HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) – Edwards County, Illinois was the home of a nuclear physicist and a pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals.

According to the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State, Edwards County was established on November 28, 1814. The Office of the Illinois Secretary of State says the county was named after Ninian Edwards, Governor of the Illinois Territory and the third Governor of the State of Illinois. The county seat is Albion. The office says the county’s present area, or parts of it, were formerly included in Gallatin, Randolph, St. Clair and Knox, Northwest Territory counties.

According to an obituary from Meridith Funeral Home, Albion native Cyril D. Curtis was a retired nuclear physicist that assisted in the development of the atomic bomb. His obituary also says Curtis assisted in the development of the reactor that powered the first nuclear-powered submarine, the Nautilus. According to Southeastern Illinois College, Jeff Keener played for Major League Baseball (MLB) for two years. According to the Albion Area Chamber, Keener pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals during the late 80s to early 90s and in the World Series.

The Albion Area Chamber also says Dennis Stroughmatt is a musician from Albion. According to Stroughmatt’s website, he was taught to play fiddle by Missouri Creole fiddlers and on his website he has four volumes, with his first volume being out of print.

According to the Albion Area Chamber, the county’s main industries include farming, manufacturing and medicinal marijuana. The chamber says the county’s top employers are Champion Laboratories, Ataraxia, Edwards County Schools, Citizen’s National Bank and healthcare. 

According to the United States Census Bureau, as of the 2020 census, the population of Edwards County was 6,245.

This is the eighteenth of a weekly twenty-one-part series that will help educate about each of the counties in the Eyewitness News viewing area. Check in every Tuesday at 9 a.m. for the next one! Last week’s story can be found here.