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From Pioneer Days to Boom Town: A Brief History of O’Fallon, IL

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From pioneer days to boom town, O’Fallon, IL has undergone significant transformation over the years. Located in St. Clair County, Illinois, approximately 25 miles east of St. Louis, Missouri, O’Fallon had a population of just 3,126 people in 1960. Today, it is home to over 30,000 residents, making it one of the fastest-growing municipalities in the state.

Pioneer Days

O’Fallon’s history dates back to 1815 when a group of Dutch immigrants settled in the area. These pioneers were drawn to the rich and fertile farmland that surrounds the town, and they quickly established farms, churches, and schools. By the mid-1800s, O’Fallon had become a thriving community, with a growing number of residents and businesses.

Civil War Era

During the Civil War, O’Fallon played an important role in supporting the Union Army. The town served as a vital transportation hub, connecting St. Louis to the rest of Illinois via the Lebanon & St. Louis Railroad. O’Fallon’s strategic location made it a target for Confederate forces, who attacked the town in September 1864. The Union Army repelled the attack, but not before significant damage was done to homes and businesses.

Boom Town

Despite the setbacks caused by the Civil War, O’Fallon continued to grow and develop throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s. The arrival of the Interurban Electric Railway in 1904 spurred significant growth in the town, as it connected O’Fallon to nearby St. Louis via electric streetcars. This allowed residents to commute to work in the city, while still enjoying the benefits of living in a smaller community.

Throughout the 20th century, O’Fallon continued to experience steady growth, thanks in part to its location near major highways and interstate routes. The town’s proximity to Scott Air Force Base, one of the largest military installations in the country, also played a significant role in its growth and development.

Today, O’Fallon is a thriving community with a diverse population and a strong economy. The town boasts a wide range of amenities and attractions, including parks and recreation facilities, shopping centers, and a variety of restaurants and entertainment venues. With its rich history, strong sense of community, and abundant opportunities, it’s no wonder why O’Fallon continues to be one of the most desirable places to live in Illinois.
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