About Paris, Illinois
In 1816, the land that is now Edgar County was offered for sale by the federal government. The land had been acquired through a treaty with the Kickapoo Indians. The following year, settlers began arriving, many via an Indian trail that became the Chicago-Vincennes Road (Illinois Route 1).
In 1822, Samuel Vance, a Virginian who moved to Illinois after a short stay in Kentucky, purchased 26 acres in the center of what was to become Edgar County. Two years later, Vance and his wife donated the 26 acres to the state for the purpose of establishing a new county seat.
It is most likely that Paris got its name from the word "Paris" carved on the side of an old jack-oak tree in the center of today’s downtown. It was incorporated as a village in 1849.
Paris was the home of a minor league baseball team in the 1950s named the Paris Lakers. A contest was held among the community to decide on a name for the team. The winning submission, Paris Lakers, was sent in by James C. Dickey.
During the 1980’s, the City had tremendous growth with the relocation of various industries. Today, the city is experiencing a new era of development. Some 9,000 residents call Paris home.
Other characteristics of the community include:
- 70% homeownership
- Over 200 locally owned businesses in Edgar County
- Retail sales in excess of $118 million
- Within a 40 minute driving distance to the Terre Haute, IN, Danville, and Charleston/Mattoon areas
- Located 15 minutes from I-70
- Paris High School has received State recognition for its high tech training program.