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The area that would become Charleston was first settled in 1822, when the town of West Point was established. The community became known as "Charleston" in 1827 when it became the county seat of Coles County. It is named after Charles Morton, a wealthy landowner who provided financial support to build a courthouse and jail for the new county seat. In 1840, George Washingon Glick moved from Kentucky to Illinois and purchased 1,000 acres (4 km²) along Big Muddy Creek; he later built a home on his property which still stands today at 711 South Jefferson Street. In addition to being an early settler of Charleston he also served as one of its mayors; during his term in office he oversaw construction on roads connecting Charleston with nearby towns such as Mattoon and Mount Carmel (now part of East St Louis). He also helped establish railroads throughout southern Illinois including serving on boards for both the Cairo & Vincennes Railroad Company and Southern Railway Company which eventually merged into what is now Norfolk Southern Corporation .