Welcome to Edwardsville
As Illinois’ third oldest city and home to five state governors, Edwardsville has cemented its place in local history. Named for the first territorial governor of Illinois, Ninian Edwards, the city was also home to Col. Benjamin Stephenson who left an architectural mark on the young city.
Known for its stately federal homes and brick streets, the city served as the western edge of the Goshen Trail, a major road that stretched from eastern Illinois to its western borders enabling settlers to continue their western migration in the early 1800s. One hundred years later, Route 66 blazed its way through the city cutting into the heart of downtown linking travelers from Chicago to St. Louis.
Edwardsville was also home to progressive industrialist N.O. Nelson who, in 1890, developed a profit-sharing business that included modest and attractive homes for his employees. He named the project “Leclaire” after a French profit-sharing pioneer and the area remains to this day as a National Historic Site.
Today, Edwardsville stands out as the home to the historic Wildey Theatre featuring live entertainment, its individual foodie scene and award-winning restaurants as well as the cultural and academic diversity of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.