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

Counties of: Vermilion, Wabash, Warren, Washington, Wayne and White


Vermilion county was formed from Edgar, in 1826, and lies north of Edgar and Coles; east of Champaign; south of Iroquois, and west of the state of Indiana.

It is forty-two miles long, and about twenty-four miles wide, containing about 1,000 square miles.

Vermilion county is watered by the Big and Little Vermilion rivers, and tributaries, and contains large bodies of excellent land. In the eastern part of the county the timber predominates, amongst which is the poplar and beech. Along the streams are oaks of varicus species, hickory, walnut, linden, hackberry, ash, elm, and various other kinds common to Illinois. The soil of the prairies is a calcareous loam, from one to three feet deeps Their surface is generally dry and undulating.

The exports are pork, beef, corn, salt, etc., which find a convenient market at the towns on the Wabash, and down that river to New Orleans. In due time much of the produce of the Vermilion country will pass by the way of Chicago and the lakes; and up the Wabash, and through a canal to Lake Erie. It wouJd be no difficulty matter to open a water communication between the Wabash and Illinois rivers, and thus furnish an outlet for the productions of this part of the state in every direction. Population about 9,500.

It is attached to the fourth judicial circuit, and sends three members to the house of representatives, and, with Champaign, one to the senate.

The seat of justice is Danville.


Wabash County was formed from Edwards county, in 1824, and is bounded north by Lawrence; east by the Wabash river; south it terminates in a point between the Bon Pas which divides it from Edwards county, and Wabash river; and west by Edwards county.

It is eighteen miles long, and from ten to flfteen miles broad, with the eastern side irregularly curvated by the Wabash river. It has about 180 square miles.

Wabash county is watered by the Wabash river on its eastern, and Bon Pas creek on its western border, and Crawfish, Jordan, and Coffee creeks, from its interior.

It contains considerable good land, both timber and prairie, and a full proportion of industrious and thriving farmers. This county sends one member to the house of representatives, and, with Edwards and Wayne, one to the senate. It belongs to the fourth judicial circuit.

The seat of justice is Mount Carmel.


Warren county was formed from Pike county, in 1825, but not organised till 1830. It contains extensive tracts of first rate land, and several fine settlements. It lies on the Mississippi, north of Hancock and McDonough, west of Knox, and south of Mercer.

Its prominent stream is Henderson river and branches; Ellison, Honey, and Camp creeks are in Warren. The land on these streams is generally a little undulating, rich, and where timber exists, it is excellent. A number of good mill seats exist.

Much of the bottom in this county that lies on the river is low, subject to inundation, and has a series of sand ridges back of it, with bold and pointed bluffs further in the rear.

North of Henderson river is an extensive prairie, which divides it from Pope and Edwards rivers.

Warren county is about thirty miles in extent, and contains about 900 square miles. It belongs to the fifth judicial circuit, and with Knox and Henry counties, sends one member to each branch of the legislature.

The seat of justice is Monmouth.


Washington County was formed from St. Chair, in Ja nuary, 1818, and is bounded north by Clinton; east by Jefferson; south by Perry, and a corner of Randolph, and west by St. Clair. It is thirty miles long and from fifteen to twenty miles broad, containing about 656 square miles.

The Kaskaskia river runs along the northwestern side for eighteen miles, Elkhorn creek waters its western, Beaucoup and Little Muddy its southeastern, and Crooked creek, and some smaller streams, its northern portions. Considerable prairie, especially the southern points of the Grand prairie, is found in this county, some of which is rather level and wet, and of an inferior quality. A large body of timber lines the banks of the Kaskaskia river.

The produce of this. county is pork, beef cattle, and other articles common to the adjacent parts. The timber is oak of various kinds, hickory, elm, ash, and the timber common to the Kaslaskia river.

Washington county is attached to the second judicial circuit, and sends two members to the house of representatives, and unites also with Perry in sendiug one to the senate.

The county seat is Nashville.


Wayne County was formed from Edwards, in 1819, and is situated in the southeastern part of the state, and is bounded on the north by Clay; east by Edwards; south by Hamilton, and a corner of White; and west by Jefferson and Marion.

It is thirty miles long, twenty-four miles wide, and contains 720 square miles.

The Little Wabash passes through its eastern part, and Elm river and Skillet fork water the northern portions of the county. It is proportionably interspersed with prairie and woodland, generally of a second quality. The productions of this county for exportation are beef, pork, cattle, and some peltry, which are sent down the Little Wabash in flat boats to New Orleans, or find a market over land to Shawneetown.

Wayne county belongs to the fourth judicial circuit, and sends one member to the house of representatives, and, with Edwards and Wabash, one member to the senate.

County seat Fairfield.


White County was organised from Gallatin county, in 1815. It is situated in the south eastern side of the state. Its form is nearly square, about twenty-two miles in extent, containing an area of nearly 480 Square miles.

It is bounded north by Wabash, Edwards, and Wayne counties; east by the Big Wabash river, south by Gallatin, and west by Hamilton counties.

The eastern side of this county is washed by the Big Wabash, along which is a low bottom, subject to inundation; the interior is watered by the Little Wabash and its tributaries. The banks of these streams are heavily timbered, among which are oaks of several species, hickory, walnut, hackberry, elm, ash, and poplar. Between the streams are fine prairies most of which are cultivated; the principal of which are the Big, Burnt, and Seven Mile.

The exports of White county are pork, beef, and beef cattle, corn, flour, venison hams, horses, and some tobacco. Horses and cattle are sent in droves to the south, and produce descends the river to New Orleans from this and the adjacent counties, in large quantities.

There are three water mills in this county for flouring and sawing, which do good business.

White county is attached to the fourth judicial circuit, has a population of between six and seven thousand inhabitants, and sends two members to the house of representatives, and one to the senate.

The seat of justice is Carmi.

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