Waltonville, Illinois

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Waltonville is a village in Jefferson County, Illinois, United States. The population was 422 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Mount Vernon Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

Geography

Waltonville is located at 38°12′41″N 89°2′30″W / 38.21139°N 89.04167°W / 38.21139; -89.04167 (38.211398, -89.041780).[1]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.0 square miles (2.5 km²), of which, 1.0 square miles (2.5 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (3.06%) is water.

Although Waltonville is located mainly in Bald Hill Township, it is at the northeast corner. Blissville, McClellan and Elk Grove Prairie Townships adjoin Waltonville.

Blissville Township was named in honor of Augustus Bliss, who lived in nearby Casner Township, and who started a settlement in 1841. Blissville was located about eight miles northwest of Waltonville. Bliss caught the gold fever in 1849, but died of cholera on his way to California.

History

There were a series of small settlements near Waltonville prior to its formation. In 1840, Eli Gilbert dammed Rayse Creek about a mile northeast of Waltonville, near the point where the Mt. Vernon/Pinckneyville road crossed the creek. He built a saw mill, grist mill and store at this location, which was called "Mill Town". In 1860, Knob Creek Post Office was opened there. This was in McClellan Township.

In 1867, a settlement called Williamsburg was started, about a half mile west of Mill Town. This was in Knob Prairie, Blissville Township, just to the north of the present town of Waltonville. Knob Prairie owes its name to a steep hill, or knob, that arises just to the northwest of Waltonville. The town's water tower sits atop the knob.

Williamsburg was platted in 1867. It was possibly named for the surveyor, J. D. Williams. Williamsburg was at the intersection of the Shawneetown/Nashville and Mt. Vernon/Pinckneyville Roads, neither of which exist any more. After the post office refused to recognize the "Williamsburg" name, it was called the "Laur Post Office", after Capt. Joseph Laur, who commanded a local company in the Civil War.

Waltonville, to the south of the knob, started as a small store owned by Rob Mannen. The town was named for his mother, Eliza A. Walton Mannen. The town took off in 1893 with the completion of a rail line from Mt. Vernon to Chester. Williamsburg moved down to the new rail depot. The rail line is now part of the Union Pacific system.

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