Mt. Pulaski was founded by Jabez Capps, George Turley and Dr. Barton Robinson in 1836. The town was named in tribute of Brigadier General Casimir Pulaski who was given credit for saving the life of George Turley's father during the Revolutionary War. Turley owned much of the land around the area at the time and had the opportunity to name the City of Mt. Pulaski in honor of his father's benefactor. Pulaski would subsequently have a submarine named after him in 1964 and the Polish soldier was granted an honorary citizenship of the United States by President Barack Obama in 2009.
Mt. Pulaski is the home of one of two original courthouses where Abraham Lincoln practiced law on the 8th Judicial Circuit from 1849-1854. Lincoln's presence is strongly felt throughout the community to this day. This State Historic Site draws visitors from across the country and the world. Here, you are able to walk on the original courthouse floor that Lincoln once walked on.
The First Lady of Radio Vaughn DeLeath was born as Leonore Vonderlieth in the City of Mt. Pulaski.
Mt. Pulaski is home to singer, John Schlitt. Schlitt was lead singer of the band, Head East, and is currently lead singer of the Christian band, Petra.
During the re-election campaign of President McKinley in 1900, the President, former President Grover Cleveland, Vice President Teddy Roosevelt, and John D. Rockefeller were in Mt. Pulaski for a rally attended by some 1,500 people and stayed the night at the Mt. Pulaski House Hotel.
The City of Mt. Pulaski has been home to some noted inventors and artists including Frank L. Capps who worked with Thomas Edison on his “talking machine” in 1901 and went on to patent 50 inventions of his own. Native Dickens Ryman Jr. was a friend of an artist for Walt Disney, working on both Disneyland and Disneyworld.
In 1910, the famous Wright Brother's airplane and train race went through Mt. Pulaski on its way from Chicago to Springfield. The plane refueled and took on water just four blocks south of the square. It was met in a jubilant celebration of good wishes.