By legislative decree, the planned community of Belleville began in 1814 as the new county seat on the site of George Blair’s farm, in proximity to no major crossroads or rivers. This book chronicles Belleville’s remarkableif not phenomenalrise to become the “Capitol of Southern Illinois,” a feat celebrated to no small degree by proud residents on the occasion of Belleville’s centennial celebration. Much of what contributed to Belleville’s 19th-century rise to prominence in politics and its economic growth in agribusiness, mining, banking, manufacturing, and retail sectors are illustrated here. This collection of photographs shows some of the many reasons why modern-day Bellevillian’s retain pride in the city’s history and continue their efforts to preserve it.
About the Author
Authors Robert Fietsam Jr., Judy Belleville, and Jack Le Chien are members of the St. Clair County Historical Society. Mr. Fietsam Jr. is the immediate past president and present treasurer. Ms. Belleville and Mr. Le Chien are past chairmen of the Belleville Historic Preservation commission. Ms. Belleville played a key role in founding the Labor and Industry Museum and is the museum collections coordinator. Mr. Le Chien is chairman of the Gustave Koerner House Restoration committee.