Horseshoe Lake, 2016


October 27, 2017

Last modified: April 13, 2020

Frenchman Jean Baptiste Cardinal was the first European to settle the Alton region in 1783. Later Rufus Easton plotted the town in 1817, and in honor of his son, Alton R. Easton, he named the town Alton.1 Alton was incorporated as a town on February 6, 1833.3 In 1840 the population of Alton reached 2,340 inhabitants.2 As of the 2010 census, Alton city has a population of 27,865.4

Alton in 2017
From the Maps & Plats GIS Division of the Madison County Chief County Assessment Office

To access the city of Alton’s website, follow this link.

For more, see these Oral Histories

Endnotes   [ + ]

1. History of Madison County, Illinois, Illustrated. With Biographical Sketches of many Prominent Men and Pioneers (Edwardsville: W. R. Brink and Company, 1882), 374 – 5.
2. 1840 Census: Sixth Census or Enumeration of the Inhabitants of the United States (Washington: Blair and Rives, 1841), 386 – 7.
3. Ibid., 389.
4. Illinois: 2010, Summary Population and Housing Characteristics, 2010 Census of Population and Housing (Washington: Bureau of the Census, 2012), 62.
Cite this article: Nichol Allen, "Alton," Madison Historical: The Online Encyclopedia and Digital Archive for Madison County, Illinois, last modified April 13, 2020,
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