Early History

Bement is located three miles south of the geographic center of what is now know as Piatt County, nestled between Decatur on the west and Champaign on the east. It is a town cuddled in the black earth of Illinois farmlands that were once a vast prairie of small ponds, prairie grass and native wildlife. The early French explorers called this area “prairie”, the French word for meadow. It took 6,000-8,000 years for the Illinois prairie eco-system to develop. Over the last 150 years, this area has evolved into some of the richest farmland in the world.

The Area known as Bement was once a part of Macon County, and the northern part of Piatt County was in McLean County. In 1822 this are was uninhabited, except for a few wandering tribes of Kickapoo and Pottawatomie and the native Illinois Indians. In January of 1841 the State Legislature passes a bill to organize a new county to be known as Piatt County. Monticello was developed into a town in 1837. The first courthouse was built in 1843-1844 and was formally accepted in 1845.

From Bement Sesquicentennial book - used with permission

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