Historic Belleville

Belleville Historical Society

The mission of the Belleville Historical Society is to promote awareness and appreciation of the history, customs, artifacts, architecture, and people of the City of Belleville, Illinois. It strives to acquire, manage, and preserve artifacts, documents, and real property significant to Belleville and to encourage preservation of the City's culture, history, and architecture.

For more information on this organization, visit the Belleville Historical Society website.

St. Clair County Courthouse, Belleville, IL, circa 1963

SCC Courthouse, circa 1963
St Clair County Historical Society Logo

St. Clair County Historical Society

The mission of the St. Clair County Historical Society is to inspire people by making the vibrant history of St. Clair County tangible, relevant, and meaningful for today’s diverse communities and for future generations to come.

For more information on this society, visit the St. Clair County Historical Society website.

Labor & Industry Museum

Belleville was one of the most significant centers for the growth of Illinois industry, which ranked third in the nation in the late 19th century, contributing significantly to the industrial movement by establishing some of the earliest and largest manufacturing establishments in the burgeoning United States. 

Belleville's Labor & Industry Museum is the only public institution devoted to the history of the labor and industry of Belleville and southwestern Illinois. It's mission is to chronicle and interpret the area's rich cultural heritage of labor and industry. The museum is located at 123 N. Church St.

For more information, visit the Labor & Industry Museum website.

Labor & Industry Museum

Labor and Industry Museum

Gustave Koerner (1809 - 1896)

Gustave Koerner, circa 1836
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Gustave Phillip Koerner

Gustave P. Koerner was part of the first wave of German immigrants to arrive in Belleville in 1833. He became an influential spokesman for immigrants, was the 12th Lieutenant Governor of Illinois, worked with Abraham Lincoln to end slavery, and was appointed Ambassador to Spain by Lincoln in 1862. 

Koerner joined Abraham Lincoln, Horace Greeley and others who, fired by the passions of the times, came together to create the Republican Party in 1856. Koerner became a close Lincoln confidant, helped write the 1860 Republican Party platform, and managed Lincoln’s drive to the presidential nomination at the party’s convention. Koerner was an ardent anti-slavery proponent and, as a German emigre, played a key role in allying western America’s German population with the Union cause.

Koerner House Restoration

The restoration of Gustave Koerner's home at 200 Abend Street in Belleville will stand as a testament to one of Belleville's most illustrious citizens. 

Visit the Gustave Koerner House Restoration website for more information.