Mt. Vernon is located in southern Illinois in Jefferson County (of which it is the county seat). It was established in 1819, the year following Illinois' statehood. The population estimate for July 1, 1998 was 16,850, a decrease of 232 since 1990.
The town is in the "Little Egypt" section of Illinois--so named because northern and central area farmers who, much like Jacob's sons in the Bible, had to "go down to Egypt" to obtain enough grain from southern growers to last out the winter of 1830-31.
For those that enjoy the outdoors, Mt. Vernon is just north of Rend Lake and Wayne Fitzgerald State Park. In addition, the Rend Lake SFWA wraps the northern reaches of the lake. The lake is the 2nd largest man-made lake in Illinois and is fed by the Big Muddy River. Additional recreation might include outings to Cherry Creek Golf Center, Crooked Creek Golf Links, Green Hills Golf Club, Indian Hills Golf Course or North Woods Golf Club.