One can see that settlement followed the rivers of Southern Illinois inland from the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers and was largely centered in the American Bottoms area, across the Mississippi from St. Louis, and along the Wabash River on the Illinois/Indiana border.
1818c.5 – English Immigrants from Surrey Take Cricket to IL
“There have been [p.295/p.296] several cricket-matches this summer [of 1819], both at Wanborough and Birk Prarie; the Americans seem much pleased at the sight of the game, as it is new to them.” John Woods, Two Years Residence on th Settlement of the English Prarie, in the Illinois Country (Longman & Co., London, 1822), pp. 295-296.
On page 148 of the book: “On the second of October, there was a game of cricket played at Wanborough by the young men of the settlement; this they called keeping Catherine Hill fair, many of the players being from the neighborhood of Godalming and Guildford.”In 1818 [page 295]: “some of the young men were gone to a county court at Palmyra, [but] there was no cricket-match, as was intended, only a game of trap-ball.”
When I first arrived at Albion, a more disorganized, demoralized state of society never existed: the experiment has been made, the abandonment of Christian institutes and Christian Sabbaths, and living without God in the world has been fairly tried. If those theologians in England who despise the Sabbath and laugh at congregational worship, had been sent to the English settlement in Illinois at the time I arrived, they would, or they ought to have hid their faces for shame. Some of the English played at cricket, the backwoodsmen shot at marks, their favourite sport, and the Sunday revels ended in riot and savage fighting: this was too much even for infidel nerves.-Letters from the Illinois, 1820-1821
In the early times, fifty or sixty years ago, when the modern games of croquet and base-ball were unknown, the people used to amuse themselves with marbles, "town-ball"-which was base-ball in a rude state-and other simple pastimes of a like character. Col. Mayo says, the first amusement he remembers in the county was a game of town-ball, on the day of the public sale of lots in Paris, in which many of the "young men of the period engaged."-The History of Edgar County, Illinois