Freeburg is a village in St. Clair County, Illinois, United States. Located within Greater St. Louis, it is a southwestern exurb with many residents commuting to Downtown St. Louis or the Belleville area for employment. As of 2010, Freeburg had a population of 4,354. Freeburg lies in the fertile and rolling southern Illinois plains between the Kaskaskia and Mississippi Rivers. It was platted in 1836 as the town of Urbana by immigrants to this area from Virginia around 1800. The first European settlers of Freeburg were of English and Irish ancestry.There were five migratory Indian tribes that crisscrossed each other in Illinois; the Peorias, Cahokias, Kaskaskias, Tamaroas, and Michiganics.
It is said that Turkey Hill north of town was a popular Indian campground that also attracted many early settlers because of the view it provided of the surrounding countryside. The last Indian tribes left this area by 1820. The big German migrations to this area started around 1830 and continued quite strong for the rest of the century. Obviously, the abundance of coal, the availability of cheap fertile farm land, as well as the proximity to the frontier city of St. Louis, only 20 miles to the northwest, are what attracted settlers to Freeburg. The old “Plank Road” was built in the 1850s, and, for 35 cents, travelers could ride from Belleville to Freeburg in “comfort” without potholes on what is now known as the old Freeburg Road. Abe Lincoln is said to have used this road on at least one occasion.
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