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Trip PlannerUSA  /  Illinois  /  Pontiac


Specialty Museums · Military Museums · Landmarks
Pontiac is a city in Livingston County, Illinois, United States. The population was 11,931 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Livingston County. The town is also the setting of the 1984 movie, Grandview, U.S.A.HistorySlow beginningsPontiac was laid out on 27 July 1837 by Henry Weed, and brothers Lucius Young and Seth M. Young . The town’s beginning was less than auspicious. A small group of people gathered at the cabin of Andrew McMillan on the banks of the Vermilion River. Their plan was to create a seat for the newly established county of Livingston. The town they would found was one of the last of the hundreds of new towns laid out in Illinois between 1835 and 1837. Livingston County, which had only been created five months before, as yet had almost no functioning government. Unfortunately, Illinois, like the rest of the nation, was fast slipping into a profound depression that would soon lead the next decade to be called “the hungry forties.” Moreover, the men had been forced to promise a great deal in order to be granted the right to found the seat of the new county. They had agreed to donate twenty acres of land for a court house, another acre for a jail, and a pen for stray livestock. They had agreed to give the new county $3,000 toward erecting new buildings, to erect “a good and substantial wagon bridge" across the Vermilion River, and to build a county courthouse. None had the ready cash to support such an effort. They had simply promised to do so, and their promises were guaranteed by three others: C. H. Perry, the county’s first storekeeper; James McKee, who had in interest at a mill at the new town site; and Jesse W. Fell, an Illinois legislator and Bloomington land dealer. Fell was the person who had been responsible for creating the new county. As it turned out, for the town’s three founders, the future of Pontiac would not be their problem. Within five weeks of the founding of the town both Young brothers would be dead and Henry Weed soon drifted away and would die of pneumonia in 1842 while working on a railroad near Binghamton, New York. History of Livingston County Illinois The men who founded Pontiac would not be its developers.
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