Jacksonville (Illinois)

The Illinois Theater downtown

Jacksonville is in western Illinois. It's a small town but packed with history, exuding an inexplicable charm captured in the eponymous song "Jacksonville" by Sufjan Stevens.


The town was named for Andrew Jackson, although some say it was actually named after a "colored preacher" named A.W. Jackson. There's plenty of unique history in this Illinois town. Illinois College is here, the first college in the state. The college, as well as the rest of the town, was a center of abolitionism and a major spot on the Underground Railroad. Other major schools are headquartered here as well, including MacMurray College, the Illinois School for the Deaf, the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired, and Jacksonville Mental Health and Developmental Center. Ulysses S. Grant and his Illinois division of troops camped in the area during the Civil War. And both William Jennings Bryan and Stephen Douglas practiced law here.

Get in

Jacksonville is about 40 miles west of Springfield and is best accessed by car from Highway 72.

Get around

Like any small town, car is the best way to get around.



Go next

Springfield, the beautiful capital of Illinois, is 45 minutes away.

Routes through Jacksonville

Hannibal Junction to Quincy  W  E  Springfield Champaign
Davenport Macomb  N  S  Alton St. Louis

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