Welcome to Downtown Jacksonville Mural
Welcome to Jacksonville! This mural you’re looking at was created by one of the Walldog Muralists by the name of Cameron Bortz that arrived here all the way from Pawcatuck, Connecticut to Jacksonville in 2006 to add a little more history to our town. We hope it provides a warm welcome to our town and prepares you for the wonders you are to find within our neighborly square!
Backstory and Context
Welcome to again to Downtown Jacksonville! This mural you’re looking at was created by one of the Walldog Muralists by the name of Cameron Bortz that arrived here all the way from Pawcatuck, Connecticut to Jacksonville in 2006 to add a little more history to our town. Although Jacksonville is a town small in number, it doesn’t fall short in the area of history. We have had figures from Abraham Lincoln, to Edward Beecher all come through and some even lived in this town.
Jacksonville was started as a town established in 1825 by European Americans coming from the Northeast looking to pursue other opportunities in life. In 1829 with Illinois College becoming a center of attention, the square and the town itself began to grow rapidly. Jacksonville had one of the the largest populations of any city, if not the largest in the state of Illinois, outnumbering Chicago. Jacksonville was approaching about 1,800 settlers while Chicago as this time only saw about 150 settlers.
Because of a cholera epidemic, Jacksonville lost all hope in being announced as the state capital but that setback only pushed this town to move forward. Illinois College served as a fundamental support system to the development of the town. By the 1850 not only was IC established but also numerous other schooling facilities such as the School for the Deaf and the School for the Blind were constructed.
Today, Jacksonville hosts two colleges, Illinois College and MacMurray College. It is also home to many local restaurants and businesses. Please feel free to stop by and have a bite to eat at Leo’s Pizza or The Irish Toad for some fantastic local pizza!