McLean County

Charm+Cool+Hip = McLean County. And did we mention Route 66, live music, art and food to satisfy all palates?

The Kickapoo Natives were the original settlers while the initial non-native pioneers arrived in the 1820’s. The pioneers were farmers drawn to the land for its rich soil and almost perfect farming conditions. It is the largest county by land area in Illinois. It was created in 1830 from Tazwell County and named for the United States Senator, John McLean.

McLean County has 33 locations on the National Historic register and is part of the infamous Route 66. Abraham Lincoln often visited the area during the 1860’s when he was practicing law in Springfield, Illinois. It is the hub of State Farm’s original headquarters and home base for the incredibly tasty Beer Nuts!

Bloomington, Illinois was voted as one of the 11 Most Amazing Cities You Never Thought to Live in but Should, by The Huffington Post in 2016. Citing it as a charming college town with Mid-West character, affordable rent, and hipster-cool music venues, which equals a cozy, manageable, friendly place to call home. So, come check us out whether it’s for a day or a lifetime!

Well Known People of McLean County

Adlai Stevenson II was the grandson of Adlai Stevenson, the Vice President of the United States under Grover Cleveland. He grew up in Bloomington and stayed there until he entered his junior year of high school. He became Governor of Illinois in 1948. He made several contributions to the area like the betterment of state highways, his battle against illegal gambling and restructuring of the state police.

David Davis was an assistant Supreme Court Justice and served in the United States Senate beginning in 1862. He briefly took over the presidency of the Senate after the assassination of President James A. Garfield. He relocated to Bloomington, Illinois in 1835 where he practiced law and later served in the Illinois House of Representatives in 1845. In 1847, he became a delegate of the Illinois Constitutional Convention of McLean County. He died in 1886 with most of his family and descendants staying in Bloomington. Today the David Davis Mansion is a historical site open to the public.

Jesse Fell was an influential Bloomington landowner and businessman. He was instrumental in the growth of the area and established nearby towns such as Clinton and Towanda, Illinois. Additionally, he one of the major contributors to the establishment of Illinois State University. He was a dear friend of Abraham Lincoln, and it has been said that he was the first person to suggest he run for president and go toe to toe with Stephen A. Douglas in the Lincoln-Douglas debates.

Pokey LaFarge was born in 1983 as Andrew Heissler in Bloomington, Illinois. He is an American musician, writer, and actor. The nickname “Pokey” was given to him by his mother when she was annoyed with his slow pace when he was a child.

Bonnie Lou, recording artist and television celebrity born in Towanda in 1924. She is recognized as one of the first female rock and roll singers and one of the first female co-hosts of a successful syndicated television talk show. She is a member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.

Awesome Things to Do

Anderson Park
Bloomington Center of Performing Arts
Breweries
Children’s Discovery Museum
Constitution Trail
David Davis Mansion
Fairview Park
Funks Grove
Holiday Pool
Illinois Shakespeare Festival
McLean County Museum of History
Miller Park Zoo
Route 66
Unique dining experiences and live music venues
Visit one of the many art galleries
Wineries

Secondary Education

Illinois State University
Wesleyan University
Heartland Community College
Lincoln College

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Community Contacts

Downtown Bloomington
Visit Blooming-Normal
City of Bloomington
Blooming Parks