Before 1904, Sesser was unheard of. The city that we now call Sesser was an open prairie covered in wheat and corn. It wasn’t until the summer of 1904 that Sesser began to take shape when coal specialists surveyed the area and discovered a very high grade quality of coal here. The surveyors obtained options on several thousand acres of land. Following the survey’s discovery, Chicago, Burlington and Quincy (C.B.&Q.) Railroad decided to extend their rail lines south from Centralia so that they could reach any new coal properties that were discovered. The grading of these railroads was completed in October, 1905, and the rail lines were laid in January of 1906.

During the years of 1905-1906, the cities first mine, the Keller Mine, was sank. Because of the extension of the C.B.&Q. rail lines and the sinking of the Keller Mine, Sesser was born. Two railroad officials, John C. Elliot and John Sesser, a surveyor from whom Sesser received it’s name, laid out the original, sixteen block plat.This plat ran from the railroad to the City Hall, and two blocks north and two blocks south of Main Street (Franklin Avenue). Sesser was incorporated as a village in 1906 and re-incorporated as a city in 1909.

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