Pana lies near the geographical center of Illinois. It's origins are attributed to the coming of the railroad in 1853. The location was determined by the intersection of the Indianapolis & St. Louis Rail Road (NYC) and the Illinois Central Rail Road tracks. Originally called Stone Coal Precinct, it was formed June 5, 1845. It changed to Pana Township on September 2, 1856. In the winter of 1856-57 the Illinois Legislature granted the Charter incorporating the village of Pana. The city is ideally located from a market viewpoint, since it lies within 250 miles of four large metropolitan centers which serve over ten and one-half million people. Pana is well situated from the standpoint of highways. Route 51, running north and south connects Interstate 72 to Interstate 70. Route 16 running east and west, connects Interstate 55 with Interstate 57. This gives Pana easy access to the entire interstate system. Route 29 connects Pana with Springfield, the state capital.