Small Cities in Illinois Known for Their Beautiful Murals

By  4 Comments

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then Illinois is like an open book just waiting to be read. Larger-than-life murals enhance structures and buildings in cities across the state, telling the unique stories of each community’s people and heritage.

“The murals and statuary in towns and cities are an integral part of their history – past and present – and what these places represent,” says Dianna Mueller, a mural artist in Chester. “They demonstrate a town’s pride and ambience and afford so many opportunities for photographs.”

Prev1 of 5
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse


Murals in Chester, Illinois


Chester (population 7,800) is among scores of Illinois towns whose history is literally painted all over it. More than a dozen murals liven up the town’s businesses, schools, residences and churches, many incorporating characters from the well-loved comic and cartoon star Popeye the Sailor. Popeye’s creator, Elzie Crisler Segar, was born in Chester in 1894.

Mueller and her husband, Ted, painted or worked on many of Chester’s murals, including ones at Gazebo Park, the Chester Opera House, the Spinach Can Collectibles Museum, Rough House Pizza, Chester City Hall and the Chester Welcome Center.

“City Hall boasts the Popeye characters representing various city employees – Popeye is a fireman, Olive Oyl is a city clerk, Wimpy is the town mayor and Brutus is a policeman,” Mueller says. “Those murals were created on canvas and attached to the walls with wallpaper paste so they can be moved and repositioned when the walls need repainting.”

Prev1 of 5
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse


  1. Ronald M. Miller

    February 27, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Enjoyed the article Paint The Town Murals and would like to add a new addition that was painted last summer near where I live. It is located at the corners of Broadway and Henry streets in Alton. The artist worked many a night last summer because of the heat to complete a large building wall mural that sparked my interest. It is a sight to see!

    • Jessy Yancey

      February 28, 2011 at 9:04 am

      Thanks for sharing, Ronald!

  2. Denny Simmons

    October 9, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    On this topic, we just finished painting a WPA Poster inspired mural on an old viaduct in Bradley, IL. Can we submit pictures to be posted on this site.

    • Blair Thomas

      October 10, 2011 at 8:56 am

      You can send those photos and any other story ideas to We often update the stories on our website, but can’t guaranteed your pictures will be published. Thanks for reading and we look forward to seeing pictures of your mural!

      Blair Thomas
      Illinois Partners

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.