Serving the Versailles, Brown County, Illinois area since
Versailles, the oldest settlement in Brown County, founded by Cornelius VanDeventer in
1824, is nestled high on the Illinois River bluff, midway between Springfield and Quincy, off of IL Route 99. The friendly
village of 500 was named by Lucinda Peters Casteen, for their old home in Versailles, Kentucky.
An abundance of colorful history has transpired down through the decades since the first white settlers arrived, greeted by
Kickapoo, Sacs, Fox and the Miami Indians over 175 years ago.
Thomas Ford, 8th Governor of
Illinois, who married a local girl, Frances Hambaugh, wrote his "History of Illinois" here in 1840. Famous residents
also included the Duryea family, inventors of the famous horse-less carriage. Abraham Lincoln visited here on occassions
and still has cousins living in the area.
The Society founded in 1983, boasts of over 250
members throughout the United States. We have a large research library and museum, and oversee a historic park with
log cabin and blacksmith shop. Staffed by volunteers and donations, our mission is to preserve the history of our area.
We publish quarterly newsletters and offer research, as well as aiding school students with projects. A First Settler Certificate is offered for qualifing descendants.
Annual membership fees to VAGHS are:
$14.00 individual; $15.00 member & spouse; $5.00 students
- for students under age 18; Life-time memberships
available for - $125.00 individual; $150.00 w/spouse.
DISCLOSURE: Versailles Area Genealogical
& Historical Society is a Non-Profit organization. Donations are accepted and welcome. All money received,
i.e. - donations, family research, raffles, etc. - is used for all operating expenses accrued by the Research
Center & Museum. All VAGHS personnel are volunteers, and do not receive compensation for their services.