Equality, Illinois

City: Equality

County: Gallatin

State: Illinois

Lat/Long: 37.7333, -88.3333

Native Americans and French settlers migrated to the area that became Equality in the 1700s, attracted by the vast salt deposits. After the Indians ceded the salt springs to the U.S. government in 1803, the area became known as the United States Saline or the Gallatin Salines. In January 1826, the Illinois General Assembly authorized Gallatin County to move its county seat from Old Shawneetown to a site in the geographical center of the County, and the commissioners selected the as-yet created Equality as the site for the new county seat. In March 1827, the County platted and laid out Equality, and in July the Postal Service established a post office. Situated on the north side of Saline Creek fourteen miles south of Shawneetown, Equality in 1837 had nine stores, four groceries, two taverns, a court house, and seventy or eighty families. It remained the county seat until 1847, when the General Assembly formed Saline County out of Gallatin.

James N. Adams, Illinois Place Names (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Society, 1898), 356; "An Act permanently to locate the Seat of Justice of Gallatin County," 26 January 1826, Laws of the Fourth General Assembly of the State of Illinois (1826), 77-78; Jon Musgrave, ed., Handbook of Old Gallatin County (Marion: IllinoisHistory.com, 2002), 34, 72, 107; History of Gallatin, Saline, Hamilton, Franklin and Williamson Counties, Illinois (Chicago: Goodspeed, 1887), 62-66, 122-23; Jon Musgrave, Slaves, Salt, Sex & Mr. Crenshaw (Marion: IllinoisHistory.com, 2004-2005), 57-65, 69-70; George W. Smith, "The Salines of Southern Illinois," Transactions of the Illinois State Historical Society 9 (1904): 245-58.