The Village of Swansea, in what was becoming a major agricultural resource for the nation, really started thriving in the late 1800s as the site of the manufacturer of that time’s most efficient grain drills, which greatly reduced waste and increased crop yields by planting seeds uniformly. This bustling industry drew in a population that included farmers, industrial workers and businessmen.
Swansea grew rapidly as coal mines were constructed underground and brickyards built. Even as workers poured in and began to build homes in the area, the community remained just an adjunct to Belleville for years without its own government. Then in 1886, a handful of residents circulated a petition to form their own town and gave it the name of Swansea. An independent community formed, and by Dec. 20, a formal municipality was established. Since that day, Swansea has consistently been one of the fastest-growing communities within the Metro East area and today has a population of approximately 13,500.
Swansea serves as a bridge between southwestern Illinois communities such as Belleville and St. Louis, enjoying the benefits of a metropolis while maintaining a small-town atmosphere. Scott AFB is just minutes away, and St. Louis is only a 15- to 20-minute drive away.
The village’s parks and recreation department facilities include a dog park, playgrounds, picnic pavilions, community centers and more. Students attend Wolf Branch and High Mount school districts.