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

Counties of: Schuyler, Shelby, St. Clair, Stephenson, Tazewell and Union


Schuyler County was formed from Pike county, in 1825, and lies on the Illinois river, opposite Morgan county. It is bounded north by McDonough, and a corner of Fulton; east by Fulton, and the Illinois river; south by the Illinois river, and Pike; and west by Adams and a corner of Hancock.

The southeastern side is washed by the Illinois, the interior is watered by Crooked and Crane creeks, the south western by McKee's creek, and the northeastern part by Sugar creek.

Schuyler county is of an irregular shape, thirty miles long, and from eighteen to thirty broad-containing about 864 square miles.

Along the Illinois river is considerable land inundated at high floods, generally heavily timbered, as is more than one half of the county. The middle and northern portions are divided into timber and prairie of an excellent quality. Along Crooked creek is an extensive body of fine timber. Sugar creek also furnishes another body of timber eight or ten miles wide.

Schuyler county is attached to the fifth judicial circuit, and sends two members to the house of representatives, and one member to the senate.

Rushville is the county seat.


Shelby County was formed from Fayette, in 1827, and is bounded on the north by Macon; east by Coles; south by Effingham and Fayette: and west by Montgomery, and a corner of Sangamon.

It is thirty-six miles long and thirty broad-area, 1,080 square miles.

It is watered by the Kaskaskia atid tributaries.

Shelby county contains a large amount of excellent land, both timber and prairie, and is one of the best inland agricultural counties in the state.

Shelby sends one member to the house of representatives, and one to the senate. It belongs to the second judicial circuit. The population is about 5,500.

The seat of justice is Shelbyville.


St. CLAIR County is the oldest county in the state, and was formed by the legislature of the Northwestern Territory in 1794 or '95, and then included all the settlements on the eastern side of the Mississippi. It now lies on that river opposite St. Louis, and is bounded north by Madison county; east by Clinton and Washington; and south by Randolph and Monroe counties-containing 1,030 square miles.

The land is various, much of which is good first and second rate soil, and is proportionably divided into timber, prairie, and barrens. The prairies are distinguished as Looking Glass, Twelve Mile, Ogle's, Ridge, Bottom, and Du Pont prairies.

The streams are Cahokia, Prairie du Pont, Ogle's creek, Silver creek, Richland creek, Prairie de Long, and the Kaskaskia river.

Its timber comprises the varieties found on the western side of the state.

The exports are beef, pork, flour, and all the varieties in the St. Louis market.

Extensive coal banks exist in this county, along the bluffs, from which St. Louis is partially supplied with fuel. The quantity hauled there in wagons, in 1836, amounted to about 300,000 bushels. A railroad is now making from these mines to the river, opposite St. Louis, by a private company.

There are five steam mills in this county, besides a number propelled by water and animal power. Belleville and Lebanon are its principal towns. Cahokia and Illinois are small villages. The people of this county are a mixture of Americans, French, and Germans, about 10,000 in number.

St. Clair county belongs to the second judicial circuit, and sends one senator and two representatives to the legislature, and, with Madison and Monroe, an additional

The seat of justice is Belleville.


Stephenson County was formed from Jo Daviess and Winnebago counties, in February, 1837, and is bounded north by Wisconsin Territory, east by Winnebago county, South by Ogle and Jo Daviess, and west by Jo Daviess County.

It is 27 miles long, and 21 miles wide, containing about 560 square miles.

It is watered by the Peekatonokee and its tributaries on the north, and the heads of Plum river and smaller streams in the southwestern part.

The timber is mostly in groves; the prairies generally undulating and rich, with tracts of hilly barrens and oak openings. The population is not large, but rapidly settling, as are all the northern counties.

For judicial and representative purposes it is attached to Jo Daviess county.


Tazewell County was formed from Peoria county, in 1827. It is bounded north by Putnam; east by McLean; south by Sangamon; and has the Illinois river, along its northwestern border, which gives it a triangular form.

Its extreme length is forty-eight miles, and its extreme width fourty-two miles-containing about 1,130 square miles.

it is watered by the Illinois river, which extends the whole lengh of its northwestern side, Mackinaw, and its branches, Ten Mile, Farm, and Blue creeks, all which enter the Illinois, with some of the head branches of the Sangamon.

A strip of this county, consisting ,ostly of sandy prairies, puts down the Illinois river, and between that and Sangamon county. On the bluffs of the Mackinan and the other streams, the land is broken, and the timber chiefly oak; in other portions of the county it has an undulating appearance and has much good land.

Below Pekin, and towards Havanna, are swamps, ponds, and sand ridges. The south eastern portion of the county is watered by Sugar creek and its branches.

This will soon be a rich agricultural county. Pleasant Grove and the adjacent country is delightful.

Tazewell county belongs to the first judicial circuit, and sends one senator and two representatives to the legislature.

The county seat is Tremont.


Union County was formed from Johnson county, in 1818, and is bounded north by Jackson; east by Franklin; south by Alexander; and west by the Mississippi river.

It is twenty-four miles long, and from twenty to twenty-six miles broad, containing above 396 square miles, and is watered by Clear creek, some of the south branches of Big Muddy, and the heads of Cash river. A large bend of the Big Muddy projects a few miles into the county towards its northwestern portion, and some sloughs and ponds are found on the Mississippi bottom. Much of this county is high, rolling, timbered land. Here are found oaks of various kinds, hickory, white and black walnut, poplar, some beech, and other species of timber common to the country. There is considerable German population in this county.

Union county belongs to the third judicial circuit, and sends one member to the house of representatives, and, with Alexander, one to the senate.

The exports from this county are corn, beef, pork, horses, etc. Large quantities of produce from this county go down the river to New Orleans in flat boats.

The county seat is Jonesboro'.

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