Lat/Long: 41.3833, -88.2500
One of the major arteries connecting northern and western Illinois to the Mississippi River, the Illinois River begins southwest of Chicago at the confluence of the Kankakee and Des Plaines rivers. It flows southwesterly through Illinois, emptying into the Mississippi just north of St. Louis. After the construction of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, it became a means of connecting Lake Michigan and Chicago directly to the Mississippi, making it one of the state's most important commercial waterways.
Newton Bateman and Paul Selby, eds., Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois (Chicago: Munsell, 1901), 293; U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Illinois River, accessed June 7, 2018, https://geonames.usgs.gov/apex/f?p=gnispq:3:0::NO::P3_FID:410769.