Alton Illinois 62002

Welcome to the Riverbend

Alton, Illinois is located at a bend in  the Mississippi River.  Once you arrive in Alton you will soon realize the locals are very proud of the phrase “Riverbend”.  You will find “Riverbend” used in everything  from Riverbend Billards and Grill to R/E Max Riverbend  Realtors.

Educational Opportunities

Alton is home to the Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville  Dental School.    Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville   is located nearby. The Lewis and Clark Community College is located next door in Godfrey, IL.  Alton high school students graduated at a rate of 97.7%  in 2010 one of the highest graduation rates in the area.   Marquette Catholic High School also has a long standing  reputation of academic excellence since 1927.

Early History

Alton was part of the Under Ground Rail Road.  it was strategically located  only 15 miles North East of St Louis and bordering  the slave state of  Missouri.   Elijah Lovejoy was one of the areas early abolitionist.   Lovejoy was a Presbyterian preacher who published a newspaper in St Louis.  Unfortunately Lovejoy was not well received and was ran out of St Louis.   He was undeterred and continued his abolitionist activities in the Alton area.   A pro slavery mob destroyed Lovejoy’s printing press and burned the building it was in, in November of 1837.  Lovejoy himself was shot and killed by the mob.

One of the famous Lincoln Douglas debates was held in Alton in 1858  .   It was reported that 6,000 people attended the debate.  Douglas defeated Lincoln for US senator.  Lincoln later went on to become our 16th president.  A memorial marks the spot where they debated.

A Confederate prison camp was located in Alton during the Civil   War.  Several  confederate monuments and a cemetery are located there.  Several Confederate prisoners buried there died from a smallpox outbreak.

The Gentle Giant

On a lighter note Alton was home to Robert Wadlow “The Gentle  Giant”.  Mr. Wadlow suffered from a genetic defect that caused him to grow to a height of eight feet eleven and one tenth inches.  Unfortunately Mr Wadlow had trouble getting shoes to fit properly and in July of 1940 he developed blood poisoning from a blister on one of his toes.  He died shortly afterwards at the age of 22.  As luck would have it,the new miracle drug Penicillin was released shortly after his death.  Doctors say this could have possibly saved his life.

Alton Today

The areas location on the Mississippi river just down stream from the confluence of the Missouri and Illinois rivers makes it a natural commercial center.  The Alton Lock and Dam is the demarcation point for river traffic on the three rivers.  Larger barge tows are allowed below the locks and must be broken down into smaller tows for the upstream trip.   River commerce has long been a staple in the areas economy.

The area is also blessed with heavy industry and a vibrant wholesale and retail business core.  Everything you would expect to find in a mid sized city is right here at your finger tips.

If you are planing on moving to the Alton area we would love to offer our Home Inspections services. You can contact us at:

by phone 618-593-9631

our email,,

our website

information for this article was gathered from the following sources

check us out at:

the Better Business Bureau

The State of Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations


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