Wednesday, January 23, 2019


Marker Details

Historical Marker:

Peoria, Illinois

The marker is located on the extreme northern edge of Peoria, in Detweiler Park, which on IL Rt. 29. After turning into the park, the road curves left toward the marker.
Dedication Date:
Dedication By:
Illinois Department of Transportation and The Illinois State Historical Society

Marker Description:
The city of Peoria was named for the Peoria tribe of the Iliniwek Indian Confederacy who once lived here. It was in 1673 that Jacques Marquette and the explorer Louis Jolliet traveled through the widened portion of the Illinois River know as Lake Peoria, on which the city is situated. Robert Cavalier, Sieur De La Salle, built Fort Creve Coeur on the bluffs across the river from the present Peoria site in 1680, assisted by Henri Tonti. Because of Indian attacks, the Fort was abandoned later that year. In 1691, Tonti returned to the area and along with Francois De La Forest built Fort St. Louis on the banks where the river narrows, just south of Lake Peoria.

Militia units from Illinois and Missouri erected Fort Clark in 1813, in the area that is now downtown Peoria. In 1825 the city was named as the seat of the newly created Peoria County. Peoria was surveyed and laid out in 1826 by William S. Hamilton, son of Alexander Hamilton. It was incorporated as a town in 1837 and as a city in 1844. At the Peoria courthouse on October 16, 1854, Abraham Lincoln delivered one of his first speeches denouncing slavery. His remarks were a reply to Stephen A. Douglas, who had spoken on behalf of the Kansas-Nebraska Act.

The city's economy is broadly based in agri-business, manufacturing, distribution, and services. Heavy construction equipment, wire and wire products, medical services and research, marketing, and communications are major industries. Peoria is the home of Bradley University, a private co-educational institution founded in 1897 with a bequest from Lydia Moss Bradley.

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