Welcome To KEY TO THE CITY's Page For
Stark County, Illinois
"Home of the Proud Prairie People"
The first cabin was erected in Toulon in the spring of 1835. The original town was comprised of 16 square blocks, one which was set aside for the site of a courthouse. The first real home was built in Toulon in 1841 by Benjamin Turner who also became the first postmaster. This home is located at 224 S Franklin.
The first wooden courthouse was built in 1842, serving as a school house and church during its time. It was two stories high and the cultural center for the town. In 1856 the present brick courthouse was completed at a cost of $ 12,000. In 1858, Lincoln and Douglas spoke at the courthouse on successive days - just missing one of the famous debates. Legend has it that Mr. Lincoln had a tooth pulled at the office of Dr. Thomas Hall. The office sits today at 308 W. Jefferson, between the Toulon Public Library and the Stark County Historical Society's home and museum.
The town was officially created by an act of the Legislature on February 27, 1841 - two years after Stark County was organized. It is the county seat of shire town, as they were called then. The county is the second smallest in Illinois.
The first newspaper was published January 1, 1856 and was called the Prairie Advocate. It was largely unreadable because of the worn out type used by its publisher to start the business. It was reputed to be one of the first three mechanical printing presses in Illinois. The town was later served by the Stark County News which ceased publication in 1984.
Electricity came to Toulon on December 25, 1892. A town water system was introduced in the summer of 1911.
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