Pontiac is a city in Livingston County, Illinois, United States. The population was 11,931 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Livingston County. The town is also the setting of the 1984 movie Grandview, U.S.A. Pontiac is located at 40°52′48″N 88°37′49″W. According to the 2010 census, Pontiac has a total area of 7.87 square miles (20.38 km2), of which 7.73 square miles (20.02 km2) (or 98.22%) is land and 0.14 square miles (0.36 km2) (or 1.78%) is water.Most of the land adjacent to Pontiac is farm ground. Pontiac lies on the Vermilion River. On December 4, 1982, Pontiac had the worst flood in the town’s history, cresting at 19.16 feet. The most recent flooding occurred on January 9, 2008, cresting at 18.85 feet, the second worst in the town history.
Pontiac was laid out on 27 July 1837 by Henry Weed (? – 1 July 1842), and brothers Lucius Young ( ? – 24 July 1837) and Seth M. Young (? – 1 September 1837). The town’s beginning was less than auspicious. A small group of people gathered at the cabin of Andrew McMillan on the banks of the Vermilion River. Their plan was to create a seat for the newly established county of Livingston. The town they would found was one of the last of the hundreds of new towns laid out in Illinois between 1835 and 1837. Livingston County, which had only been created five months before, as yet had almost no functioning government. Illinois, like the rest of the nation, was fast slipping into a profound depression that would soon lead the next decade to be called “the hungry forties.”
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