The city founded in July of 1901 by Dr. John Alexander Dowie. He also started the Zion Tabernacle of the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church, which was the only church in town. It was built in the early 1900s and burned down in 1937.
- Birthplace of Gary Coleman.
- Bob Collins, a radio personality in Chicago, died on February 8, 2000 when two small planes collided over Zion.