From The Sporting News, March 17, 1886:
"Cairo, Ill., March 11.-Editor Sporting News:
The baseball season here will open up early in April. On April 26 there will be some eight thousand Odd Fellows in town. The Cairo manager will pay any two League or American Association Clubs a good big guarantee to come here and play on that day. As there will be any number of professional teams in the South at about this time, some of them will doubtless take up this offer. Duquoin wanted Cairo to join the contemplated Southern Illinois League, but the management here declined. Duquoin will have a good team this year, Moore of Cairo and other good players having gone there. Besides Duquoin the new association if formed will have Belleville, Nashville and East St. Louis in its ranks. The Paducah, Ky., Club which played such rattling games with Cairo a year ago, has gone under."
I'm still digging and trying to find out more information about the Southern Illinois League but I wanted to share this little article because it gives you a good sense of the state of baseball on the East Side and in Southern Illinois. It pretty much covers the major teams in the area except for Alton and Edwardsville and it's surprising that those two wouldn't be a part of an association of Southern Illinois clubs.