Carmi lies on the East bank of the Little Wabash River in Southern Illinois. It was the Little Wabash that attracted the first settlers to the area in the period of 1809-1814. The oldest existing house in Carmi was built in 1814. The house, located near the city park, is sometimes open to visitors because of its colorful history. The house was used as a courthouse when White County was founded in 1815, and when Carmi was chartered in 1816. U.S. Senator James Robinson and his family lived in the home until the 1870's. The Senator's granddaughter Mary Jane Stewart occupied the home until 1966. She willed the home and its contents to the White County Historical Society which maintains it as a house museum. From humble beginnings as a toddling town in the backwoods frontier, little Carmi has grown into a town of over 5,000, with a pleasant populace.

Carmi has always had a Midwestern mentality. Its people believed in hard work, family, religion and community. That still makes it a vital place to raise a family or set up a business. Southern Illinois has long been an agricultural and oil and gas dominated economy, and now throw in the coal industry and Carmi has several natural resource reserves to pull from. In educating its youth, the Carmi-White County Unit 5 School System has proven itself a leader in education services.

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