Iroquois County, Illinois

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Iroquois County is a county located in the northeast part of the U.S. state of Illinois along the border with Indiana. It is the third largest county in the state in terms of area,[1] covering over 1,100 square miles (2,800 km2). As of 2000, the population was 31,334;[2] the 2009 estimate was 29,690.[3] The county seat of Watseka is located near the center of the county, which is the only county in the United States to be named Iroquois, after the American Indian people.[1]



Iroquois County was created on February 26, 1833 out of a portion of Vermilion County. It was named for the Iroquois River, which was itself named for the Iroquois people.[4] The first county seat was established at the town of Iroquois in 1837, though no official buildings were constructed there and offices were rented. Several other sites for the county seat were examined, and in 1839 it was moved to Middleport; a court house and jail were built there. There was a long battle between Middleport and Watseka (also known as South Middleport) as to which should be the county seat; in 1865, it was finally moved to Watseka.[5] The town of Middleport no longer exists, but there is a township of that name. A courthouse was built in Watseka in 1866 at a cost of $28,000 and included a jail in the basement; this building was expanded in 1881, and a new jail was built in 1893 just east of the courthouse.[6]

Notable people from Iroquois County include:

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