History

The New Boston area was first called Yellowbanks by the Sac and Fox Indians, who inhibited the area in the early 1800’s. The Yellowbanks area extended from New Boston to Oquawka along the Mississippi River.

The Denison’s (Dennison’s) were the first settlers to the area in 1827, William Denison and his son John lived peacefully with Blackhawk and Keokuk, Chiefs of the Indian nations.

New Boston was the site of a pow wow between Keokuk and Black Hawk in 1832 with 3000 warriors gathered. Keokuk and Black hawk could not come to an understanding thus the Indian War of 1832 began. The Denison’s at the urging of Black hawk left the area for Nauvoo.

Photo Courtesy of Penny Postcards from Mercer County http://www.usgwarchives.net/il/mercer/postcards/ppcs-mercer.html

In 1834 Denison sold two thirds of his claim to Elijah Iles and Edward Burrall. Iles, a Springfield businessman, joined efforts with Denison in a plan to lay out a town on the bend of the river next to a large bay.

One of Iles’ agents was a man named Peter Van Bergan, who had purchased a past due monetary note owned by a young Springfield lawyer, Abraham Lincoln. Speculation has it that Abraham Lincoln was contracted to survey and lay out a town in an effort to make payment on his note. Thus, New Boston has the distinction of having been surveyed and platted by Abraham Lincoln on September 30, 1834.

New Boston served as the first county seat in 1835 when Mercer County was first established, the county seat was moved the Millersburg in 1837.

New Boston Main Street 1912. Photo Courtesy ofhttp://freepages.history.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mygermanfamilies/

New Boston Main Street 1912. Photo Courtesy ofhttp://freepages.history.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mygermanfamilies/

Other additions added to the City were in June, 1856, Turner’s addition by Wm. J. Turner and Thompson’s addition in May, 1865.

On the 21st of February, 1859, the City of New Boston was incorporated, receiving a City Charter.

The City is divided into three wards and each ward is represented by two elected aldermen.

Ward I – Commences at the intersection of the East City limits and Clay Street, then West on Clay Street to its intersection with Sixth Street and Broadway, then Northwest on Sixth Street, then West on Liberty to the West City limits, then North to the North City limits, then East along the North City limits to the East City limits, then South on the the East City limits to the place of beginning.

Ward II – To consist of all territory North and West of the State Highway and Main Street, except that contained in the First Ward as described above.

Ward III – To consist of all territory South and East of the State Highway and Main Street except that contained in the First Ward as described above.

The City meetings are open to the public. To be put on the agenda, please call City Hall at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting date. A brief explanation of why you want to be put on the agenda will be needed at that time. Agendas will be posted to the public on the City Hall message board 48 hours before the meeting time. This is in accordance with the State of Illinois Open Meeting Act.

For city statistics and data click here.

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