Knox County, Illinois

County: Knox

State: Illinois

Lat/Long: 40.9333, -90.2000

On January 13, 1825, the Illinois General Assembly formed Knox County from Fulton County and unorganized territory attached to Fulton County. The General Assembly placed Knox County under the jurisdiction of Fulton County until the new county could gain enough population (350 by law) to organize. In 1830, the county had enough inhabitants to organize, and county leaders petitioned Judge Richard M. Young requesting permission to organize the county and hold elections. Judge Young agreed, and in July voters elected the first county officials. In January 1831, the General Assembly established the county seat at Henderson, which became Knoxville in 1832. In 1831, the General Assembly slightly altered the county’s boundaries, and in 1839 reduced them to their current limits. In 1858, Knox County was the scene of one of the Lincoln-Douglas Debates.

“An Act Forming New Counties out of the Counties of Pike and Fulton, and the Attached Parts Thereof,” 13 January 1825, Laws of Illinois (1825), 92-96; “An Act to Establish a Permanent Seat of Justice for Knox County, and for Other Purposes,” 15 January 1831, Laws of Illinois (1831), 62-63; “An Act to Change the Name of the County Seat of Knox County,” 22 December 1832, Private Laws of Illinois (1833), 23; John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 32; Albert J. Perry, History of Knox County Illinois (Chicago: S. J. Clarke, 1912), 1-19, 569; Newton Bateman and Paul Selby, eds., Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County ed., by W. Selden Gale and George C. Gale (Chicago: Munsell, 1899), 1:617-658, 723; Charles C. Chapman, History of Knox County Illinois (Chicago: Blakely, Brown & Marsh, 1878), 100-46, 409.