Edwardsville/Glen Carbon Fast Facts

  • Edwardsville is either the third- or fourth-oldest city in Illinois, depending on whom you ask. Predecessors include Shawneetown, Kaskaskia and Cairo.

  • Edward Coles arrived in frontier Edwardsville and became Illinois’ second governor. Edwardsville has produced five governors: Ninian Edwards, Edward Coles, John Reynolds, Thomas Ford & Charles Deneen.

  • Fort Russell, a wooden stockade northwest of Edwardsville, was built for the War of 1812. It was used by rangers to protect communities in the area from attack by Indian tribes allied with the British.

  • The Klingel House, located at 1801 North Main Street, was once the site of one of Edwardsville’s many breweries. It now houses fine dining establishment Grace Manor Restaurant.

  • John Gillespie was a Whig political friend of Abe Lincoln. When Lincoln came to town and gave a speech on November 11, 1858, he went to a reception at Gillespie’s brother’s house at 606 North Main Street in Edwardsville.

  • Richards Brick Company, established during Edwardsville’s early days, still supplies brick throughout the St. Louis region. In 1921, its 175-foot smokestack was the second-tallest structure in southern Illinois.

  • The very first Methodist church in Illinois was built in Glen Carbon in 1805.

  • The two story Colonel Benjamin Stephenson House on South Buchanan Street is the oldest brick building in Edwardsville (circa 1820).

  • Hadley House, constructed in 1875, is the public school district’s central office.

  • Edwardsville’s Griffin House, located at 705 St. Louis Street, was built in 1910 by Walter Burley Griffin. He received training in the Chicago office of Frank Lloyd Wright and designed the residence using Wright’s distinctive horizontal prairie style.

  • A monument was built in Edwardsville City Park to commemorate the Madison County Centennial in 1912. There are figures on each of its four sides that pay tribute to early pioneers, representing Plenty, Virtue, Justice and Wisdom.

  • Edwardsville’s Leclaire area was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. N.O. Nelson built a company town there that was inspected by Nellie Bly, the famous reporter for the New York World, in 1894. She described it in glowing terms.

  • Glen Carbon’s name translates to “Valley of Coal.” Its coal mines, founded in 1892 by the Madison Coal Company, shut down around 1930.

  • The highlight of Glen Carbon’s Centennial celebration in 1992 was the dedication of the 1853 Yanda Log Cabin on Main Street as a museum and educational center operated by the Village.

  • Sam Birger built his first store in Glen Carbon in 1893, and a street in town is named for his family. Ironically, Charlie Birger, his notorious brother, was the last man to be hanged in Illinois.

  • Dr. Ed Hightower, District 7 superintendent, is also a highly respected NCAA basketball official for Division I universities.

  • Mannie Jackson, an Edwardsville High School alumnus, is the current owner of the Harlem Globetrotters.

  • Glen Carbon has a new fire house, library, village hall and post office; it is currently one of the fastest-growing communities in the state.

  • Jackson Browne recorded part of his album, Running on Empty, at the Edwardsville Holiday Inn, currently Comfort Inn, on IL Route 157/Route 66.

  • Laurie Metcalf, an Edwardsville High School graduate, portrayed Roseanne Barr’s sister Jackie on the award-winning Roseanne show.

  • In 1998, Edwardsville’s American Legion baseball team won the national championship in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the high school Tigers baseball team was undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the nation.