Effingham County was formed in 1855 and mostly settled by German and Dutch immigrants. The total area of the county is 480 square miles. It offers a mild mid-west climate and is located just over 200 miles south of Chicago off I-57 and is in-between St. Louis and Indianapolis on I-70.

In 1949 tragedy struck when St. Anthony's Hospital, dating back to 1876, caught fire and killed 74 people. There were many acts of heroism and bravery in an effort to save patients and staff. The fire led to fire code changes across the country. Today, the hospital has been rebuilt and HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital offers quality health care throughout the region. Effingham County is also home to America’s Largest Cross which was erected in 2001 and stands 198 feet tall and 113 feet wide, forged out of over 180 tons of steel. This is a symbol of the faith based values and philanthropy that is a part of Effingham’s culture.