Jo Daviess County, Illinois

County: Jo Daviess

State: Illinois

Lat/Long: 42.3500, -90.1833

The Illinois General Assembly created Jo Daviess County out of Henry and Putnam counties on February 17, 1827. The legislators named the new county “Jo Daviess” to commemorate Col. Joseph Hamilton Daviess, the United States Attorney for Kentucky who in 18o6 brought charges against Aaron Burr for treason, and who died in the Battle of Tippecanoe. County organizers selected Galena as the county seat. Between 1831 and 1839, the General Assembly reduced the county’s borders by carving out of Jo Daviess the new counties of Rock Island, Whiteside, Ogle, Winnebago, Stephenson, and Carroll. In July 1856, Abraham Lincoln visited Jo Daviess County, delivering a speech at Galena in support of John C. Fremont’s candidacy for president.

“An Act Establishing Jo Daviess County,” 17 February 1827, Revised Laws of Illinois (1827), 117-18; Newton Bateman and Paul Selby, eds., Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Jo Daviess County, ed. by William Spensley (Chicago: Munsell, 1904), 620, 630, 646-47; An Act to Establish Certain Counties; An Act to Create Certain Counties Therein Named; An Act to Organize the County of Carroll.