C. M. Brown, a veteran of the Mexican war in the 1840's received a federal grant consisting of eight acres of land, from this beginning he purchased more land in this area.
In 1884 two men by the names of Johnson and Fought of St. Elmo, Illinois, decided to build a railroad through Southern Illinois. The name of their railroad was the Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad. They ran their survey through land owned by C. M. Brown (known and referred to as Uncle Cal) and his son S. E. Brown, (known as Jerry).
The land chosen for the site of the Railroad depot was owned by Jerry Brown. He donated on and one half acres for the depot plus eleven acres of land for a switch and side track. To get the town started, his father S. E. "Uncle Cal" Brown donated ten acres of land for the streets, alleys, and a main public road.
Mr. Johnson of the Railroad was staying at the home of S. E. "Jerry" Brown and asked him to name the town. Jerry had two daughters, Anna and Ina. Because there was already a Anna, Illinois, he decided to name the town Ina in honor of this oldest daughter. "Uncle Cal" Brown died in 1922 at the age of 94, when small-pox broke out in the village.
The main street runs North and South parallel with the Railroad, this later became Illinois State Highway Route 37. Third street running East and West on South side of depot also became County Highway 42 coming from Spring Garden to the East running west toward Nason. Third street in later years has become the main business area of town.
From this small beginning the rail line began to attract people from the village of Spring Garden located three miles to the East on the main trail from Vandalia to Shawaneetown. Some of these families moved their homes to Ina on large log rollers.
One of these historic houses still exists today located at 212 West Third Street and belongs to Judy (Brown) Story, a great-great granddaughter of the C. M. Brown, founder of Ina.
About five years after the town of Ina began to build, a fire destroyed a large portion of the town. People banned together and worked hard through pie suppers and fund raising events to help rebuild the town. Ina was rebuilt and became more prosperous than before.
On July 15th, 1898 an election was held whether or not to incorporate the village of Ina. The votes were canvassed and reported (33) thirty three votes for incorporation. On July 18th, 1898 a petition for incorporation of village of Ina was considered and ordered and adjudged by the court that the said town of Ina be and is hereby incorporated as a village known as the Village of Ina.
The fledgling village has grown from a village of mud streets and board sidewalks to a town that has over the years installed street lights, concrete walks and asphalt paved streets. Ina has continued to maintain progress with the times. The citizens now have access to utilities including electricity, city gas, city water, and sewer system. The infrastructure of the town is such that will accommodate small business that wish to locate here.
From this beginning the rail line began to attract people from surrounding areas. Ina is separated from the banks of Rend Lake by Interstate 57, thus giving access to interstate travel as well as being situated on the bank of a beautiful recreation area and Rend Lake College. Ina is also the location of Big Muddy Correctional Center.
It's all here in the Ina area. Rend Lake consists of 18,900 acres of water, over 60 miles of shoreline, sandy beaches, wildlife areas, a Golf Course and resort, and beautiful camping sites. Your family will see the wonder of it as it unfolds in beautiful Rend Lake.
Rend Lake's ideal location just off interstate 57 and on the opposite side of the interstate from Ina, make it one of the most easily accessed recreation spots in the Midwest. Being located in Southern Illinois makes Rend Lake a year around vacation spot, for there are sports of all kind that will appeal to all in any season, with special emphasis on game fishing and hunting, swimming with bathing on the sand beaches, hiking, boating and water-skiing, Rend Lake has become well known for it's ideal vacationing spots.
Rend Lake and Rend Lake College combined with Interstate 57, Love's Truck Stop and Travel Center, McDonald's fast food restaurant, and Uncle Joes Restaurant, three active Churches, a school located in a new facility, an antique mall, a banking facility and Post Office makes Ina an ideal small town to locate in. A rural setting ten miles from larger communities with manufacturing, chain stores, and in the heart of a large recreation setting.