Bureau County, Illinois

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Bureau County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. As of the 2000 census, the population was 35,503. Its county seat is Princeton, Illinois[1]. Bureau County is part of the OttawaStreator Micropolitan Statistical Area. Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park is located partly in this county.



Bureau County was organized out of Putnam County in 1837. It is named for Michel or Pierre Bureau. Their original surname was probably Belleau, but local aboriginals may have had difficulty pronouncing the "l" sound. One or both of the brothers ran a trading post near where Big Bureau Creek empties into the Illinois River from 1776 until 1780 or 1790.[2][3]

Like so many other areas in the Midwest, this county was on a "line" of the Underground Railroad. There was a "station" at the home of Owen Lovejoy in Princeton, as well as several other locations throughout the county.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 873 square miles (2,261.1 km2), of which 869 square miles (2,250.7 km2) is land and 5 square miles (12.9 km2) (0.54%) is water. Big Bureau Creek is the main body of water.

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