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Hancock County History

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. (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"


1874 Directories
City of Carthage
Townships of: Appanoose, Augusta, Carthage, Hancock, Pilot Grove, Prairie, Rocky Run, St. Albans, St. Mary'sSonora, WalkerWilcox  



Township Histories
Appanoose  Augusta  Bear Creek  Carthage  Chili  Dallas City  Durham  Fountain Green  Hancock  
Harmony  La Harpe  Montebello  Nauvoo  Pilot Grove  Pontoosuc  Prairie  Rock Creek  Rocky Run  
St. Albans  St. Mary's  Sonora  Walker  Warsaw  Wilcox  Wythe  


Reminiscences of Fountain Green, Illinois


Early Landmarks of Hancock County

Prairie Pioneers of Hancock County, IL

Early Courts

History of Pulaski
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