Just a little tale about Liberty, IL
Liberty is located on Illinois Route 104 east of Quincy Illinois. Liberty is a small rural village with an estimated population of between 500 and 600 residents.
Liberty was founded in 1822 by Daniel Lile. According to the history book about Adams County, many more settlers followed and settled there as well.
When the wild Illinois territory was being settled, there were very few settlers with European ancestry. There were native peoples, but how many no one knows and probably never will.
Illinois became a state of the United States in 1818. Settlement of the state began in the southern regions of the state that had river access from the Ohio River and the Mississippi River. As the new settlers arrived the moved quickly north to claim land. The native Americans that that lived in the new state were quickly driven out. A sad punctuation point in American history with the crimes committed against the native peoples by the U.S. government during that period of American history and its expansion west.
Settlement of Illinois really began in earnest after the French were defeated in the War of 1812. Before that the French were the first Europeans to discover and explore what would eventually become Illinois.
The land that became available for settlement were a great opportunity for people that had nothing to become land owners, entrepreneurs and small farmers. For the settlers moving into the new territory is was a land rush to get what was unclaimed and get your stake of ground established, and that they did.
Liberty Township where the village of Liberty resides was mainly settled by immigrants from Germany and from other German settlements around Cincinnati Ohio. There were other “New Englanders, Southerners, Hoosiers, Buckeyes, English, Irish and Polish” peoples as well.
During the 1820’s settlers discovered how fertile the soil in the Illinois prairies was. Once the word got out the settlers pushed north to claim land. Other advancements such as the introduction of the modern self-scouring plow by John Deere proved very effective in breaking up the prairie sod. The other factor that really helped to increase settlement was the building railroads which enabled farmers to be able to get their crops to market more easily.
Liberty had all these things going for it. Great soil and railroad access to make it able for farmers to get their crops to market. Today some 28 million acres of land in Illinois or about 80% of the available land is used to grow crops. Looking around Liberty you will see just that. Large farms with miles and miles of corn and soybean fields. The early settlers would hardly recognize the place.
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Learn more about the village of Meyer here.