Jonesboro Station, Anna

In 1851, when the Illinois Central Railroad began surveying land in Union County, the county seat of Jonesboro was thought to be the logical choice for the location of the tracks.  However, the city fathers declined to pay the required $50 surveying fee.  Jonesboro businessman, Winstead Davie was not one to ignore an opportunity and personally paid the cost of the survey across his land east of Jonesboro.  He donated thirty-seven acres in 1852 and named the new town site Anna, after his wife.  There was one disappointment, however.  The sign on the depot read JONESBORO STATION for almost twenty years.  Finally. in 1873, the sign was replaced by one reading ANNA. 

When Abraham Lincoln came to Union County in 1858 for the third debate with Stephen Douglas, he traveled by railroad from Centralia with his friend, D.L. Phillips of Anna.  The two men walked to the Phillips home on South Main Street where Lincoln stayed for two nights.  After the evening meal, they went to the Union House Hotel in Jonesboro to visit with the reporter and stenographer of the Chicago Press and Tribune.  It was there Lincoln recorded in his log that they observed Donati‚Äôs Comet.

Visitor Information

Address: 126 W. Davie St. Anna, Illinois 62906