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Litchfield is a city in Montgomery County, Illinois, United States. The population was 6,939 at the 2010 census, and 6,588 in 2009 and 7,012 in 2015. It is located in south central Illinois, south of Springfield and part of the Metro-East region of St. Louis.
Litchfield was platted in October 1853, and was originally called Huntsville, after it was thought that Railroad Chief Engineer George Hunt was going to be the one to bring in the railroad.
Earlier, Hardinsburg, about 2 miles (3 km) to the southwest, had been founded about 1850. Both towns were created in anticipation of the Terre Haute & Alton Railroad. Hardinsburg grew to about 50 people by 1854; but when it became clear that the railroad was going through Huntsville instead of Hardinsburg, many of the buildings in Hardinsburg were pulled across the prairie on runners to Huntsville beginning in January 1854, and most of the residents moved to the new site as well, becoming Litchfield's first residents. The railroad reached Huntsville in the autumn of 1864, and within two more years Hardinsburg had substantially disappeared. Only a small cemetery remains of Hardinsburg.
The new town of Huntsville was renamed in November 1855 after Elisha Cleveland (E.C.) Litchfield, who earlier that year had donated land and convinced the railroad of where to place its shops and terminals.
The residents of Litchfield first voted to incorporate as a village on April 4, 1856. However, the village trustees failed to complete the incorporation; the village charter was dissolved in autumn of 1857 and the trustees closed the books for that village government on January 22, 1858.
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