Pope County, Illinois

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Pope County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. As of 2000, the population was 4,413. Its county seat is Golconda, Illinois[1]. It is, in population, the smallest county in Illinois.

The county was organized in 1816 from portions of Gallatin County and Johnson County and named after Nathaniel Pope, a Secretary of the Illinois Territory.



First permanent settlement in 1798 at the modern-day site of Golconda, operating as a ferry point across the Ohio River. Pope County was formed in 1816 from portions of Gallatin & Johnson Counties.

Pope County from the time of its creation to 1839

Pope County between 1839 and 1843

Pope County between 1843 and 1847, when its border with Hardin County was adjusted, bringing both to their present borders


The entire county is hilly and during rainy weather rivulets cascade down the hills in the park forming waterfalls of varying sizes and heights. The county contains Dixon Springs State Park, one of many state parks in the Illinois Shawnee Hills, and is part of the Shawnee National Forest. It is bordered to the south and east by the Ohio River, which marks the state's border with Kentucky.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 375 square miles (970 km²), of which 371 square miles (961 km²) is land and 4 square miles (10 km²) (1.01%) is water.

Major highways

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