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Our Rich History

Our rich sense of history, which influences Champaign County today, ensures that, as a community, we have always been destined for success.

Since 1833, when Champaign County was founded, it has been a welcoming guidepost on the Illinois prairie. In the 1850s, it was a stopping point for a young lawyer named Abraham Lincoln, who frequently visited friends in Champaign and Urbana as he traveled the circuit from Springfield for the Eighth Judicial District.

Throughout the years, Champaign County has continued to be both a destination and a stopping point. As home to the world-renowned University of Illinois, our community has attracted scientists and senators, teachers and trades people, Nobel Prize winners, and many other notables. Many stay for a lifetime, enriching the community; some receive or contribute to world-class teaching before moving on to influence different communities. Regardless of the amount of time people spend here, they help develop a unique relationship between this region and the rest of the world. While many of our residents will not receive world accolades, they are the fiber of our community and the primary reason Champaign County is a great place to call home.

What Draws and Keeps People Here?

What is it that draws and keeps people in Champaign County? In a phrase, it’s “quality of life.” The 998 square miles of the county include the communities of Champaign, Urbana and Savoy, which make up the commercial hub of the county and its largest population center, with over 100,000 residents. In these tri-cities, homes for every family size, income level and lifestyle are available.

Bolstered by outlying areas that claim some of the world’s richest farmland, the county offers unique opportunities in agriculture and related businesses.

The rural communities have attracted specialty businesses and sole proprietorships, as well as significant new residential growth.

A vibrant business community encourages new commerce and industry. As the home of the University of Illinois National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), Champaign County is recognized as a center for computing and technology, attracting and retaining a diverse group of traditional and high-tech companies and becoming a leader in building the national and global information superhighway.

An assortment of cultural resources and facilities abounds. From museums and performing arts centers to a planetarium and botanical gardens, the offerings are matched only by those in the nation’s largest metropolitan centers.

Choices continue in education. Public, private and parochial schools strive for excellence in every aspect of staff, facilities, technology and curricula. Nationally and internationally recognized city and county park systems provide recreation for all ages. The spires of more than 100 churches rise above the Champaign County skyline, reflecting a variety of religious beliefs.

The Champaign County area connects an active business community, outstanding education institutions, a strong agricultural industry and micro-urban living. Experience Champaign County, whether you would like to join us and make it your home or visit us on your way through.