Did You Know . . .
Fulton County . . .
. . . was named for Robert Fulton who invented the first successful steamboat in 1807.
. . . was part of the lands set aside to be used as payment to veterans of the War of 1812.
. . . was established five years after Illinois became a state in 1823.
. . . extended all of the way to the northern boundary of the state including present day Chicago between 1823 and 1825.
. . . now has a population of 37,069.
In 1828, Levi Ellis began building a log cabin and flour mill here along Spoon River. Before arriving he is said to have cut the first tree for the first log cabin in what became the city of Springfield. The town of Ellisville was later founded in 1839. Although the town never had a large population, it became a center of activity which once had several businesses, including two hotels, an opera house, a bank, and two churches.
The legacy of its more prosperous past is kept alive through the efforts of its citizens who have established the Historic Ellisville Restoration Organization. Through their preservation and restoration efforts several of the town’s historic business buildings have been purchased, preserved, and renovated. This downtown district is a center for Scenic Drive Fall Festival activities. Post Office, Shoe Store, and Opera House all offer authentic glimpses into Ellisville’s past through photos and exhibits.
The Opera House hosts several events throughout the year including plays, musical events, toy shows, a Sassafras Festival, and other tasty fundraisers. Ellisville’s public library had the unique distinction of being the smallest community library in the state.