Coal Mining in Illinois


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The island was originally settled in 1834 by Thomas Cox and named Winchester. The name was changed to Wilmington in 1838. Wilmington was incorporated as a city in 1865, at the beginning of the coal mining boom in the area. Shaft coal mining took place in the great coal fields several miles west of Wilmington. Many miners settled in Wilmington and worked in the nearby coal mines. Early settlers who were influential in the community included Peter Stewart, a native of Scotland and civil engineer; Archibald McIntyre, a very successful merchant; and James Young, a blacksmith and the town's first village clerk, who was active in local politics.