Hancock County History
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. "Historical Encylopedia of Illinois, 1901"
WARSAW, the largest town in Hancock County, and admirably situated for
trade. It stands on a bluff on the Mississippi River, some three miles
below Keokuk, and about 40 miles above Quincy. It is the western
terminus of the Toledo, Peoria & Western Railway, and lies 116
miles west-southwest of Peoria. Old Fort Edwards, established by Gen.
Zachary Taylor, during the War of 1812, was located within the limits
of the present city of Warsaw, opposite the mouth of the Des Moines
River. An iron foundry, a large woolen mill, a plow factory and
cooperage works are its principal manufacturing establishments. The
channel of the Mississippi admits of the passage of the largest
steamers up to this point. Warsaw has eight churches, a system of
common schools comprising one high and three grammar schools, a
National bank and two weekly newspapers. Population (1880), 3105;
(1890), 2,721; (1900), 2,335. "Historical
Encylopedia of Illinois, 1901"
City of Carthage
Townships of: Appanoose,
Hancock, Pilot Grove, Prairie, Rocky Run, St. Albans, St. Mary's, Sonora, Walker,
Albans St. Mary's Sonora Walker
Warsaw Wilcox Wythe
of Fountain Green, Illinois
Landmarks of Hancock County
Pioneers of Hancock County, IL