This extensive guide shows how the history and culture of Illinois are embedded in the names of its towns, cities, and other geographical features. Edward Callary unearths the origins of names of nearly three thousand Illinois communities and the circumstances surrounding their naming and renaming. Organized alphabetically, the entries are concise, engaging, and full of fascinating detail revealing the rich ethnic history of the state, the impact of industrialization and the coming of the railroads, and insight into local politics and personalities. Many entries also provide information on local pronunciation, the name’s etymology, and the community’s location, all set in historical and cultural context. A general introduction locates Illinois place names in the context of general patterns of place naming in the United States. An extremely useful reference for scholars of American history, geography, language, and culture, Place Names of Illinois also offers intriguing browsing material for the inquisitive reader and the curious traveler.