JACKSONVILLE   Is a flourishing town, the capital of Morgan county, on the line of the Great Western railroad, 34 miles west from Springfield, and 222 from Chicago. It is also the central point of three other railroads, viz.: Jacksonville, Alton and St. Louis, Tonica and Petersburg, and the Illinois River railroads. All these roads have been put under contract, and will be completed at an early day. Jacksonville will then be the center of a greater number of railroads than any other inland town in the state, and cannot fail to become one of her largest cities. One other road is now being built, between Camp Point and the Illinois river, which, though it does not terminate here, will be an important feeder to the Great Western, now in operation, and complete the connection with the Mississippi at Quincy, and turn a large tide of freight and travel in this direction, which otherwise would seek other channels.
The situation is beautiful, being in the midst of an undulating and fertile prairie, in the vicinity of Mauvaisterre creek, an affluent of the Illinois river. This place has been denominated "The school house of Illinois," owing to the large number of its educational and charitable institutions, among which are Illinois College, the state asylums for the blind, the insane, and the deaf and dumb, a female academy, under the direction of the Methodists, and several other academies. Tho state asylums occupy relatively three sides of a quadrangle around the town, each about a mile from its centre. Illinois College occupies a beautiful and commanding situation, and is one of the best and most flourishing in the state.  It was founded in 1830, and has a fine library, numbering upward of 4000 volumes.
Everywhere around the town may be seen the evidence of care and industry, and the well tilled farms which surround it on every side attest to the thrift of the owners.  Samuel Hunt, Postmaster.  (Hawes' Illinois State Gazetteer...,1859)

Total Population 1850
Total Population 1860
City or Town