Lat/Long: 40.7167, -89.2667
Located in north central Illinois less than twenty miles east of Peoria, Eureka was originally named Walnut Grove. It developed in the area surrounding the Christian school, Walnut Grove Academy, which was established in 1848. The village was renamed Eureka after the community’s petition for a post office was denied due to the existence of another Walnut Grove. The U.S. Post Office Department established a post office in Eureka in February 1852 and the town was formally platted by John Darst during the construction of the Peoria and Oquawka Railroad in 1855. In February 1859, the Illinois General Assembly incorporated Eureka as a city.
Merriam-Webster’s Geographical Dictionary , 3rd ed. (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1997), 368; Edward Callary, Place Names of Illinois (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2009), 116; “An Act to Incorporate the Town of Eureka,” 23 February 1859, Private Laws of Illinois (1859), 603-8.