Monticello's first resident was George Haworth. Haworth came to the area in 1822 to serve as a U.S. liaison agent to local Native American tribes. Haworth did not remain, but in 1829, James A. Piatt purchased Haworth's small log cabin. Soon more settlers arrived.
In 1837, residents decided to form a new town which was christened Monticello – after the home of Thomas Jefferson. Monticello officially became a town on July 1, 1837. Townsfolk held a celebration on July 4.Monticello continued to grow as the population increased over the next decade.
A new county was established on Jan 27 1841: Piatt County - named in honor the first permanent settler, James A. Piatt. As it was the only town in the area at that time, Monticello was named the county seat. The county began legal functions on April 5, 1841 in the "Old Fort." In 1843, the first courthouse was built on land donated by William H. Piatt.
Monticello's star resident arrived in 1885. Dr. William B. Caldwell came to practice medicine in Monticello but his homemade mixture of senna and pepsin brought Monticello to a level of national prominence. The Pepsin Syrup Company was founded in 1893, and became the leading employer in the city for decades until its closure in 1985. （History from 1985 - now）
Monticello Railway Museum, 992 Iron Horse Place, ☎ +1 (217) 762-9011, . Offers train rides on weekends and holidays from May through October, and on special occasions. They also collect, preserve and exhibit materials and artifacts like rail cars and other equipment from the history of railroads. Free on Father and Mothers day for moms and dads respectively, 30 minute course: $100,. h
Millionaire Row & Historical Homes The founders of the Pepsin Syrup , a notable patent medicine company, contributed to the spawn of construction of mansions on North State Street that became known as "Millionaire's Row. South Charter Street: The South Charter Street Historic District represents some of the city's first growth outside of the Original Town plat and was basically the first of the city's premier residential addresses. In contrast to the North State Street Historic District, the architecture of the South Charter Street Historic District is more varied and is generally less high style.
Named one of the 7 Wonders of Illinois by the Illinois Bureau of Tourism, Allerton offers 1,500 acres of beautiful, outdoor surroundings. With National Natural Landmark and National Register of Historic Places designations, it is a destination unlike any other.
The Robert Allerton Park is a 1,517 acre (6.0 km²) park, nature center, and conference center located near Monticello, Illinois on the upper Sangamon River. It has been described as "a vast prairie turned into a personal fantasy land of neoclassical statues, Far Eastern art, and huge European-style gardens surrounding an English Tudor-style.
Events & Festivals
Monticello Sages Homecoming festivities – Every year, Monticello High school has a parade celebrating their homecoming festivities. Friday afternoon, the homecoming parade begins from the high school promptly at noon. Friday evening's festivities will begin in the high school Media Center with the Hall of Fame. At 6:45pm, the festivities continue as everyone proceeds to the football field. For more information call the high school office at 217.762.8511 ext. 1210.
Monticello was part of the 8th Judicial Circuit that Lincoln served in from 1847-1859.
The Monticello Railway Museum, announced the formal dedication of the Looking for Lincoln wayside storyboard sign in conjunction with their 2009 Railway Days event. The Looking for Lincoln sign tells the story of how Abraham Lincoln promoted and contributed to the expansion of railroads in Piatt County, Illinois. This sign dedication is very unique, symbolic and illustrates Abraham Lincoln's contributions, vision and promotion of building and expanding not only the network of railroads within Illinois, but in linking the west and east coast of the United States with the building of the Transcontinental Railroad, which was completed on May 10, 1869.
Wacky Nackies – Featuring: Gourmet Foods, Handbags, Home Décor, Jewelry & Accessories, Children’s Gifts, and Bath & Body. With vendors like Vera Bradley, Oka B, Hotflops, Gianna Rose Atelier, Vietri, BeanPod, Root & Tyler Candles, Taggies, Webkinz and more. (217) 762-2022
Boka Shoppe (flowers) – Boka Shoppe is a family owned and operated Business proudly offering traditional, personal, unique and thoughtful gift's. (888) 871-4811
Spirit of Monticello (Apparel)Spirit of Monticello features fashion designers Santiki, Bella and Blue Sky! Partnering with their sister business Spirit Screen-printing, Spirit of Monticello can take your custom design to the next level in apparel! (217) 762-7747
Celebrations – (Wedding Invitations) Celebrations offers a full line of personalized accessories and invitations that will add a special touch to any wedding reception. (217) 762-325
Eat & Drink
Willow Tree Missions Angel Food Ministries is a non-profit, non-denominational organization dedicated to providing food relief and financial support to communities throughout the United States.
Willow Tree Thrift Store has recently become a local drop off point for donations. They have clothing for men, women & children.
Willow Tree Inn shelter for victims of domestic violence will be called Willow Tree Inn in hopes the name would make it sound like a safe, peaceful haven. The Mission of Willow Tree Inn is to prevail over domestic violence by providing safe shelter and a comprehensive support system.