A Gazetteer of Illinois, In Three Parts.
By: J. M. Peck, A. M.
Published by: Grigg & Elliot, Philadelphia 1837

Counties of: Effingham, Fayette, Franklin, Fulton, Gallatin and Green


Effingham County was laid off by the legislature from Fayette county, in 1831, but did not become organised by the election of officers and the possession of county privileges till the commencement of 1833.

It is bounded north, by Shelby, and a corner of Coles; east by Jasper; south by Clay, and a corner of Fayette; and west by Fayette. It is twenty-four miles long, and about twenty-one broad-containing 486 square miles. It is watered by the Little Wabash river and its branches, and contains good second rate land, tolerably level. The bottom lands on the Little Wabash are rich, and heavily timbered, but are inundated for a day when the river rises so as to overflow its banks.

Effingham county, in union with Fayette, sends two members to the house of representatives, and with Fayette and Clay, one to the senate. It belongs to the second judicial circuit.

The seat of justice is Ewinglon.


Fayette County was formed from Bond, Edwards, Crawford, and Clark, in 1821, embracing a large extent of territory, extending northward to the Illinois river, which has since been formed into several counties. it is situated on the Kaskaskia river, and is bounded north by Shelby; east by Effingham; south by Marion, and a corner of Clinton; and west by Bond and Montgomery. It is about twenty-seven miles long, and twenty-four broad, with additional townships at the southeast and southern corners, and contains about 720 square miles. Vandalia the present seat of government for the state, is situated towards the southwestern part. Besides the Kaskaskia river, which passes through Fayette, it is watered by Hurricane fork, Higgin's, Ramsey's and Beck's creeks on the west, and by Big and Hickory creeks on the east. There is a heavy growth of timber in several parts of this county, especially along the Kaskaskia, and the Hurricane fork. Besides some prairies of convenient size, intersected with points of timber, about twelve miles in width of the eastern side of Fayette is in the Grand prairie.

The bottom lands of the Kaskaskia are low, subject to inundation, and contain many small lakes and ponds. The country around Vandalia is undulating and well timbered, and the soil is second rate.

The principal settlements in Fayette are Hurricane, Seminary township, Buckmaster's, Hall's, Brown's, Wakefield's, Haley's and Big creek.

There are several grist mills propelled by water power in the county, and a valuable steam saw mill at Vandalia, Fayette belongs to the second judicial circuit; and with Effingham, sends two members to the house of representatives, and with Effingham and Clay, one to the senate The population is estimated at 4100.

The seat of justice is Vandalia.


Franklin County was formed out of Gallatin, White, and an attached part of Jackson county, in 1818, and is situated in the southern part of the state. It is bounded north by Jefferson county; east, by Hamilton and Gallatin; south, by Johnson and Union; and west, by Jackson and Perry counties. It is thirty-six miles long and twenty. four miles wide; making 864 square miles. Franklin county is watered by Big Muddy river and branches, and and the south fork of Saline creek. The prairies are generally small and fertile, but rather too level; the timber is good and in abundance; the soil rather sandy. Its pro. ducts are similar to those of the counties adjoining, and it is capable of being made a rich agricultural county.

Franklin sends two members to the house of representatives, and with Jackson county, one member to the senate. Itis attached to the third judicial circuit.

The county seat is Frankfort.


Fulton County was formed from Pike county, in 1825, and is bounded north, by Knox, and a corner of Peoria; east by Peoria, and the Illinois river; south by the Illinois river, and Schuyler county; and west by Schuyler and MeDonough and a corner of Warren Counties.

The Illinois washes its southeastern side, and gives it an irregular shape. The Spoon river passes through it; and Otter creek waters the southwestern, and Copperas creek the northeastern portions.

It is from twenty-four to forty-two miles long, from north to south; and from twelve to thirty miles broad- containing 874 square miles.

Nearly one half of Fulton county is heavily timbered with the varieties that abound on the military tract; and much both of its prairie and timbered land, is of an excellent quality, it is in general well watered; the streams usually flow over a gravelly bottom, and furnish many good mill seats.

Its productions are and will continue to be similar to this region of country; and the Illinois and Spoon rivers will afford facilities to market. This. whole region on the Illinois must shortly become a wealthy agricultural country.

Fulton county belongs to the fifth judicial circuit, and, with Knox and Henry, sends two members to the house of representatives, and one member to the senate. Population about 7000.

County seat Lewiston.


Gallatin County joins the Wabash and the Ohio, in the southeastern corner of the state, and was organised in 1812. It is bounded north by White county; east by the states of Indiana and Kentucky; south by Pope county; and west by Pope, and Franklin counties.

It is from thirty to thirty-six miles long, and with a medium width of twenty-seven miles-containing about 760 square miles.

Its eastern boundary is washed by the Wabash and Ohio rivers, and the interior watered by the Saline creek and its tributaries.

Sand predominates in the soil of this part of the state. The basis rock generally is sandstone, lying probably upon a stratum of clay slate.

This county is mostly covered with timber, amongst which are various kinds of oak, walnut, poplar, mulberry, hickory, beech, cypress, and the other kinds found in this part of the state.

The salines, in the vicinity of Equality, are sources of wealth; and furnish large quantities of salt for home consumption.

Other articles of export, are horses, beef, pork, cattle, lumber, some tobacco, etc. About one half of the salt manufactured at the salines is exchanged for corn, corn meal, flour, beef, pork, potatoes, and every species of produce raised in the country, to support the establishment.

This part of the state is well adapted to the growth of stock.

Gallatin county contains about 9,750 inhabitants. It is attached to the third judicial circuit, and sends three members to the house of representatives, and one member to the senate.

Shawneetown is an important commercial town on the Ohio.

The seat of justice is Equality.


Greene County was formed from Madison, in January, 1821; and is bounded on the north by Morgan; east by Macoupin; south by Madison and the Mississippi river, and west by the Illinois river, which separates it from Calhoun and Pike counties.

Its medium length is thirty-eight miles; width, twenty-four miles; superficial cantents 912 square miles. The Illinois and Mississippi washes its western arid a portion of its southern borders; Apple and Macoupin creeks pass through it.

The banks of the Mississippi in the southern parts of this county are generally composed of perpendicular cliffs, varying in height from 80 to 200 feet, consisting of horizontaistrata of lime and sandstone; frequently imbedded with coal. The latter does not show itself at the face of the cliffs, but is found in great abundance a short distance from it. These cliffs commence at Alton, and extend along the Mississippi and Illinois rivers to the northern part of the county; sometimes, however, receding several miles east, leaving a low and fertile alluvion which is usually timbered on the banks of the river, and a prairie surface towards the bluffs.

Greene county has much excellent land, both timber and prairie; the surface approaches nearer to a level than the counties further north, with proportionate quantities of timber and prairie, The population about 13,500.

Greene county is attached to the first judicial circuit, and sends three members to the house of representatives, and one to the senate, and unites with Calhoun in sending one additional representative and senator.

The seat of justice is Carollton.

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