Rock Island County, Illinois

County: Rock Island

State: Illinois

Lat/Long: 41.4500, -90.5167

On February 9, 1831, the Illinois General Assembly formed Rock Island County from Jo Daviess County. Legislators named the county for Rock Island, an island in the Mississippi River between Illinois and Iowa. The General Assembly placed Rock Island County under the jurisdiction of Jo Daviess County until the new county could gain enough population (350 by law) to organize. In 1833, the county achieved the requisite population, and in July voters elected the first county officials. From 1833 to 1835, the county seat was at Farnhamsburg. In June 1835, the county settled on the yet-to-be created town of Stephenson as the permanent county seat, and in November county officials moved circuit and county court records to the new home of county government. Stephenson remained the county seat until 1841, when the General Assembly added to the town and renamed it Rock Island.

"An Act to Establish Rock Island County," 9 February 1831, Laws of Illinois (1831), 52-53; The Past and Present of Rock Island County, Ill. (Chicago: H. F. Kett, 1877), 125-27; Portrait and Biographical Album of Rock Island County, Illinois (Chicago: Biographical, 1885), 687-88, 690; An Act to Incorporate the Town of Rock Island, in Rock Island County.