An act was passed in 1825 to constitute a county to be called the county of Putnam. The act provided for including within the boundaries of the county a very considerable amount of territory in the northeastern part of the state. But the county thus proposed was not organized. The territory embraced in it was too large and though embracing Chicago was too sparsely settled to be organized as a county. That act was substantially disregarded.
By an act approved January 15, 1831, provision was made for establishing three counties, namely Cook, LaSalle and Putnam. It was under this latter act that Putnam County was organized. County officers were elected at an election held on the first Monday in March 1831 at the house of William Haws which was near the present village of Magnolia. Captain Haws as he came to be known in the Black Hawk War had removed to that locality from Sagamon County in 1826.
Putnam County became a .......part of the present but newer counties of Bureau, Stark and Marshall. The most territories of these newer counties having been detached or taken from Putnam County in 1837 and 1839 as to Bureau County and 1839 as to Marshall and Stark Counties. It would not be correct to say that all Bureau, Stark and Marshall Counties was organized as part of Putnam County. It is much more correct to say that much of the greater part of those counties, constituted a part of Putnam County as organized in 1831.
Prior to the organization of Putnam County, its present territory so far as it lies west of the Illinois may be said to have been attached to Peoria County for county purposes but really not part of Peoria County, though subject to its county government - and the part of Putnam County which lies on the easterly side of the Illinois river was for county purposes attached to Tazwell County after that county was organized in 1827 until Putnam County was organized in 1831. As to the present county buildings in Hennepin, it would probably be seen on examining the records of the county commissioners court that the court house was erected in 1838-9 and the jailhouse was erected at a later date.
The Putnam Record, Hennepin, IL
Front Page, September 1, 1915
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