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

Counties of: McDonough, McHenry, McLean, Mercer, Monroe and Montgomery


McDonough county was formed from Pike county, in 1825, but not organised till 1829. It is situated in the centre of the military tract; is bounded north by Warren; east by Fulton; south by Schuyler; arid west by Hancock.

It is twenty-four miles square, with an area of sixteen townships, 576 square miles, and 368,640 acres.

Crooked creek and its branches water most of this tract. The eastern side of MeDonough county for eight or ten miles in width is prairie; the remainder is suitably proportioned into timber and Prairie of the richest quality. A tract of country, fifteen or twenty miles square, taken from the eastern side of Hancock and the western half of McDonough, is not excelled for agricultural purposes by any portion of the great valley.

Most of the streams have good mill seats for a portion of the year.

MeDonough county is attached to the fifth judicial circuit, sends one representative, and, with Hancock, one senator to the legislature.

The seat of justice is Macomb.


McHenry County was formed from Cook county, January, 1836, and is bounded north by Wisconsin Territory; east by lake Michigan; south by Cook; and west by Boone county.

It is about forty miles long and twenty-four miles wide, containing about 960 square miles. This includes only its land area. Its legal boundary extends east to the middle of Lake Michigan.

It is watered by the north branch of the Chicago, Des Plaines, Fox river and branches, together with Cache Mere, Crystal and other small lakes. Some of these lakes have limpid water, gravelly beds, with ridges of gravel and sand around them.

East side of Fox river, the soil approaches to a clay, while on the western side it is a rich, sandy loam. Timber abounds along the lake shore, and near the streams, with many beautiful groves and oak openings in the interior. It is similar in quality to Kane and Ogle counties. Limestone is plenty.

MeHenry belongs to the seventh judicial circuit, and is connected with Cook and Will counties in its representation.

The seat of justice is not yet located.


McLean County has Livingston and La Salle on the north; an irregular strip of country, and a corner of Champaign county, east; Macon, south; Sangamon touches it on the southwest; and Tazewell lies west.

It is from twenty-eight to forty-eight miles long, and forty-two to twelve broad, having 1,675 square miles.

One third of the eastern, and a portion of the northern side of this county is one vast prairie, and yet it has large tracts of the finest timbered land in the state. The timber is beautifully arranged in groves of various shapes and sizes, from those of fifteen or eighteen square miles, down to those of a few acres.

McLean county is watered by the Kickapoo, Sugar creek, and Salt creek, all which take their rise in the prairies of this county. The heads of the Vermilion river of the Illinois are found in the northeastern corner and those of Sangamon are on the eastern skirts. These streams furnish good mill seats when the water is not too low.

The country is elevated, moderately undulating, and of a rich soil. Where timber exists it is usually of excellent quality. Here are to be found oak of various species, walnut, hickory, ash, sugar maple, elm, hackberry, linden, cherry, and many other kinds. Papaw is frequently amongst the smaller growth.

Of the minerals, limestone is found on the branches of the Vermilion. Granite, in detached masses, or boulders, called by the settlers "lost rocks," and used for mill stones, are plentifully scattered over the country. Coal is found in several settlements.

McLean county sends two representatives, and, with Macon, one senator to the legislature.

The seat of justice is Bloomington.


Mercer county lies north of Warren; west of Henry; and south of Rock Island counties, and has the Mississippi on its western side.,

It is about thirty-two miles long and eighteen miles wide, containing about 550 square miles.

It is watered, by Edwards and Pope rivers, and the northern branches of Henderson river, along which are excellent tracts of timber, as there is on the borders of the Mississippi. Its middle and eastern parts. have extensive tracts of prairie.

It is said that the seasons are more uniform, the winters more severe, and the summers more pleasant than in the counties further south; but the frosts of spring do not injure the labours of the husbandman.

The soil is rich, undulating and excellent for farming.

Mercer is attached: to the sixth judical circit, and unites with Rock Island and Jo Daviess counties, in sending two representatives and one senator to the legislature.

The seat of justice is New Boston.


Monroe County was formed out of Randolph and St. Clair counties, in 1816. it is bounded north by St. Clair; east by St. Clair anth Randolph; South by Randolph; and west by the Mississippi. Its shape is. quite irregular; its average length is twenty miles; average width eighteen miles, containing about 360 square miles.

It is watered by Horse, Prairie de Long, and Eagle creeks. Tha American bottom, which is alluvion, runs through the county. adjacent to the Mississippi, and is divided into timber and prairie. On the. bluffs, the country is hilly and broken, with sink holes. . Around Waterloo, and New Design, and on the eastern border of the county, is considerable good land, and a mixture of timber and prairie.

Monroe county is attached to the second judicial circuit, and send one member to the house of representatives, and one to the senate.

The seat of justice is Waterloo.


Montgomery Cpunty was formed from Bond, in 1821. It is bounded north by Sangamon; east by Shelby and Fayette; south by Bond; and west by Madison and Macoupin counties.

It is thirty-four miles long, with an average width of twenty-seven miles, and has about 960 square miles.

It is watered by Shoal creek and its branches, some of the heads of the Macoupin, a branch of the South Fork of the Sangamon, and the Hurricane Fork, and is proportionably divided into timber and prairie. The surface is generaly highand undulating.

Montgomery county belongs to the second judicial cir cuit, and sends one member to the house of representatives, and, in connection with Bond one to the senate.

The seat of justice is Hillsboro'.

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