The Lansing area was a part of the Northwest Territory in the late 1700s. It was transferred to the Illinois Territory in 1809. In 1818 Illinois became the 21st state of the Union. As migration west began, settlers, primarily German and Dutch immigrants, came to the Lansing area to build homes, farms, and businesses.The Pennsylvania Railroad came through Lansing in 1856 and since Lansing is located on a sand ridge, the railroad began hauling sand to Chicago for use in building construction. The location of the sand pit of years ago is now Lansing's downtown business district. In 1860 there was no industry, just the railroad and farms. Lansing had a grocery store, saloon, shoemaker and two blacksmiths.