The Illinois River port of the Village of Montezuma is located in Pike County, Illinois.
In 1880 Montezuma had a population around 100. The town was highly developed and riverboats routinely stopped there. Montezuma flourished as a riverport through the 19th century. The town had a church, a school, a warehouses, a general store, a grain elevator, a blacksmith shop, a photograph studio, and a saloon or two.
The railroad and trucks brought big changes.
A railroad was built through the Pearl area, skipping both Montezuma and its inland partner, Milton. Livestock was still shipped to market by boat, but starting in the mid-1920s most livestock was shipped in trucks. Montezuma rapidly faded. Although some vestiges of the town remain, the town plat, which projected a town three-quarters of a mile long, was not needed.
Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.