In 1810, John Cook of Shepherdstown, Virginia built the first permanent home in Collinsville. It was a log cabin located at Church and Orient Streets. In 1817, three Collins brothers (for whom the City got its name) came from the East and established residence. The Collins boys bought John Cook's claim and the cabin in 1818. They were later joined by their father, mother, and sisters. The family first established a distillery store, ox-grist mill, sawmill, blacksmith, carpenter, and wagon shops. Originally the town was called Unionville, but after being advised that there was another in Illinois, a vote was taken and the name Collinsville was selected even though the Collinses did not promote the name.
The village was platted in 1837, but it was 1850 before a village charter was adopted and trustees elected. In 1872, Collinsville was incorporated as a City and adopted the aldermanic form of government. John Becker was elected the first Mayor of Collinsville. In 1885, the City Hall was built and is still in operation today. In 1870, Dr. Lumaghi sank a coal mine which started Collinsville into the coal mining era. By 1922, 3,000 coal miners lived in Collinsville out of a total population of 9,800. In 1921, the commission form of government was adopted, but changed in 1991 to the council-manager form of government.
Over the years, Collinsville has developed a number of coal mines, a zinc work, a lead work, a knitting mill, a cow bell factory, and canning plants. The bulk of these were gone by 1950 and Collinsville became a bedroom type community to St. Louis, Missouri.
The City of Collinsville has experienced considerable changes and growth since its coal mining days at the turn of the century. Collinsville is the fifth fastest growing community in the St. Louis metropolitan area with a population as of the 2000 Census of 24,707. Collinsville has become much more than a bedroom community for nearby St. Louis, Missouri. Collinsville is a haven for people who have grown weary of the hustle and bustle of urban living and desire a small-town atmosphere. Rolling hills, large homes, and shaded streets add beauty and a sense of the past. Collinsville's comprehensive plan for growth has a goal of improving the community while protecting property values and quality of life. The City of Collinsville boasts a growing hospitality district with over 1,300 hotel/motel rooms and the Gateway Center, Southwestern Illinois' premiere convention and visitors center. The City is also home to the District 11 Illinois State Police and Illinois Department of Transportation Headquarters, Fairmount Park Racetrack and headquarters to Bridal Originals.
The three top priorities for the City of Collinsville in the new millennium are to improve the City's streets, construct a new water tower, and revitalize the downtown area.
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