De Soto is a village in Jackson County, Illinois, United States. The population was 1,590 at the 2010 census, down from 1,653 at the 2000 census. It is named for Hernando de Soto, the discoverer of the Mississippi River.
De Soto was largely destroyed by the Great Tri-State Tornado of 1925. 69 people died in De Soto when approximately 30% of the town was destroyed, and of this total 33 were children at a local school that collapsed from the winds. The tornado affected Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana, killing 695 and injuring over 2,000.