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HANCOCK COUNTY, on the western border
of the State, bounded on the west by the
Mississippi River; was organized in 1825 and
named for John Hancock; has an area of 769
square miles; population (1900), 32,215. Its
early settlers were chiefly from the Middle
and Southern States, among them being I. J.
Waggen, for nearly sixty years a resident of
Montebello Township. Black Hawk, the famous
Indian Chief, is reputed to have been born
within the limits of Camp Creek Township, in
this county. Fort Edwards was erected on the
present site of Warsaw, soon after the War
of 1812, but was shortly afterwards
evacuated. Abraham Lincoln, a cousin of the
President of that name, was one of the early
settlers. Among the earliest were John Day,
Abraham Brewer, Jacob Compton, D. F. Parker,
the Dixons, Mendenhalls, Logans, and Luther
Whitney. James White, George Y. Cutler and
Henry Nichols were the first Commissioners
In 1839 the Mormons crossed the Mississippi,
after being expelled from Missouri, and
founded the city of Nauvoo in this county.
Carthage and Appanoose were surveyed and
laid out in 1835 and 1836. A ferry across
the Mississippi was established at
Montebello (near the present site of
Hamilton) in 1829, and another, two years
later, near the site of old Fort Edwards.
The county is crossed by six lines of
railway, has a fine public school system,
numerous thriving towns, and is among the
wealthy counties of the State. "Histor ical
Encylopedia of Illinois, 1901"
Population 2000: 20,121
County seat: Carthage
Named for John Hancock
Hancock County covers 795 square miles and
was organized in 1825
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500 Main Street
Carthage, IL 62321
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