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

Counties of: Putnam, Randolph and Rock Island


Putnam County was formed from Pike county in 1825, but not organised for judicial purposes till 1831, when the boundaries were altered.

It is now situated on both sides of the Illinois river, and is bounded north by Ogle, and Whiteside counties; east by La Salle; south by Tazewell and Peoria; and west by Henry and a portion of Knox counties.

It is thirty-six miles long, and thirty six miles broad, besides a fractional portion in its south eastern part-and contains about 1,340 square miles.

The Illinois river enters this county on its eastern border, makes a large bend and passes out at its southern side. The Bureau, Crow, and some smaller streams enter the Illinois within this county, and Spoon river waters its western border.

Some of the finest lands in the state are in this county; beautiful groves of timber, and rich, undulating, and dry prairies.

There are a number of large settlements of industrious and thrifty farmers, amongst which are Bureau Grove, Ox Bow Prairie, Knox's settlement, Spoon river settlement, and Strawn's settlement. Population about 4,800.

There are many fine springs in the county, and excellent mill seats on the streams.

Besides oaks of several species, there are most of the varieties of timber common to the state, as black and white walnut, sugar maple, blue, white, and hoop ash, elm, cherry, aspen, iron wood, buckeye, linden, locust, mulberry, etc.

Lime stone, sand stone, free stone and bituminous coal, are its principal mineral productions, and in sufficient quantities.

Produce will be sent down the Illinois river in steam boats from Hennepin.

A few tracts of prairie in this country are level and wet, and there are some small ponds and swamps in the northern part.

In this county are three Presbyterian, two Baptist, one Congregational, and three or four Methodist societies, a county Bible society that has twice supplied all the destitute with Bibles, a temperance society, a county Sunday School Union, ten Sunday schools, a county lyceum, and several other philanthropic societies.

Putnam county belongs to the sixth judicial circuit, and sends one representative, and with Peoria one senator to the legislature.

The seat of justice is Hennepin.


Randolph County was formed before the organisation of the territory of Illinois, and is the oldest county, except St. Clair, in the state.

It is bounded north by Monroe, St Clair, and Washington counties; east by Perry; south by the Mississippi river and a corner of Jackson county; and west by the Mississippi.

Its medium length and breadth is about twenty-four miles, though from curvatures of the Mississippi, it contains but about 540 square miles.

It is watered by the Kaskaskia river, and St. Mary, Horse, and some smaller creeks. The soil is of various kinds; from first rate to indifferent, and has a diversity of surface, from the low alluvion, and the undulating prairie, to the rugged bluffs and abrupt precipices.

Randolph county belongs to the second judicial circuit, sends two members to the house of representatives, and one to the senate.

County seat, Kaslaskia.


Rock Island is a small irregularly shaped county, formed from portions of Mercer and Jo Daviess counties, in 1831, but subsequently organised by the judge of the fifth judicial circuit. The boundaries of this county, as defined by law, begin "at the middle of the main channel of the Mississippi, where the north line of township fifteen north intersects the same; thence east, to the fourth principal meridian; thence north, with said meridian, to the middle of the main channel ot Rock river; thence up said channel to the confluence of the Marais d' Ogee slough or creek; thence along said slough to the middle of the Mississippi river, and down that channel to the place of beginning." It contains about 400 square miles. Rock river, and some minor streams, water this county. Rock Island, in the Mississippi, is included in this county. The soil along the Mississippi for twenty-five miles is alluvion, sandy, and rich, including the site of the old Sauk village. There is much good land in the interior of the county, between the rivers.

This county elects a senator and representative in conjunction with Jo Daviess and Mercer.

The county seat is Stephenson.

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