Driving U.S. Highway 50 through southern Illinois will take you right into the town of Trenton, one of Clinton County’s proud little towns.
The village got its start back in the early 1800’s when an Army base was established there. Not long after German settlers moved in, but it wasn’t until 1855 when the present town of Trenton was laid out. Streets are wide and shaded by big old shade trees, making it a pretty place to not just drive through, but to live and visit.
By the time it was incorporated in 1887, Trenton already had some flourishing businesses, mostly supporting an agricultural community. Among these were a brewery, milling company and lumberyard, a carriage factory, creamery, and two coal mines. Like other local towns, the mines were integral to the town, employing up to 500 people at their peak. One of the longest-standing businesses, and still flourishing today, is the Trenton Sun. The weekly publication has been dispatching local news since 1880, and is a Thursday mainstay in the County.
Come summertime, Trenton’s Community Park is bustling with activity. Here is where you’ll find the Municipal Pool, ball diamonds with bleachers, a playground, pavilion, picnic tables, and a nice walking trail all around the perimeter. On the weekend after Labor Day, the park hosts Trenton Fest, a fun one and one-half day event that includes carnival rides, music, great food, and good times.
If you’re driving east from St. Louis, Trenton is the first Clinton County town you’ll come to. Slow down and take a little tour of the charming neighborhood streets, stop into one of its restaurants for a meal, and get a taste of the enjoyable pace of our small town life.