History of all 16 Counties: #6 Greene County


Map of Illinois highlighting Greene County


INTERESTING FACTS: Named for Revolutionary figure, Nathaniel Greene. Home of prehistoric archaeological Koster Site, one of the oldest known cemetery sites in North America and the Center for American Archaeology’s most important discovery.


  1. White Hall: – Population 2,520 The town got its name from a long, white tavern owned by James Allen. It was the only hotel between Carrollton and Jacksonville. When the stage would approach the driver would yell ¨Next stop, the White Hall.¨
  2. Carrollton: – Population 2,484. Birthplace of actress Karen Allen and former House Speaker Henry Thomas Rainey.  
  3. Roodhouse: – Population 1,814. Founded by John Roodhouse in the 1850s. The town was originally called ¨The Crossroads.¨  The city became a major point on the rail with the opening of a station by the Chicago and Alton Railway. The railway helped the town experience an economic boom until the 1950s when it closed. The only hotel to survive this era is called the Hotel Roodhouse and is on the list of historic places. .
  4. Greenfield: – Population 1,071. (Not to be confused with Greenfield in Grundy County, Illinois).
  5. Kane: – Population 438.
  6. Eldred: – Population 201. First settled in 1821 and originally named Farrow Town. The town is near the Illinois and Mississippi River and just 40 minutes northwest of St. Louis.  Since some settlers arrived before Illinois became a state in 1818, they were allowed to keep their slaves.
  7. Hillview: – Population 193. One of the first European settlers to arrive was William Shelton in 1826, a ranger from Ft. Russell, Edwardsville. When the Chicago and Alton Railway built a station at nearby Roodhouse, Hillview was a lumber camp called Happy Ville. An archaeological dig in the 1980s discovered Native American pottery, axes, grinding stones, and arrowheads. The belief is that Hillview may have been a factory for arrowheads at one time.
  8. Rockbridge: – Population 169. The town was established in 1870 and originally named Sheffield after a local businessman.
  9. Wilmington: – Population 142.

*Center for American Archaeology

*List of Historic Places in Greene County

*City website for Carrollton

*Greene County Historical Society

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