Visitors Guide to
Millstadt

St. Clair County, Illinois
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The earliest European settlers in the Millstadt area were Americans, mainly veterans of the Revolutionary War you claimed their 100-acre grants for military service. George Lunceford, a Virginian member of George Rogers Clark’s expedition to the Illinois Country that captured Kaskaskia and Prairie du Rocher in July of 1778, is usually considered the first white settler to have lived in the area. In 1836 Simon Stookey was building a barn with the help of Joseph Abend and Henry Randleman when some one proposed to Randleman that a piece of his land would make an excellent site for a town. Abend proposed the name "Centerville" for the new town since it was seven miles from Belleville, seven miles from Columbia, and seven miles from Pittsburg Lake. Randelman agreed and in March of 1837 the town of Centerville, consisting of 40 lots was platted.

  Large group of German immigrants began to arrive in the Millstadt area in 1834. The 1840’s were a time of economic hardship in Europe. The largely agricultural German states were being affected by the Industrial Revolution and America offered a new start in life. This brought a second wave of German immigrants to the Millstadt area. The failure of the 1848 Revolution and the crackdown on subversive thought brought additional immigrants to the region. Many preferred to use their native German and when the town was incorporated in 1867 the name was changed from Centerville to Millstadt (milltown.) By 1880 about 1200 people live in Millstadt, mostly of German descent. In the 1881 HISTORY OF ST. CLAIR COUNTY it was reported that only "seven families of English descent" were still residing in the community. Although mills were a prominent industrial activity, other included meat processing and coal mining.

   
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