Rantoul, in east-central Franklin County, was named for Robert Rantoul, a Massachusetts abolitionist and is near Brown's Station, the land claims of John Brown's sons. It is among the county's earliest settlements.
The remains of Rantoul High School south of the ballfields, first served as a zoo and is now a cattle barn. Several early churches are still in use. The stone home, at Cedar and First Streets, was built in 1866 by Jeremiah Wise for his daughter Martha Ellen Wise who married Quincy Seymour. They lived here until the 1880s. When the railroad cut across the corner lot, Seymour built the frame house across the street. In the early 1900s the house served as a hotel for local laborers.
Northeast of Rantoul, at the southwest corner of Kingman and Virginia Roads - both minimum maintenance - was the land claimed by William Clarke Quantrill, infamous raider of Lawrence.
To: Franklin County