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Boone County, IL

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A Very Brief History of Boone County, Illinois

Boone County, Illinois, was organized from Winnebago County on March 3, 1836, being named in honor of Kentucky's pioneer, Daniel Boone. However, its present boundaries were not gained until May 4, 1843, when a mile-wide strip was annexed to the western border from Winnebago County.

Boone County is bordered on the north by Wisconsin (Rock and Walworth Counties), on the south by DeKalb County, on the east by McHenry County, and on the west by Winnebago County. In 1850, there were eight townships: Belvidere, Benton (previously Fairfield and then Flora), Boone, Bonus, Caledonia, Leroy (previously Beaver), Manchester and Ohio (later renamed as Spring). Poplar Grove township was eventually created from parts of Boone and Caledonia townships.

Boone County is the smallest of the "northern tier" of counties, having an area of only 290 square miles. Before agriculture was introduced, its surface was chiefly rolling prairie. The earliest settlers came from New York and New England, and among them were included MEDKIFF, DUNHAM, CASWELL, CLINE, TOWNER, DOTY and WHITNEY. Later (after the Pottawattomies had evacuated the country), came the SHATTUCK brothers, Maria HOLLENBECK and Mrs. BULLARD, Oliver HALE, Nathaniel CROSBY, Dr. WHITING, H. C. WALKER, and the NEELEY and MAHONEY families.

The first frame house in the county was erected by S. F. DOTY and stood for fifty years in the village of Belvidere on the north side of the Kishwaukee River.

The County-seat, belvidere, was platted in 1837, and an academy built soon after. The first Protestant church was a Baptist society under the pastorate of Rev. Dr. King.

(Taken from The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Harley Haskin's transcription of the 1850 Federal Census of Boone County, Illinois)

Neighboring Counties
Winnebago | DeKalb | McHenry | Ogle | Kenosha | Rock | Walworth

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