County: La Salle
Lat/Long: 41.3333, -88.8333
Located at the confluence of the Illinois and Fox rivers, Ottawa was first settled in 1826. The state platted and surveyed the town in 1830, viewing it as a key to planning the eventual Illinois and Michigan Canal. When the legislature incorporated La Salle County in 1831, it designated Ottawa as the county seat. The legislature incorporated Ottawa as a town in 1837. Ottawa hosted the first of the Lincoln-Douglas Debates on August 21, 1858.
The Past and Present of LaSalle County, Illinois (Chicago: H. F. Kett, 1877), 279-86; An Act to Incorporate the Town of Ottawa, and for Other Purposes; Edwin Erle Sparks, ed., The Lincoln-Douglas Debates (Dansville, NY: F. A. Owen, 1918), 19-36.