McHenry County, Illinois

County: McHenry

State: Illinois

Lat/Long: 42.3333, -88.4667

On January 16, 1836, the Illinois General Assembly created McHenry County out of Cook County and territory attached to La Salle County and named the new county in honor of William McHenry. In March 1837, the General Assembly appointed commissioners to locate a seat of justice for the county, and on May 10 the commissioners selected the town of McHenry. McHenry County residents became increasingly dissatisfied with the town of McHenry as the county seat, so, in February 1843, the General Assembly authorized the county to hold an election on removal. In September 1843, voters selected Centerville as the new county seat. In January 1845, the General Assembly, to quell doubts regarding the legality of the vote, permanently fixed the county seat at Centerville. In March 1845, the General Assembly changed the name of Centerville to Woodstock.

John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 32; An Act to Establish Certain Counties; An Act Supplemental to “An Act to Establish Certain Counties,” Approved January 16, 1836; “An Act to Authorise the Removal of the Seat of Justice of McHenry County,” 6 February 1843, Laws of Illinois (1843), 115-17; “An Act to Permanently Fix the Seat of Justice of McHenry County,” 2 January 1845, Laws of Illinois (1845), 198; “An Act to Change Certain Names Herein Mentioned,” 3 March 1845, Laws of Illinois (1845), 178-79; History of McHenry County Illinois (Chicago: Munsell, 1922), 1:44, 48, 53-54.