The route of a railroad played a major role in the creation and location of modern-day Champaign.
The story of the City of Champaign begins at least as far back as the founding of the county and the establishment of Urbana as the county seat. The individual m responsible for the new county was State Senator John Vance, who represented Verm County as well as the unorganized areas to the west and north. Champaign County borders and provided the names for both the county and its seat of justice. Hailing from Urbana, the county seat of Champaign County, Ohio, Vance did what many others had done through homesickness, nostalgia or lack of imagination; he carried place names with him as he moved west.