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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. (See Mormons,
Nauvoo.) 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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