Vermilion County History

Vermilion County was established January 18, 1826, and at one time covered a great deal of territory, reaching almost to Kankakee and west to Peoria. At present, it comprises 898 square miles. Danville is the county seat.

The early history of Vermilion County revolved around the Kickapoo, Miami, and Piankeshaw Indian Tribes. Once pioneers came into the area, discovery and exploitation of the salt begins. Indian paths were soon turned into roads, and Vermilion County started its agricultural climb.

Farmers turned the rich, black earth to produce food and also raised cattle and hogs. Sidell and Collison are named for two of these first settlers. In the mid-nineteenth century, coal was king of the economy.

The County was influenced by the Winnebago War, the Civil War, WWI, and WWII. Also, many of our residents served in the Korean and Viet Nam conflicts. Our heroes are numerous and merited many decorations for valor and bravery.

Vermilion County is served by a number of rail routes, as well as hard roads and an airport. Numerous industry and manufacturing plants provide many residents with employment.

A National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers was established in 1897. It is now a general medical and surgical unit of the Veterans Administration. The hospital was originally located on 400 acres of ground adjoining the City of Danville.

In September of 1966, Danville Junior College, now know as Danville Area Community College, was granted a portion of this land and now occupies 65.5 acres.

Kickapoo State Park offers overnight camping, picnicking, and fishing from large ponds which were left by strip mining. Also located in Vermilion County are three beautiful county parks: Forest Glen Preserve, located five miles northeast of Georgetown; Kennekuk Cove, seven miles northwest of Danville; and Lake Vermilion County Park.

New to our parks area in 1998 include the Middle Fork State Fish & Wildlife Area and Scenic River located at Kickapoo State Park and the Harry “Babe” Woodyard State Natural Area located at Forest Glen Preserve.

County Board District Maps – Updated 12/30/2021