FAYETTE COUNTY, situated about 60 miles south of the geographical center of the State; was organized in 1821, and named for the French General La Fayette. It has an area of 720 square miles; population (1900), 28,065. The soil is fertile and a rich vein of bituminous coal underlies the county. Agriculture, fruit-growing and mining are the chief industries. The old, historic "Cumberland Road," the trail for all west-bound emigrants, .crossed the county at an early date. Perryville was the first county-seat, but this town is now extinct. Vandalia, the present seat of county government (population, 2,144), stands upon a succession of hills upon the west bank of the Kaskaskia. From 1820 to 1839 it was the State Capital. Besides Vandalia the chief towns are Ramsey, noted for its railroad ties and timber, and St. Elmo.