
Touch blue arrow, or on map, to go there.
1 Illinois, Coles County, Charleston — Abraham Lincoln - Eighth Judicial DistrictCharleston, Illinois — County-Seat Marker —
Abraham Lincoln traveled this way as he rode the Circuit of the Eighth Judicial District···1847-1857Map (db m10938) HM
2 Illinois, Coles County, Charleston — Coles County Courthouse
On December 25, 1830, the Illinois General Assembly created Coles County. At this time, Charleston became the county seat and was just a hamlet called "Coles Courthouse." In 1831, a log-cabin courthouse was constructed. About four years later, a . . . Map (db m188293) HM
3 Illinois, Coles County, Charleston — Coles County War Memorial
This memorial is dedicated to the men and women of the Armed Forces in all wars for the United States of America. Map (db m11000) WM
4 Illinois, Coles County, Charleston — Rally After the Debate / Lincoln in Coles CountyLooking for Lincoln
Side One Top Section Nineteenth-century Illinois political campaigns and rallies were raucous affairs, part entertainment and part serious politics. The candidates were often accompanied or preceded by marchers, fireworks, flag . . . Map (db m30866) HM
5 Illinois, Coles County, Charleston — The Charleston Riot
On March 28, 1864, a gunfight erupted here between Union soldiers and Civil War opponents known as "copperheads." In eastern Illinois the Republicans were uniformly pro-Union, but many Democrats were pro-Southern. Disturbances had occurred . . . Map (db m188295) HM
6 Illinois, Coles County, Charleston — The Lincoln-Douglas Debate at Charleston
On September 18, 1858, Springfield attorney and former U.S. Congressman Abraham Lincoln debated U.S. Senator Stephen A. Douglas at the Coles County Fairgrounds during the senatorial campaign of that year. The Charleston debate was the fourth of . . . Map (db m184632) HM
7 Illinois, Coles County, Charleston — Tribute of Coles County in Honor of Her Sons Who Fought for the Union
(Upper Portion):Tribute of Coles County in Honor of her Sons who fought for The Union 1775 - - 1781 1812 - - 1815 1846 - - 1848 1861 - - 1865 1898 - - 1898 (Lower Portion):A house divided against its self cannot stand. I believe . . . Map (db m11122) HM
8 Illinois, Coles County, Janesville, Pleasant Grove Township — Corp. Richard Easton1782-1854
Captain Parmenas Beckes company of U.S. Mounted Rangers War of 1812Map (db m229792) WM
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9 Illinois, Coles County, Lerna — Lincoln's Care for His FamilyLooking for Lincoln
Left Section Abraham Lincoln was a frequent visitor to Cole County in the 1840's, traveling on the judicial circuit. In Charleston, according to Amanda Hanks Poorman (the daughter of Dennis Hanks), Lincoln would use the Hanks’s horse . . . Map (db m30847) HM
10 Illinois, Coles County, Lerna — Moore House
Here on January 31, 1861, President-Elect Abraham Lincoln visited his stepmother, Mrs. Sarah Bush Lincoln and her daughter Mrs. Reuben Moore (Matilda Johnston). This was his last visit to Coles County before leaving Illinois for his inauguration. . . . Map (db m30888) HM
11 Illinois, Coles County, Lerna — Shiloh Cemetery
In Shiloh Cemetery are the graves of Thomas and Sarah Lincoln, father and step-mother of Abraham Lincoln. On January 31, 1861, shortly before assuming the presidency, Lincoln came here from Springfield to visit his father's grave in company with his . . . Map (db m188284) HM
12 Illinois, Coles County, Lerna — The Last Lincoln Farm
In 1837 Thomas Lincoln erected a cabin on a tract of land situated one-half mile to the east. Here he resided until his death in 1851. Abraham Lincoln visited here frequently, and after 1841 held title to forty acres of land on which his parents . . . Map (db m30933) HM
13 Illinois, Coles County, Lerna — The Reuben Moore Home
Left Panel: “This will certify that the foregoing plot of the town of Farmington laid by me as proprietor is correct. Witness my hand and seal this 30th day of April 1852.” J. J. . . . Map (db m30979) HM
14 Illinois, Coles County, Lerna — Thomas and Sarah Bush Lincoln1778-1851, 1788-1869
Father and step-mother of our martyred President Their humble but worthy home gave to the world Abraham Lincoln Map (db m188288) HM
15 Illinois, Coles County, Lerna — Thomas Lincoln Cemetery War Memorial
. . . Map (db m188287) WM
16 Illinois, Coles County, Lerna — Thomas Lincoln, Kentucky Militiaman
Thomas Lincoln, like most adult white men in the United States, was obliged to serve in his state's militia. In 1795, at the age of seventeen, he served a few months "for the defense of the frontiers of Washington County" Kentucky against Indian . . . Map (db m188286) HM
17 Illinois, Coles County, Lerna — Thomas Lincoln's GraveLooking for Lincoln — 1851 —
Thomas Lincoln, father of the sixteenth President, died in 1851. He was buried in what was then called the Gordon Burial Ground, which today is known as the Thomas Lincoln Cemetery. As was common in many rural cemeteries, Thomas Lincoln's marker . . . Map (db m188289) HM
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18 Illinois, Coles County, Lerna, Pleasant Grove Township — Civilian Conservation Corps Camp Shiloh Encampment Site
Members of Civilian Conservation Corps Co. V-2657 SP-52 built their barracks on this site in August 1935. The WWI veterans who comprised this CCC encampment named it Camp Shiloh after the burial place of Thomas and Sarah Lincoln. Like all CCC camps . . . Map (db m229793) HM
19 Illinois, Coles County, Mattoon — 123rd Illinois Infantry1862-1865
Perryville, KY Middle Tennesse Campaign Hoover's Gap, TN Chickamauga Creek, GA Farmington, TN Atlanta Campaign Resaca, GA Kennesaw Mountain, GA Selma, Al Columbus, GAMap (db m188557) WM
20 Illinois, Coles County, Mattoon — 135th Illinois Infantry1864
Benton Barracks - St. Louis, MO Iron Mountain Railroad, MO Gasconade, MO Missouri Pacific Railroad, MO Jefferson City, MOMap (db m188559) WM
21 Illinois, Coles County, Mattoon — 143rd Illinois Infantry1864
Memphis, TN Helena, ARMap (db m188555) WM
22 Illinois, Coles County, Mattoon — 21st Illinois Infantry1861-1866
. . . Map (db m188540) WM
23 Illinois, Coles County, Mattoon — 79th Illinois Infantry1862-1865
. . . Map (db m188545) WM
24 Illinois, Coles County, Mattoon — Abraham Lincoln - Eighth Judicial DistrictShelby / Coles Counties — County Line Marker —
Abraham Lincoln traveled this way as he rode the Circuit of the Eighth Judicial District 1847 - 1859Map (db m10989) HM
25 Illinois, Coles County, Mattoon — An Emerging Center
Growth of a Railroad Town "Where a great way from the northern plain Meets one from the deltas of cotton and cane; … Where the steeds of those great iron highways meet To unload the wealth of the world at her feet, The Queen of . . . Map (db m189025) HM
26 Illinois, Coles County, Mattoon — Building Community
The Big Dig and Beyond In 1914, to eliminate congestion and travel delays, the Illinois Central Railroad began construction of the subway. ICRR demolished several buildings, including the landmark Essex House and Union Depot. They laid the . . . Map (db m189034) HM
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27 Illinois, Coles County, Mattoon — Civility
This mural embraces the landscape, history and people of Mattoon. For years after the completion of the rail, many trains a day would meet at the intersection of the tracks at the center of town and determine right of way in polite fashion. This . . . Map (db m188431) HM
28 Illinois, Coles County, Mattoon — Confederate Operatives In Mattoon
With the fortunes of conventional warfare turning rapidly against the Confederate States of America in early 1864, the Confederate government chose to embark on a formal campaign of behind-the-lines insurrection, subversion and sabotage in the . . . Map (db m188422) HM
29 Illinois, Coles County, Mattoon — General U. S Grant took Command
General U. S Grant near this spot on June 15, 1861 took command of his first troops in the Civil War 21st Ill. Inf.Map (db m30903) HM
30 Illinois, Coles County, Mattoon — In the National Spotlight
Bagelfest After Kraft purchased the Lender's Bagel Company in 1984, the local plant shifted production. Not only did Mattoon become one of the world's leading producers, but bagels became an important part of the City's national identity. . . . Map (db m189056) HM
31 Illinois, Coles County, Mattoon — Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant
May 1861 - Captain, Illinois Adjutant General's office April 1865 - General-in-chief armies of the United States "The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike as hard as you can . . . Map (db m188543) HM WM
32 Illinois, Coles County, Mattoon — Lincoln Farm1831-1834
From 1831 to 1834 Thomas and Sarah Lincoln, father and stepmother of Abraham Lincoln, lived in a cabin which stood a short distance to the north. It was their first home in Coles County, and their second home in Illinois.Map (db m188282) HM
33 Illinois, Coles County, Mattoon — Lincoln's Last Visit / The Debaters in MattoonLooking for Lincoln — 1861/1858 —
Side One Top Section Abraham Lincoln’s last visit to Cole County was indeed of a personal nature. Lincoln was described as he left Springfield by Henry C. Whitney, who accompanied him part of the way on the train: “. . . . . . Map (db m30840) HM
34 Illinois, Coles County, Mattoon — Mattoon's Union Agricultural Fairgrounds and Civil War Camp Grant
In 1859 the Mattoon Union Agricultural Fairgrounds, encompassing a 90-acre rectangle north and west of this location, was established by the Union Agricultural Fair Association, an organization of Mattoon men. The Union Fairgrounds consisted of . . . Map (db m188562) HM
35 Illinois, Coles County, Mattoon — Postwar Ups and Downs
Oil Boom In the 1940s, Mattoon became a hub for the oil industry. Companies large and small opened offices here, attracted by the developing oil fields, the business environment, and the quality of life. The oil business brought new people . . . Map (db m189055) HM
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36 Illinois, Coles County, Mattoon — Site of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church
Site of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church constructed 1859, reconstructed 1895 with elements of the old building included. In 1863, the church basement was used as a Civil War hospital. Mattoon served as an exchange point for soldiers on . . . Map (db m188425) HM
37 Illinois, Coles County, Mattoon — Site of The Village of RichmondFounded August 27, 1836
On this spot stood the Clapboard Inn, General Store, and Post Office of the early settlers, including the Lincoln family. The survey of the Village shows thirty-seven lots. Main Street, sixty feet wide, ran immediately with the State Road and . . . Map (db m10991) HM
38 Illinois, Coles County, Mattoon — Surviving Hard Times
The Buckle on the Corn Belt In the early 1920s Mattoon was proclaimed "The Buckle on the Corn Belt." This slogan was used to encourage people and businesses to settle here. Like any developing city, Mattoon met its share of challenges, . . . Map (db m189054) HM
39 Illinois, Coles County, Mattoon — The Early Days
A Prairie Landscape Heritage Tribes of Pottawatomie, Kickapoo, and Winnebago were known to have inhabited the region, but the first settlers of Mattoon found mostly open prairie. Timber was scarce and early settlers could see for miles, . . . Map (db m188951) HM
40 Illinois, Coles County, Mattoon — Vietnam War Memorial
For those who fought & died in Vietnam Van Gundy, Nelson Earl - USMC Rathe, Philip Henry -USMC Shields, Gary Don - USMC Butler, Benny Lee - USMC Overmyer, Robert Joe - USMC Shumbarger, Dale Earl - USMC Hutchison, Stanley Robert - . . . Map (db m188949) WM
41 Illinois, Coles County, Oakland — Civil War Memorial
1861 - 1865 In Grateful remembrance of the Civil War Veterans Map (db m30880) WM
42 Illinois, Coles County, Oakland — Gristmill Stone Recovered from the Little Embarras River
Gristmill Stone Recovered from the Little Embarras River South of Oakland about 1936. Donated to the City of Oakland by the Curtis Family in memory of Walter A. and Georgia (Swinford) Curtis. Mill was in use about 1850.Map (db m30885) HM
43 Illinois, Coles County, Oakland — Home of Dr. Hiram Rutherford
This was the home of Dr. Hiram Rutherford, who was involved in 1847 in a case in which Abraham Lincoln represented a slaveholder. Rutherford and Gideon Ashmore harbored a family of slaves who had sought their help. The slaves belonged to Robert . . . Map (db m30877) HM
44 Illinois, Coles County, Oakland — Oakland, Illinois Community W. W. I War Memorial
Front Section Lucy M. Reeds Red Cross Nurse Overseas Soldiers Overseas Column One George L. Adams • Samuel Adams • Floyd Annin • Harry Annin • Archie Ashmore • Frank Ashmore • Logan W. Blevins, Sergt. • Frank . . . Map (db m30995) WM
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45 Illinois, Coles County, Oakland — The Matson Slave TrialLooking for Lincoln
Top Section Dr. Hiram Rutherford was a key person involved in Abraham Lincoln’s famous slave case, the only instance in his career where Lincoln represented the rights of a slave owner. Robert Matson brought slaves from Kentucky to work his . . . Map (db m30867) HM
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Mar. 5, 2024