17 Facts About Southern Illinois

1. Southern Illinois, known as Little Egypt, is the southern third of Illinois, principally along and south of Interstate 64.

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2. Much of Southern Illinois is still culturally affiliated with the Mid-South: Western Kentucky, Southwestern Indiana, West Tennessee, and the Missouri Bootheel.

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3. Cahokia, located within the boundaries of present-day Collinsville, Southern Illinois, was the major regional center of this culture.

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4. Southern Illinois became a part of the Indiana Territory in 1800.

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5. The first building used solely to house a bank in Southern Illinois was built in 1840 in Old Shawneetown and was used until the 1920s.

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6. Many of the people living in Southern Illinois were first- or second-generation white Southerners.

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7. Southern Illinois is gaining a cultural identity apart from its neighbors, as previously-dispersed rural populations become more concentrated around the cities of Marion and Belleville.

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8. The geography of Southern Illinois becomes gradually hillier as one travels farther South.

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9. Kaskaskia, the first state capital of Southern Illinois is located near the Mississippi River.

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10. Least populated region, Southeastern Southern Illinois is marked by being within the Shawnee Hills and the Shawnee National Forest.

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11. Specifically, Southern Illinois was only partially covered by continental ice sheet during the Illinoian Stage and not at all during the Wisconsin Stage.

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12. Thus, the geography of Southern Illinois is considerably more hilly and rocky than central or northern Illinois.

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13. St Louis MetroLink is the light rail transit system in the Greater St Louis area of Missouri and Southern Illinois connecting the Metro East to downtown St Louis.

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14. Main agricultural products of Southern Illinois are crops such as corn and soybeans.

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15. Manufacturing in Southern Illinois is typically clustered in the largest towns of each county, with the people of smaller towns and villages often commuting to work in the factories.

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16. Thus, settlers who came to Southern Illinois were from Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee, with most of these being of northern English and Scots-Irish descent, who formed the last major migration from the British Isles to the colonies before the Revolutionary War, and settled mostly in the backcountry.

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17. Additionally, Southern Illinois is the oldest part of the state with many historical landmarks to be seen in the area and numerous historical markers dotting the counties.

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