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

Counties of: Whiteside, Will, Winnebago and the New Counties.


Whiteside County was formed from Jo Daviess in January, 1836, and is bounded north by that county; east by Ogle; south by Henry and Putnam, and west by Rock Island county, and the Mississippi river.

It is from 27 to 36 miles long, and about 24 miles wide containing about 770 square miles.

It is watered by Rock river, which passes diagounally through it, Little Rock, Marais d’ Ogee lake and Swamp that divide it from Rock Island county, Cat-tail swamp, and several small streams.

It has some tracts of heavy timber along Rock river and Little Rock, besides groves, copses, and brushy swamps. Some of its prairie land is fiat, while other portions are beautifully undulating and rich. Its population is yet small, and in its judicial and representative connections, it is attached to Jo Daviess county.


Will County was formed from portions of Cook and Iroquois counties in January, 1836, rather irregularly shaped on its northern side, and is bounded north by Cook; east by the state of Indiana; south by Iroquois, and west by La Salle.

It is from 30 to 24 miles from north to south, and from 12 to 38 miles from west to east; and contains about 1228 square miles.

Its timber is in detached portions in groves and along the water courses of the strearns;—in some parts are large bodies; in other parts are extensive prairies. Much of Will county is excellent, first rate land.

It is watered by the Kankakee and branches, the Des Plaines, Du Page, Hickory, Forked, Rock, Soldier, Hawkins and Dennis creeks, and some of the tributaries of the Calumet. The Illinois and Michigan Canal will pass along the Valley of the Des Plaines.

Will county belongs to the seventh judicial circuit and is united with Cook county in its representation to the legislature.

The seat of justice is Juliet.


Winnebago County was formed from Jo Daviess and the attached portion of La Salle county in January, 1836, from which parts of Stephenson and Boone counties have since been detached. It, is bounded north by Wisconsin territory, east by Boone, south by Ogle, and west by Stephenson.

It is 24 miles long and 21 miles broad, having about 504 square miles. Rock river passes through it from north to south; the Peekatonokee comes in on its western border and enters Rock river in township 46 north; Kishwaukee waters its southeastern part and enters Rock river in township 43 north, besides some smaller streams. There is much excellentiand in Winnebago county;—the timber is in groves and detached portions, and the prairies undulating and abundantly rich. Rock river furnishes immense water power, especially at Rockford, and all the streams abound in good mill seats. The Polish emigrants receive their lands, granted by Congress, in this county.

Winnebago county belongs to the sixth judicial circuit and is attached to Jo Daviess county in its representation.

The county seat is not yet permanently located.


Besides several new counties formed at the last session of the legislature, and which are placed in alphabetical order, provision was made by law for the formation of the following counties on eondition that a majority of the voters in the counties from which they were detached, at an election provided to be held subsequently, should decide in favour of such organisation.

Coffee County to be formed chiefly from Putnam with two townships from Knox, and one from Henry county, and will be bounded on the north by Putnam and Henry; east by Putnam; south by Peoria, and west by Knox and Henry; being 18 miles square, and containing 324 square miles.

It is watered by Spoon river and its branches, and contains excellent land valuable timber on the large streams and in groves, and rich, undulating prairies. Much of the county will, admit of a dense population.

De Kalb county, to be formed from the western part of Kane county, will be bounded north by Boone; east by Kane; south by La Salle,. and west by Ogle county. It will be 36 miles long, and 18 broad, containi.ng 648 square miles. It is watered by the south branches of the Kishwaukee, Wabonsic, Morgan and Blackberry creeks, and some smaller streams.

The timber resembles that of the adjacent counties, and is in groves, and scattered portions of oak openings. The surface generally is undulating, and the soil rich.

Michigan County, to be formed fronithe western part of Cook county, will be bounded north by McHenry; east by Cook; south by Will, and west by Kane county. It will be 30 miles long, and 24 miles broad, with an additional township at its southeastern corner. Fox river and its branches will water its western and northwestern portions, the heads of the Du Page its southwestern, Des Plaines will run through its southeastern corner, and Salt creek and Flag creek its eastern side.

The southern portion of this county is a superior region with some large groves of timber and rich, undulating prairie. Along Fox river are cedar cliffs, and in the northeastern and middle portions are extensive prairies.

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