In 1835, while Charles Darwin aboard the HMS Beagle was exploring the Galapagos Islands, the northern Illinois municipalities of Genoa and Kingston were being settled. Pioneers arrived via the historic Chicago-Galena stagecoach trail. Thomas Matteson, a Revolutionary War soldier from Ohio, and his family traveled in three covered wagons and became Genoa’s first settlers. Genoa was incorporated as a village in 1876 and as a city in 1911. Kingston became a village in 1886. In addition to sharing a boundary, the municipalities share the Genoa-Kingston Fire Department, Genoa-Kingston Middle School, and Genoa-Kingston High School. During the Civil War, 109 men from Genoa and 105 men from Kingston, roughly a tenth of the population of each municipality at that time, enlisted in the Union Army. Men and women from Genoa and Kingston have continued to serve in the U.S. military from World Wars I and II to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.