Effingham, Illinois can trace its history back to 1814 when it was originally known as Broughton, Illinois. The name Broughton was then changed to Effingham in 1859. Local legend says that the name Effingham was installed to honor Thomas Howard the Earl of Effingham. Mr. Howard was a British officer who resigned his post because he refused to fight the Colonists during the Revolutionary War.
Throughout its history, Effingham has always been known as a crossroads city. In the nineteenth century, the city was a crossing point for the old Pennsylvania Railroad and the former Illinois Central Railroad. Even today, the city calls itself “The Crossroads of Opportunity” due to the fact that several major highways pass through the city. Both Interstate 57 and Interstate 70 come through Effingham. In addition, the city is also the intersection of US Highway 45, US highway 40, Illinois Highway 33, and Illinois Highway 32. For a town of only 12,300, the presence of so many major roads is extremely unusual.
Effingham also hosts several budget-friendly events throughout the year, including the Effingham Farmer's Market, Ham City Jam Skate Competition, Farm Toy Show, and the EPC Corn Hole Tournament. Effingham is full of culture and history too. The Ballard Nature Center, a 210-acre parcel of land east of Altamont, Illinois, is a great place for everyone to enjoy and learn about nature. Effingham’s convenient location in the center of Illinois coupled with its seemingly endless recreational activities make the city an excellent place to live and also visit. Finally, the most unique landmark that the city has to offer is the Cross at the Crosswords, a giant white cross erected along Interstate 57 and Interstate 70. Standing at 198-feet, it is considered to be one of the largest crosses in the entire world.