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Revised 27 December 2010


Illinois is deemed the transportation center of the United States.  It was visited by French explorers in the late sixteen hundreds.  Many of the early hunters and explorers and those who passed through in times of war, returned to this area later to farm.  Illinois has deep rich soil and many rivers and streams, which made it ideal for settlement.

The first part of the area to be settled by permanent settlers (other than the Indians) came from North Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky.  They also came from the east from Maryland and Pennsylvania.   Settlers began to arrive in the northern portion of Illinois about 1825.  They generally came from the New England states.  As industrial growth began in Illinois, European emigrants flocked there by the thousands every month.  These furnished the man-power for the factories and industrial plants that sprung up along Lake Michigan. They came from Ireland, the south European countries,  and Germany, followed closely behind by the Poles, Italians, Swedes and Russians.

Illinois was part of the Northwest Territory which the United States obtained from Great Britain after the Revolutionary War.  It had been ceded by France in 1763 and became part of the United States in 1783.  It was organized as American Territory in 1787 and included the land north and west of the Ohio River, east of the Mississippi, and south of Canada.  Illinois became the third of five territories and other states were formed from that area.  Illinois became a territory in its own right in 1898 and our twenty-first state in 1818

Name Date Formed Parent County County Seat
Adams 1825 Pike Quincy
Alexander 1819 Johnson Cairo
Bond 1817 Madison Greenville
Boone 1837 Winnebago Belvidere
Brown 1839 Schuyler Mt. Sterling
Bureau 1837 Putnam Princeton
Calhoun 1825 Pike Hardin
Carroll 1839 Jo Daviess Mt. Carroll
Cass 1837 Morgan Virginia
Champaign 1833 Vermillion Urbana
Christian (Formerly Dane) 1839 Sangamon, Shelby Taylorville
Clark 1819 Crawford Marshall
Clay 1824 Wayne, Lawrence, Fayette Louisville
Clinton 1824 Washington, Bond, Fayette, Crawford Carlyle
Coles 1830 Clark, Edgar Charleston
Cook 1831 Putnam Orlando Park & Chicago
Crawford 1815 Edwards Robinson
Cumberland 1843 Coles Toledo
Dane 1839 Name changed in 1840 to Christian County
DeKalb 1837 Kane Sycamore
DeWitt 1839 Macon, McLean Clinton
Douglas 1859 Coles Tuscola
DuPage 1839 Cook Wheaton
Edgar 1823 Clark Paris
Edwards 1814 Madison, Gallatin Albion
Effingham 1831 Fayette, Crawford Effingham
Fayette 1821 Bond, Wayne, Clark, Jefferson Vandalia
Ford 1859 Clark Paxton
Franklin 1818 White, Gallatin Benton
Fulton 1823 Pike Lewistown
Gallatin 1812 Randolph Shawneetown
Greene 1821 Madison Carrolton
Grundy 1841 LaSalle Morris
Hamilton 1821 White McLeansboro
Hancock 1825 Pike, Unorganized Territory Carthage
Hardin 1839 Pope Elizabethtown
Henderson 1841 Warren Oquawka
Henry 1825 Fulton Cambridge
Iroquois 1833 Vermillion Watseka
Jackson 1815 Randolph, Johnson Murphysboro
Jasper 1831 Clay, Crawford Newton
Jefferson 1819 Edwards, White Mt. Vernon
Jersey 1839 Greene Jerseyville
Jo Daviess 1827 Henry, Mercer, Putnam Galena
Johnson 1812 Randolph Vienna
Kane 1836 LaSalle Geneva
Kankakee 1853 Iroquois, Will Kankakee
Kendall 1841 LaSalle, Kane Yorkville
Knox 1825 Fulton Galesburg
Lake 1839 McHenry Waukegan
LaSalle 1831 Putnam, Vermillion Ottawa
Lawrence 1821 Crawford, Edwards Lawrenceville
Lee 1839 Ogle Dixon
Livingston 1837 LaSalle, McLean Pontiac
Logan 1839 Sangamon Lincoln
McDonough 1830 Schuyler Macomb
McHenry 1836 Cook Woodstock
McLean 1830 Tazewell, Unorganized Territory Bloomington
Macon 1829 Shelby Decatur
Macoupin 1829 Madison, Greene Carlinville
Madison 1812 St. Clair Edwardsville
Marion 1823 Fayette, Jefferson Salem
Marshall 1839 Putnam Lacon
Mason 1841 Tazewell Havana
Massac 1843 Pope, Jefferson Metropolis
Menard 1839 Sangamon Petersburg
Mercer 1825 Unorganized Territory, Pike Aledo
Monroe 1816 Randolph, St. Clair Waterloo
Montgomery 1821 Bond, Madison Hillsboro
Morgan 1823 Sangamon Jacksonville
Moultrie 1843 Shelby, Macon Sullivan
Ogle 1836 Jo Daviess Oregon
Peoria 1825 Fulton Peoria
Perry 1827 Randolph, Jackson Pinckneyville
Piatt 1841 DeWitt, Macon Monticello
Pike 1821 Madison, Bond, Clark Pittsfield
Pope 1816 Gallatin, Johnson Golconda
Pulaski 1843 Johnson Mound City
Putnam 1825 Fulton Hennepin
Randolph 1795 Northwest Territory, St. Clair Chester
Richland 1841 Clay, Lawrence Olney
Rock Island 1833 Jo Daviess Rock Island & Carbon Cliff
St. Clair 1790 Northwest Territory Belleville
Saline 1847 Gallatin Harrisburg
Sangamon 1821 Bond, Madison Springfield
Schuyler 1825 Pike, Fulton Rushville
Scott 1839 Morgan Winchester
Shelby 1827 Fayette Shelbyville
Stark 1839 Knox, Putnam Toulon
Stephenson 1837 Jo Daviess, Winnebago Freeport
Tazewell 1827 Sangamon Pekin
Union 1818 Johnson Jonesboro
Vermilion 1826 Unorganized Territory, Edgar Danville
Wabash 1827 Edwards Mt. Carmel
Warren 1825 Pike Monmouth
Washington 1818 St. Clair Nashville
Wayne 1819 Edwards Fairfield
White 1816 Gallatin Carmi
Whiteside 1839 Joe Daviess, Henry Morrison
Will 1836 Cook, Iroquois Joliet
Williamson 1839 Franklin Marion
Winnebago 1836 Jo Daviess Rockford
Woodford 1841 Tazewell, McLean Eureka