Morgan Gounty, one of the most flourishing counties in the state, lying on the east side of the Illinois river,
was formed from the attached part of Greene, in January, 1823.
It is bounded north by Cass; east by Sangamon; south by Macoupin and Greene; and west by the Illinois river, which
separates it from Pike and Schuyler. it is thirty-four miles long; medium width, 'twenty-seven; area 918 square
The Illinois river washes its western border; Indian, Mauvaiseterre, Apple, Sandy, and several smaller creeks rise
within its borders, and pass through it, furnishing many good mill seats.
Morgan county is destined to become one of the richest agricultural counties in the state. In 1821, the tract of
country embraced within the limits of this county, contained only twenty families. In 1825, its population was
4,052; in 1830, it was 13,281; and now, is estimated at 20,000, without Cass county.
It is well proportioned into timber and prairie, well watered, and contains many extensive and well cultivated
farms. In this county are more than thirty mills for sawing and grinding, propelled by animal or water power. Seven
large steam mills are in operation, and two more have been commenced, and will be finished the present year.
Improved farms, in the populous parts of the county, sell for from ten to twenty dollars per acre; several towns
and villages have been commenced besides Jacksonville, which are in a thriving condition.
Emigration, attended with industry and enterprise, in a few fleeting years, has changed a region that we have seen
in all the wildness of uncultivated nature, into smiling villages and luxuriant fields, and rendered it the happy
abode of intelligence and virtue.
Morgan county belongs to the first judicial circuit, sends six members to the house of representatives, and three
to the senate.
The seat of justice is Jacksonville.
Ogle County was formed from Jo Daviess, and a part of the attached portion of La Salle, January, 1836. It is
from 36 to 42 miles long, and 36 miles wide;- containing about 1440 square miles.
Rock river passes diagonally through its northwestern portion. Winnebago Swamp and Inlet, and several other swamps
arein its southern part. Pine, Leaf, and Kite rivers, and several smaller streams, all of which empty themselves
into Rock river, furnish good mill seats. The timber is chiefly in groves, many of which are pecu iarly beautiful,
and of various shapes and sizes. Much of the surface is undulathg, the soil calcareous, deep and rich, and the
country is rapidly settling. The present population may be estimated at 1200.
Ogle county belongs to the sixth judicial circuit;-its representatice connection is with Jo Daviess and several
other counties. Its courts are held temporarily at Oregon city, but its seat of justice is not permanently established.
Peoria County lies on the west side of the Illinois river, about two hundred miles by water, and a hundred and
fifty by land, above the junction of the Mississippi. This county contains considerable tracts of excellent land.
Its principal settlements are Peoria, Kickapoo creek, La Salle prairie, Senatchwine, Prince's and Harkuess' settlements.
It is watered by the Kickapoo, the heads of Spoon river, Copperas creek and the Senatchwine.. On the Kic kapoo,
and on the shore of Peoria lake, for several miles, the timber is good but the prairie predominates.
Peoria county was formed from Pike county, in 1825, and is bounded north by Putnam; east by Tazewell; south by
Fulton; and west by Knox. It is about twenty-seven miles long, and has an average width of twenty-four miles-containing
about 648 square miles.
One of the principal roads to Galena passes through this county.
The surface of the land is moderately rolling; on the Kickapoo it degenerates into bluffs and ravines. In the western
and northwestern portion there is a scarcity of timber. Between Peoria and La Salle-prairie is heavy timber, from
two to five miles in width, and in places beyond the bluffs, in the bottom land adjoining the lake, are spots that
overflow; but, in general, it is fit for cultivation. The bottom timber consists of oaks of various species, white
and black walnut, ash, hackberry, locust and some hickory, buckeye, coffee nut, and grape vines.
Peoria County belongs to the sixth judicial circuit, and sends one representative, and with Putnam, one senator
to the legislature.
The seat of justice is Peoria.
Perry County was organised from Randolph and Jackson counties, in 1827, and is bounded north by Washington;
east by Jefferson and Franklin; south by Jackson; and west by Randolph. It is twenty-five miles long, from east
to west, and eighteen miles wide-containing 447 square miles.
The Big Beaucoup and its tributaries run through the middle of this county, from north to south, and the Little
Muddy touches its eastern border.
About one third of Perry county is prairie, tolerably level, good soil, and susceptible of immediate cultivation.
its productions are corn, beef cattle, pork, tobacco, and some cotton. This little county has sent to market many
fat steers and fat hogs per annum.
Perry sends one member to the house of representatives, and with Washington, one member to the senate. It belongs
to the third judicial circuit.
Pinckneyville is the seat of justice.
Pike County is the oldest, county on the military tract, and was erected from Madison and other counties, in
1821. It then embraced the whole country north and west of the Illinois river; but by the subsequent formation
of new counties, it is now reduced to ordinary size. containing about twenty-two townships, or 800 square wiles.
It is bounded north, by Adams; east, by Schoyler, and the Illinois river; south, by that river and Calhoun; and
west by the Mississippi.
Besides the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, which wash two sides, it has the Snycartee slough running the whole
length of its western border, which affords steamboat navigation to Atlas at a full stage of water. Pike county
is watered by the Pigeon, Hadley, Keys, Black, Dutch, Church, Six Mile, and Bay creeks, which fall into the Mississippi;
and Big and Little Blue, and the North and West forks of McKee's creeks, which enter the Illinois. Good mill seats
are furnished by these streams.
The land is various. The section of country, or rather island between the Snycartee slough and the Mississippi,
is a sandy soil, but mostely inundated land at the spring floods. it furnishes a great summer and winter range
for stocks, affording considerable open prairies; with skirts of heavy bottom timber near the streams. Along the
bluffs, and for two or three miles back, the land is chiefly timbered but cut up with ravines, and quite rolling.
In the interior, and towards Schuyler county, excellent prairie and timbered uplands are found especially about
the Blue rivers and McKee's creek. This must eventually become a rich and populous county.
In Pleasant Vale, on Key's creek, is a salt spring, twenty feet in diameter, which boils from the earth, and throws
off a stream of some size forming a salt pond in its vicinity. Salt has been made here though not in great quantities.
Pike county is connected with Adams and Hancock, and sends two representatives and one senator to the legislature,
and belongs to the fifth judicial circuit.
The seat of justice is Pittsfield.
Pope County was formed from Gallatin and Johnson counties, and is situated in the southern part or the state,
and is bounded north by Gallatin, east and south by the Ohio river; and west by Johnson county.
It was organised as a county, in 1816, by the territo rial government; and, after having been subsequently reduced,
is now thirty-six miles long, with a medium width of about sixteen miles, and an area of 576 square miles.
The Ohio makes a bend so as to wash its eastern and southern sides, and project into the interior. Big Bay creek
rises towards its northwestern corner, and, after entering Johnson county, turns again into Pope, and runs a southeastern
course to the Ohio. Lusk's creek, and some smaller streams. give it the character of a well watered county. It
is generally well timbered with the varieties that abound on that side of the state; the surface is tolerably level;
the soil of a good quality, but rather sandy.
Corn, beef, pork, oats, potatoes, horses, etc., are articles of exportation in considerable quantities.
Pope county sends one member to the house of representatives, and with Johnson, one to the senate. It belongs to
the third judicial circuit.
The seat of justice is Golconda.