Visitors Guide to
Red Bud
Randolph County, Illinois

A Community of Spirit, Pride and Conviction...
A Way of Life...Red Bud

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Located approximately 40 miles southeast of St. Louis on the Great River Road (Illinois Route 3), Red Bud is a predominantly farming community of German descent. Compared with its sister cities in Randolph County, Red Bud is a relative newcomer. The first settler in the area was Preston Bickley who arrived in 1820 constructed a little log cabin, almost 120 years after Kaskaskia was founded. The first school in the area was held in an abandoned pole cabin in 1824, and the first teacher was Samuel Crozier, the father of one of the founders of Red Bud. In 1838 the town of Prairieville was laid out just south of the present town, but it was quickly replaced by activity at the present site of downtown Red Bud.

A store was opened in 1841, and soon other businesses began to operate as more settlers came to the area. R.D. Durfee, Samuel Crozier and William Simmons, along with other prominent settlers, laid out additions for a town in 1847 and the first lots were sold at a public auction. Red Bud was officially platted in 1848 and derives its name from the Red Bud, a native species of prairie flora that blooms in the spring and early summer.

The new village grew and prospered and attracted a large number of German immigrants from the mid-1850s on. Red Bud was an important stop on the stagecoach route between St. Louis and Chester. Red Bud received its charter in 1867 and incorporated as a city in March of 1875. The city became an important station on the stagecoach route between St. Louis, Belleville, Kaskaskia and Chester. The city continued to grow, especially with the arrival of the railroad in 1872. However, since the 1890's little has changed in terms of the purpose of the town or its population.

In 1978, the Red Bud Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places as an example of a 19th century crossroads commercial town. Roughly bounded by Main and Market streets the District has buildings that illustrate Federal and Italianate styles, among others.

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