Alton Illinois City Directories 1874-1923

The City of Alton is situated in Madison county, Illinois, on the east bank of the Mississippi river, eight miles above its confluence with the Missouri, and eighteen below the mouth of the Illinois. It lies in latitude 38 deg. and 20 min., north, and longitude 14 deg. west. The river bluffs at this point rise abruptly to the height of 220 feet above the river, and nearly 400 feet above the level of the sea. Upon the slopes of these hills, over-looking the broad sweep of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, the fertile expanse of the great American Bottom and the rich plains of Missouri, is built this beautiful, prosperous and picturesque city, which possesses business advantages and manufacturing facilities.

In 1807 there was one small stone building on the site where Alton now stands. It was near the site of the present Union Depot, and was used by the French as a trading post with the Indians. The land constituting the site of the city was all entered between August 10th, 1814, and July 18th, 1817. The town was laid out in 1817, mainly through the agency of Col. Easton. It is said he named the place for his son Alton R. Easton. Litigation kept Alton from improving for ten or twelve years. The matter was finally compromised by a division of the land among the claimants. From about 1829 to 1837 the increase of Alton was rapid, but founded too much on speculation. At the latter date the population was 2,500. Then came the commercial crash of 1837; the pro-slavery riots and the collapse of the railway system of the State of which Alton was to have been the center. Business firms were ruined; real estate passed into the hands of Eastern creditors, and depreciated in value. This state of prostration continued until 1842. From that time until the present there has been steady, healthy and constant growth.

The “Town of Alton” was incorporated by the Legislature, Feb. 6th, 1833; the “City of Alton,” was chartered by the same body, July 21st, 1837.

Free Alton Illinois City Directories 1874-1923

These 21 city directories have been placed online at the Internet Archive by the Hayner Genealogy & Local History Library. They can be read online, searched, or downloaded freely.

  1. 1874 Alton Illinois City Directory
  2. 1876-1877 Alton Illinois City Directory
  3. 1886-1887 Alton Illinois City Directory
  4. 1889-1890 Alton Illinois City Directory
  5. 1893-1894 Alton Illinois City Directory
  6. 1895-1896 Alton Illinois City Directory
  7. 1899-1900 Alton Illinois City Directory
  8. 1901-1902 Alton Illinois City Directory
  9. 1902-1903 Alton Illinois City Directory
  10. 1905-1906 Alton Illinois City Directory
  11. 1906-1907 Alton Illinois City Directory
  12. 1908-1909 Alton Illinois City Directory
  13. 1910-1911 Alton Illinois City Directory
  14. 1911-1912 Alton Illinois City Directory
  15. 1913 Alton Illinois City Directory
  16. 1914-1915 Alton Illinois City Directory
  17. 1916-1917 Alton Illinois City Directory
  18. 1918-1919 Alton Illinois City Directory
  19. 1920 Alton Illinois City Directory
  20. 1921 Alton Illinois City Directory
  21. 1923 Alton Illinois City Directory

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