Carlyle, Illinois

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Carlyle is a city in Clinton County, Illinois, United States. The population was 3,406 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Clinton County.[1]

Carlyle is located approximately 50 miles east of St. Louis, Missouri, and is home to Illinois' largest man-made lake, Carlyle Lake, and to the General Dean Suspension Bridge, a suspension bridge that is the only one of its kind in Illinois and crosses the Kaskaskia River.



In 1811 or 1812 a man named John Hill built one of several “block” houses along the Goshen Trail, located at what is currently 201 Fairfax Street. The houses were reportedly built to serve as a line of defense against Native Americans. John Hill built what became the first house to be located in what Carlyle has become. He also established what could be considered Carlyle’s first business: a ferry to carry traffic across the Kaskaskia River, including a small shelter at the River which served as a toll house.

In 1816 Charles Slade and two of his brothers reached the John Hill settlement and bought him out. Charles farmed the land, took over the ferry, and within a year partnered with a man named Hubbard to start the first store, a mercantile business located at what is now 301 Fairfax Street. In 1818, a man named Calvin Barnes laid out town lots. On March 10, 1819 a post office was first established under the name Carlisle, Illinois. This spelling might have been a clerical error.

Settlement of this land predated statehood for Illinois, however, Illinois had already been created as a territory by act of U.S. Congress (1809). Illinois did not officially become a state until 1818, six to seven years after John Hill had already built his establishment. Illinois’ first state capitol was located in Kaskaskia, but in 1820 the State decided that it should be moved. Carlisle lost to Vandalia by one vote which was cast by a man named Andrew Bankson, a citizen of the jurisdiction that would become Clinton County. In 1824, the State of Illinois created Clinton County by carving it out of Washington, Bond, and Fayette Counties. Carlisle was to be the county seat should land be donated for this purpose. Charles Slade donated 20 acres of property so that the county seat would be located in Carlisle. [2] [3] [4]

Carlyle was founded in 1818 by Charles W. Slade, father of Joseph 'Jack' Slade, who named the town after his grandmother's family.[5]

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