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Illinois County Seats

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102 facts:

Adams County
   has the county seat   
Quincy
Created in 1825 out of Pike County and named after John Quincy Adams the 6th US President -- Quincy is the hometown of actress Mary Astor, Chicago Cubs pitcher Rick Reuschel and General Paul Tibbets pilot of the B-29 bomber "Enola Gay" in WWII -- site of the 6th Lincoln-Douglas Debate October 13, 1858
Alexander County
   has the county seat   
Cairo
Organized in 1819 out of Union County -- Named for William M. Alexander who was chose Speaker of The Illinois House of Representatives in 1822 -- Cairo is the southernmost city in Illinois and is situated at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers
Bond County
   has the county seat   
Greenville
Formed out of Madison County in 1817 -- named after Shadrach Bond the first governor of Illinois when it became a state in 1818 -- the Christian band Jars of Clay attended and formed as a band at Greenville College
Boone County
   has the county seat   
Belvidere
Formed out of Winnebago County in 1837 -- named after the pioneer Daniel Boone -- Belvidere is the home town of Judith Anne Ford, Miss America 1969
Brown County
   has the county seat   
Mt. Sterling
Formed out of Schuyler County in 1839 -- named for General Jacob Brown, American commander who defeated the British at the Battle of Sackett's Harbor, New York in 1813
Bureau County
   has the county seat   
Princeton
Organized out of Putnam County in 1837 -- named for Pierre de Beuro, a trader on Bureau Creek where it joins the Illinois River -- actor Richard Widmark grew up in Princeton and attended Princeton High School
Calhoun County
   has the county seat   
Hardin
Organized in 1825 -- named for the current US Vice President in 1825 John C. Calhoun -- Calhoun County was not touched by the glaciers and therefore has rugged terrain
Carroll County
   has the county seat   
Mount Carroll
Organized out of Jo Daviess County in 1839 -- named for Charles Carroll the last living signer of the Declaration of Independence who died in 1832 -- Charles Carroll was the only Catholic signer of this document
Cass County
   has the county seat   
Virginia
Formed out of Morgan County in 1837 -- named for Lewis Cass who was a general in The War Of 1812 -- the Beardstown Grand Opera House opened in Beardstown, IL in 1872 and featured PT Barnum attraction General Tom Thumb
Champaign County
   has the county seat   
Urbana
Formed in 1833 out of Vermilion County -- named for Champaign County Ohio -- Champaign-Urban is the home of the University Of Illinois founded in 1867 -- Bonnie Blair, Olympic Gold Medal Speed Skater grew up in Champaign -- Washington Post and Newsweek columnist George Will was born in Champaign
Christian County
   has the county seat   
Taylorville
Formed out of Sangamon, Montgomery and Shelby Counties in 1839 -- first called Dane County but changed in 1840 to Christian County after Christian County Kentucky -- Edward Mills Purcell, winner of the 1952 Nobel Prize for Physics was born in Taylorville
Clark County
   has the county seat   
Marshall
Formed out of Crawford County in 1819 -- named for George Rogers Clark a hero of the Revolutionary War in The Northwest Territory -- Marshall is the site of the longest continually operated hotel in Illinois, the Archer House
Clay County
   has the county seat   
Louisville
Formed out of Wayne, Crawford and Fayette Counties in 1825 -- named for Henry Clay the author of The Great Compromise of 1820
Clinton County
   has the county seat   
Carlyle
Formed out of Washington, Fayette and Bond Counties in 1824 -- named for DeWitt Clinton 7th governor of New York State and promoter of the Erie Canal connecting the Great Lakes to the Hudson River
Coles County
   has the county seat   
Charleston
Formed out of Clark and Edgar Counties in 1831 -- named after the second governor of Illinois Edward Coles (1822-1826) -- Charleston was the site of the 4th Lincoln-Douglas Debate 9-18-1858 -- Charleston is the home of Eastern Illinois University
Cook County
   has the county seat   
Chicago
Created by an act of the Illinois State Legislature January 15, 1831 -- named after Daniel Pope Cook who was Illinois first representative to the US House of Representatives -- Chicago is third most populous US city -- birthplace of Clayton Moore, tv's Lone Ranger, acresses Jennifer Beals, Raquel Welch, Daryl Hannah, actors Harrison Ford, Mr. T and Robin Williams
Crawford County
   has the county seat   
Robinson
Formed out of Edwards County in 1816 -- named for William H. Crawford who was Secretary Of War and Treasury at that time -- Author James Jones (From Here To Eternity and The Thin Red Line) was born in Robinson
Cumberland County
   has the county seat   
Toledo
Formed out of Coles County in 1843 -- named for the Cumberland Road or National Road which passed through it.
DeKalb County
   has the county seat   
Sycamore
Formed out of Kane County in 1837 -- named for Johann de Kalb German soldier who commanded with General George Washington -- barbed wire was patented in 1874 by Joseph F. Glidden of DeKalb, IL -- DeKalb is the home of Northern Illinois University
DeWitt County
   has the county seat   
Clinton
Formed out of Macon and McLean Counties in 1839 -- also named after DeWitt Clinton the 7th Governor of New York who was chiefly responsible for the Erie Canal which connected The Hudson River and The Great Lakes
Douglas County
   has the county seat   
Tuscola
Formed out of Coles County in 1859 -- named in honor of Stephen A. Douglas US Senator from Illinois who debated Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln-Douglas Debates in the 1858 -- University Of Illinois graduate and current Oakland Raider's tight end Fred Wakefield comes from Tuscola
DuPage County
   has the county seat   
Wheaton
Formed out of Cook County in 1839 -- named for the Dupage River which flows through it -- actors John Belushi and Jim Belushi graduated from Wheaton Central High School. Harold "Red" Grange (The Galloping Ghost of Big Ten and NFL football fame grew up in Wheaton
Edgar County
   has the county seat   
Paris
Formed out of Clark County in 1823 -- named for John Edgar an Irish officer in the Royal Navy who changed allegiance to the colonists during The Revolutionary War -- Colonel Eli Lilly (founder of Eli Lilly and Company -- pharmaceutical company) opened a drug store in Paris, IL in 1869
Edwards County
   has the county seat   
Albion
Named for Ninian Edwards, the Illinois Territorial governor and later a governor of Illinois -- consists of Road Districts rather than Townships -- Louis Lincoln Emmerson who was Illinois Secretary Of State and later Illinois Governor was born in Albion
Effingham County
   has the county seat   
Effingham
Formed out of Fayette and Crawford Counties in 1831 -- named after British General Edward Effingham who resigned from service in 1775 rather than fight the colonists -- Uwe Blab German born American basketball player at Indiana University and The Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs in The NBA attended Effingham High School
Fayette County
   has the county seat   
Vandalia
Formed out of Bond, Clark and Crawford Counties in 1821 -- named for Gilbert du Motier, marquis de La Fayette French soldier and ally of the Colonies during The Revolutionary War -- Vandalia served as the second capital of the State of Illinois from 1820 to 1837
Ford County
   has the county seat   
Paxton
Formed February 17, 1859 as the last of the 102 Illinois counties -- named after Thomas Ford who was governor of Illinois 1842-1846 -- Paxton was named for Sir Joseph Paxton the architect of the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London that housed the Great Exhibition of 1851
Franklin County
   has the county seat   
Benton
Formed in 1818 out of Gallatin and White Counties -- named after Benjamin Franklin -- actor, producer and director John Malkovich was born in Christopher -- NBA player and coach and US Olympian Doug Collins was also born in Christopher
Fulton County
   has the county seat   
Lewistown
Formed out of Pike County in 1823 -- named after Robert Fulton the inventor of the steamboat -- home of Edgar Lee Masters who wrote The Spoon River Anthology in 1915 -- The Dickson Mounds National Historic Site is located near Lewiston and is an onsite archeological museum about 12,000 years of Indian life in the Illinois River Valley
Gallatin County
   has the county seat   
Shawneetown
Formed out of Randolph County in 1812 -- named for Albert Gallatin who was the Secretary of The US Treasury in 1812
Greene County
   has the county seat   
Carrollton
Named for Major General Nathanael Greene of The Continental Army in The Revolutionary War who successfully handled General Cornwallis in the Southern Colonies
Grundy County
   has the county seat   
Morris
Formed out of LaSalle County in 1841 -- named for Felix Grundy a former Senator Of Tennessee and the Attorney General Of The United States -- Morris was a major city on The Illinois and Michigan Canal which linked Lake Michigan to the Illinois River and then to the Mississippi River beginning in 1848
Hamilton County
   has the county seat   
McLeansboro
Formed out of White County -- named for Alexander Hamilton first US Secretary Of The Treasury
Hancock County
   has the county seat   
Carthage
Formed out of Pike County in 1825 -- named after John Hancock a prominent signer of The Declaration Of Independence -- part of the Military Tract set aside by Congress to reward the veterans of The War Of 1812 -- Carthage was the site of the assassination of Mormon founder Joseph Smith Jr in 1844
Hardin County
   has the county seat   
Elizabethtown
Formed out of Pope County in 1839 -- named for John Hardin who was an officer in The Revolutionary War and The Northwest Indian War -- Cave-In-Rock. IL features a 55 ft wide cave on the Ohio River
Henderson County
   has the county seat   
Oquawka
Formed out of Warren County in 1841 -- named for Henderson County, Kentucky and Richard Henderson who had founded The Transylvania Company in 1775
Henry County
   has the county seat   
Cambridge
Formed out of Fulton County in 1826 -- named for Patrick Henry, delegate from Virginia to the First and Second Continental Congresses -- Bishop Hill was founded by Erik Janson and Swedish immigrants in 1846
Iroquois County
   has the county seat   
Watseka
Formed out of Vermilion County in 1833 -- named for the Iroquois people -- birthplace of Rex Everhart, the voice of Maurice in the Disney film "Beauty And The Beast" in 1920 -- Watseka was named for a Potawatomi Native American woman Watseka or Watchekee born in Illinois and niece of Tamin the chief of Kankakee Potawatomi Indian tribe
Jackson County
   has the county seat   
Murphysboro
Formed out of Randolph County in 1816 -- named for Andrew Jackson the victor at the Battle Of New Orleans Louisiana in 1815 -- R. Buckminster Fuller, American architect, author, poet and inventor taught in 1950s-1970s at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale -- record producer Kurt "Kobane" Couthon was born in Carbondale as was Lori Metcalf of "Roseanne" and "Desperate Housewives"
Jasper County
   has the county seat   
Newton
Formed out of Clay and Crawford Counties in 1831 -- named for William Jasper of South Carolina who was a valiant defender of Fort Moultrie in 1776 -- Burl Ives, American folksinger, author and actor was born in Jasper County. He won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in "The Big Country" in 1958 -- He was the vocalist and narrator on television's "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" in 1964
Jefferson County
   has the county seat   
Mt. Vernon
Formed out of White, Edwards, and Franklin Counties in 1819 -- named for Thomas Jefferson -- in 1848 the Illinois Supreme Court was relocated to Mt. Vernon -- Mt. Vernon was located on the Goshen Road, the main road in the early 1800's in IL which ran from The Goshen Settlement near Glen Carbon, IL near the Mississippi River to Old Shawneetown, IL on the Ohio River.
Jersey County
   has the county seat   
Jerseyville
Formed out of Greene County in 1839 -- named for the State of New Jersey where many of its early settlers came from.-- Jerseyville was the birthplace of American physicist and astrophysicist Arthur Scott King and current home of Congressional Medal Of Honor recipient and WWII veteran Russell E. Dunham
Jo Daviess County
   has the county seat   
Galena
Formed out of Henry and Putnam Counties in 1827 -- named for Major Joseph Hamilton Daveiss who commanded The Dragoons of The Indiana Militia at The Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811 -- General Ullysses S. Grant lived in Galena as did British-born Edward Dickinson Baker, the only sitting US Senator to die in battle in the US Civil War
Johnson County
   has the county seat   
Vienna
Formed out of Randolph County in 1812 -- named for Richard M. Johnson who was US Vice President under President Martin Van Buren and was a former Congressman from Kentucky
Kane County
   has the county seat   
Geneva
Formed out of LaSalle County in 1836 -- named for Elias Kane US Senator from Illinois and the first Secretary Of The State Of Illinois -- Elgin is the birthplace of actor Bruce Boxleitner and Factacularian Allan R. Matthes (both in 1950), phlanthropist Max Adler (Adler Planetarium) and Washington Post journalist Tom Shales
Kankakee County
   has the county seat   
Kankakee
Formed out of Iroquois and Will Counties by an act of the Illinois Legislature on February 11, 1853 -- named for the Kankakee River -- Kankakee was the birthplace of actor Fred MacMurray (tv's My Three Sons) (starred in movies The Absent Minded Professor, The Shaggy Dog, Double Indemnity, Rains Of Ranchipur, and The Egg and I)
Kendall County
   has the county seat   
Yorkville
Formed out of LaSalle and Kane Counties in 1841 -- named after Amos Kendall who was an advisor to President Andrew Jackson and was named US Postmaster General in 1835 -- Dennis Hastert former Speaker of the US House of Representatives and Conan Obrien's former sidekick Andy Richter both grew up in Yorkville
Knox County
   has the county seat   
Galesburg
Formed out of Fulton County in 1825 -- named for Henry Knox the first US Secretary Of War -- birthplace of author and historian Carl Sandburg in 1878 -- Galesburg was the site of the 5th Lincoln-Douglas Debate October 7, 1858
Lake County
   has the county seat   
Waukegan
Formed out of McHenry County in 1839 -- named for Lake Michigan -- boyhood home of comedian Jack Benny -- birthplace of science fiction authors Ray Bradbury and Kim Stanley Robinson and NFL legendary quarterback Otto Graham
LaSalle County
   has the county seat   
Ottawa
Formed out of Tazewell and Putnam Counties in 1831 -- named for the French explorer Robert de LaSalle -- "Wild Bill" James Butler Hickok was born in this county at Troy Grove, IL in 1837 -- Ottawa was the site of the 1st Lincoln-Douglas Debate August 21, 1858
Lawrence County
   has the county seat   
Lawrenceville
Formed out of Crawford and Edwards Counties in 1821 -- named for Capt James Lawrence famous for saying "Don't Give Up The Ship" while commanding the USS Chesapeake in 1813
Lee County
   has the county seat   
Dixon
Formed out of Ogle County in 1839 -- named for Lighthorse Harry Lee and Richard Henry Lee of patriotic fame during The Revolutionary War -- Dixon was the boyhood home of the 40th US President Ronald Wilson Reagan -- site of Fort Dixon where Abraham Lincoln joined the Illinois Militia during the Black Hawk War in 1832
Livingston County
   has the county seat   
Pontiac
Formed out of McLean, LaSalle and Iroquois Counties -- named for Edward Livingston who was a mayor of New York City, US Congressman from New York and Louisiana, US Senator from Louisiana and Secretary of State under President Andrew Jackson
Logan County
   has the county seat   
Lincoln
Formed out of Sangamon, Tazewell, McLean and DeWitt Counties in 1839 -- named for a physician and Illinois State Representative John Logan. He was the father of Union General John Alexander Logan during The Civil War -- author and poet Langston Hughes attended school in Lincoln -- birthplace of actor Terry Kinney a founder of Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago
Macon County
   has the county seat   
Decatur
Formed out of Shelby County in 1829 -- named for Nathaniel Macon who served in The Revolutionary War and was a US Senator from South Carolina during the 1820s -- Decatur was the home of Staley Starch Company which sponsored an NFL team named the Decatur Staleys who became the Chicago Bears under George Halas
Macoupin County
   has the county seat   
Carlinville
Formed out of Greene and Madison Counties in 1829 -- probably named for Macoupin Creek which flows through the county -- Carlinville was named for former Illinois Governor Thomas Carlin -- the largest collection of Sears Catalogue Homes (152) is in Carlinville
Madison County
   has the county seat   
Edwardsville
Formed out of Randolph and St. Clair Counties in 1812 -- named for The 4th US President James Madison and the Father Of The US Constitution -- Alton was the site of the 7th Lincoln-Douglas Debate October 15, 1858 -- Edwardsville is the 3rd oldest IL city incorporated in 1818 -- hometown of Mannie Jackson chairman and CEO of the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team
Marion County
   has the county seat   
Salem
Formed out of Jefferson and Fayette Counties in 1823 -- named for General Francis Marion "The Swamp Fox" of The Revolutionary War -- Salem was the birthplace of the American populist politician William Jennings Bryan in 1860 who was also US Secretary of State under President Woodrow Wilson
Marshall County
   has the county seat   
Lacon
Formed out of Putnam County in 1839 -- named John Marshall who was Secretary Of State under President John Adams and US Supreme Court Chief Justice from 1801-1835
Mason County
   has the county seat   
Havana
Formed out of Tazewell County in 1841 -- named for George Mason who was a member of the Virginia legislature and advocate of the Bill of Rights being added to the US Constitution
Massac County
   has the county seat   
Metropolis
Formed out of Johnson and Pope Counties in 1843 -- named for Fort Massac which was an early colonial era fort on The Ohio River -- Metropolis was planned in the 1850s as part of the Western District of Columbia with Capitol City, Kentucky to replace Washington, D.C. as the US Capital City -- declared by DC Comics in 1972 as Hometown of Superman
McDonough County
   has the county seat   
Macomb
Created in 1826 from The Military Tract, land set aside as a reward for veterans of The War Of 1812 -- named Thomas McDonough (MacDonough) victor in the naval battle on Lake Champlain over the British in 1814 -- Macomb is home to Western Illinois University -- NFL coach Red Miller coached at WIU -- Major League baseball player Phil Bradley played baseball at Macomb High School
McHenry County
   has the county seat   
Woodstock
Formed out of LaSalle and Cook Counties in 1836 -- named for Major William McHenry an Indian fighter in Tecumseh's War and the Blackhawk War -- Woodstock is the hometown of Factacular member Allan R. Matthes -- actor Orson Welles attended Todd School for Boys in Woodstock -- cartoonist Chester Gould lived in Woodstock and drew the comic strip Dick Tracy from his Woodstock home from 1931 to 1977
McLean County
   has the county seat   
Bloomington
Formed out of Tazewell County in 1830 -- named for John McLean a US Senator from Illinois -- Normal, IL was the birthplace of McLean Stevenson who was Lt Colonel Henry Blake on the TV series M*A*S*H -- Bloomington was hometown of US Vice President Adlai E. Stevenson and his grandson former Illinois Governor and US Ambassador to the United Nations Adlai E. Stevenson II
Menard County
   has the county seat   
Petersburg
Formed out of Sangamon County in 1839 -- named for Pierre Menard the first Lieutenant Governor of Illinois -- New Salem was the first place Abe Lincoln settled in Illinois just south of Petersburg -- Petersburg was hometown of lawyer and author Edgar Lee Masters
Mercer County
   has the county seat   
Aledo
Formed out of the "Military Tract" as a county in 1825 -- named for Doctor and General Hugh Mercer from The Revolutionary War who had died at the Battle of Princeton in 1777 -- country music singer Suzy Bogguss was born in Aledo
Monroe County
   has the county seat   
Waterloo
Formed out of Randolph and St. Clair Counties in 1816 -- named for James Monroe who was Secretary of War and the 5th US President -- Belefountaine and Peterstown were formed into Waterloo -- first settled in the 1780s
Montgomery County
   has the county seat   
Hillsboro
Formed out of Bond and Madison Counties in 1821 -- named for Richard Montgomery a General in the Continental Army who died trying to capture Quebec City in Canada in 1775
Morgan County
   has the county seat   
Jacksonville
Formed out of Greene and Sangamon Counties in 1823 -- named for General Daniel Morgan who was victorious over the British at the Battle of Cowpens in South Carolina in 1781 -- Jacksonville was hometown to Illinois Governor Joseph Duncan, US Civil War General Benjamin Grierson, US Senator Stephen A. Douglas -- birthplace of boxer Ken Norton
Moultrie County
   has the county seat   
Sullivan
Formed out of Shelby and Coles Counties in 1843 -- named for William Moultrie a southern General in The Revolutionary War and Governor of South Carolina
Ogle County
   has the county seat   
Oregon
Formed out of Jo Daviess and LaSalle Counties in 1836 -- named for Captain Joseph Ogle of The Revolutionary War who came to Illinois in 1785 -- sculptor Lorado Taft created a 50 ft statue called the Eternal Indian that overlooks the Rock River near Oregon -- statue is now known as Chief Black Hawk statue after the Sauk Indian chief.
Peoria County
   has the county seat   
Peoria
Formed out of Fulton County in 1825 -- named for the Peoria an Illiniwek people who lived in that area -- Peoria was the birthplace of comedian Richard Pryor and actor David Ogden Stiers. Nancy Brinker founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure and her sister Susan Komen were also born in Peoria.
Perry County
   has the county seat   
Pinckneyville
Formed out of Jackson and Randolph Counties in 1827 -- named for Oliver Hazard Perry who defeated the British at the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812 -- DuQuoin, IL was the home to the Hambletonian harness race from 1957-1980 and was named after Chief Jean Baptiste Ducoigne of the Illiniwek people
Piatt County
   has the county seat   
Monticello
Formed from Macon and DeWitt Counties in 1841 -- named for James A. Piatt who was a founder of the county -- Dr. William B. Caldwell created a senna and pepsin laxative in Monticello that was sold by the Pepsin Syrup Company (not Pepsi or Pepsi-Cola).
Pike County
   has the county seat   
Pittsfield
Formed out of Madison County in 1821 -- named for Zebulon Pike who led the Pike expedition in 1806 to map parts of The Louisiana Territory -- Pike's Peak in Colorado is named after him also
Pope County
   has the county seat   
Golconda
Formed out of Gallatin and Johnson Counties in 1816 -- named for Nathaniel Pope a cousin of Ninian Edwards the Illinois Territory Governor -- served as a territorial delegate to the 14th and 15th Congresses. Uncle of Daniel Pope Cook for whom Cook County was named
Pulaski County
   has the county seat   
Mound City
Formed out of Alexander and Johnson Counties in 1843 -- named for Kazimierz Pulaski, Polish soldier and politician and called "the father of American cavalry."
Putnam County
   has the county seat   
Hennepin
Formed out of Fulton County in 1825 - named for Israel Putnam who fought with distinction at the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775 and was a hero of the French and Indian War. The courthouse in Hennepin was built in 1837 and is the oldest county courthouse in Illinois still serving its original purpose.
Randolph County
   has the county seat   
Chester
Formed out of St. Clair County in 1795 -- named for Edmund Randolph the Governor of Virginia -- Kaskaskia was the capital of the Illinois Territory from 1809-1818 and the first capital of the State of Illinois from 1818-1820 -- Chester is the birthplace of cartoonist Elzie Segar who created the cartoon character Popeye in 1919
Richland County
   has the county seat   
Olney
Formed from Edwards County in 1841 -- named for Richland County, Ohio where settlers came from
Rock Island County
   has the county seat   
Rock Island
Formed out of Jo Daviess County in 1831 -- named for an island in the Mississippi River which is now called Arsenal Island -- in 1851 The Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad was founded here and later known as The Rock Island Line -- site of former village of Saukenuk where Chief Black Hawk was born
Saline County
   has the county seat   
Harrisburg
Formed out of Gallatin County in 1847 -- named for the Saline River and the springs from which salt was extracted in Gallatin County
Sangamon County
   has the county seat   
Springfield
Formed out of Madison and Bond Counties in 1821 -- named for the Sangamon River. Sangamon was a Pottawatomie word meaning "where there is plenty to eat" -- Springfield has been the third capital of Illinois since 1837 -- Springfield was originally called Calhoun until 1832 for Senator John C. Calhoun of South Carolina
Schuyler County
   has the county seat   
Rushville
Formed out of Pike and Fulton Counties in 1825 -- named for Philip Schuyler a member of the Second Continental Congress and later a US Senator from New York
Scott County
   has the county seat   
Winchester
Formed out of Morgan County in 1839 -- named for Scott County Kentucky
Shelby County
   has the county seat   
Shelbyville
Formed out of Fayette County in 1827 -- named for Isaac Shelby the first Governor of Kentucky 1792-1796 and 1812-1816 -- Shelbyville was home to Josephine Garis Cochran the inventor of the first dishwasher in 1883
Stark County
   has the county seat   
Toulon
Formed out of Knox and Putnam Counties in 1839 -- named for John Stark who was a commander of colonists from New Hampshire at the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775 and distinguished himself at the Battle of Bennington in 1777 -- Toulon was named after Toulon, Tennessee and Toulon, France
St Clair County
   has the county seat   
Belleville
Established as one of two counties in the Northwest Territory in 1790 -- named for Arthur St. Clair Governor of the Northwest Territory -- he served in the British Army under General Wolfe at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in Quebec during the French and Indian War -- later served in the Continental Army
Stephenson County
   has the county seat   
Freeport
Formed out of Jo Daviess and Winnebago Counties in 1837 -- named for Benjamin Stephenson who served as a representative of the Illinois Territory to the US Congress 1814-1816, he also served as a colonel in the Illinois militia during the War of 1812 -- Freeport was the site of the 2nd Lincoln-Douglas Debate August 27, 1858
Tazewell County
   has the county seat   
Pekin
Formed out of Peoria County in 1827 -- named for Littleton Tazewell who was a Senator to the US Congress from Virginia and later Governor of Virginia in 1834 -- actress Susan Dey of the Partridge Family and L.A. Law was born in Pekin
Union County
   has the county seat   
Jonesboro
Formed out of Johnson County in 1818 -- Jonesboro was the site of the 3rd Lincoln-Douglas Debate on September 15, 1858
Vermilion County
   has the county seat   
Danville
Named for the Vermilion and Little Vermilion Rivers that run through it -- Danville is associated with actors Dick Van Dyke, Donald O'Connor, Gene Hackman, Helen Morgan and singer Bobby Short and Major League Baseball player Robin Yount
Wabash County
   has the county seat   
Mt. Carmel
Formed out of Edwards County in 1824 -- named for the Wabash River that forms its eastern border -- Wabash is the English spelling of the French word Ouabache which was the name of the river. -- Brace Beemer, radio voice of the Lone Ranger was born in Mt Carmel in 1903 -- also playwright Mark Medoff (Children Of A Lesser God) was born in Mt. Carmel in 1940
Warren County
   has the county seat   
Monmouth
Formed out of Pike County in 1825 -- named for Dr. Joseph Warren who had sent Paul Revere and William Dawes to warn Lexington and Concord on April 18, 1775 -- he later died fighting in the Battle of Bunker Hill Jun 17, 1775
Washington County
   has the county seat   
Nashville
Formed out of St. Clair County in 1818 -- named for George Washington -- Nashville was the birthplace of US Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun in 1908
Wayne County
   has the county seat   
Fairfield
Formed out of Edwards County in 1819 -- named for General "Mad Anthony" Wayne -- he led troops for the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War and also led American troops in the Northwest Indian War 1785-1795 -- Fairfield is hometown to Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Kenneth Michael Kays
White County
   has the county seat   
Carmi
Formed out of Gallatin County in 1815 -- named after Captain Leonard White who as a Gallatin County legislator proposed moving the Illinois-Wisconsin border north of the southern tip of Lake Michigan
Whiteside County
   has the county seat   
Morrison
Formed out of Jo Daviess and Henry Counties in 1836 -- named for General Samuel Whiteside -- he commanded the Illinois militia in the Black Hawk War in 1832 and serving under him was Captain Abraham Lincoln -- Hugh Brannum, Mr Green Jeans on Captain Kangaroo grew up in Morrison
Will County
   has the county seat   
Joliet
Formed out of Cook, Iroquois and Vermilion Counties in 1836 -- named for Dr. Conrad Will, a business man and legislator who leased slaves from the South to work in his salt works in Southern Illinois -- first Dairy Queen Restaurant opened in Joliet in 1940 -- birthplace of actresses Mercedes McCambridge and Audrey Totter and NBA center George Mikan
Williamson County
   has the county seat   
Marion
Formed out of Franklin County in 1839 -- named for Williamson County, Tennessee and for Dr Hugh Williamson who served in the Revolutionary War and was later a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1787 from North Carolina
Winnebago County
   has the county seat   
Rockford
Formed out of Jo Daviess and LaSalle Counties in 1836 -- named for the Winnebago Indian Tribe -- this tribe was also know as Ho-Chunk and inhabited Wisconsin and Illinois -- Ho-Chunk comes from Hotcâŋgara a native word meaning "the big fish people" -- actress Susan St. James grew up in Rockford --birthplace of Jodi Benson, voice of Ariel in The Little Mermaid and Stewart Brand founder of the Whole Earth Catalog
Woodford County
   has the county seat   
Eureka
Formed out of Tazewell and McLean Counties in 1841 -- named for Woodford County, Kentucky and for General William Woodford -- led Colonial forces at the Battle of Great Bridge in Virginia on December 9, 1775 -- Eureka is home to Eureka College where President Ronald Reagan graduated in 1932


Facts contributed by:


Allan R. Matthes








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