Facts About Henderson County
Henderson County is located in the Mississippi River Basin in west-central
Illinois. It is bounded on the west by the Mississippi river and Iowa. Imagine acre upon acre, mile after mile
of corn fields with a bit of timber and a few sleepy rural towns mixed in and you will have a fairly accurate
picture of Henderson County. It is made up of gently rolling prairie with a few bluffs near the river. The soil
is a rich black loam over clay, which makes this a very fertile farming region. The primary crops are corn and
soybeans, but beautiful melons, apples and other fruits and vegetables are still grown. The climate is Mixed
humid, which means we experience hot, moist summers and VERY cold winters.
When our ancestors arrived in the area, they would have found the
same bit of timber and river bluff, but the bulk of the area would have been filled with tall prairie grasses. I
am sure that they were lured by the promise of that fertile soil and the river, which in the days before the
railroad existed was a major means of transportation and shipping. Aside from farming, shipping, hunting and
trapping, early industries included saw and flour mills. There were also Newspapers in the area in the 1850's
and I look forward to getting some of the information from them posted.
The Illinois motto is "Land of Lincoln" and he was an early visitor
in the county. Illinois originally belonged to the French and British. It was part of the NorthWest Territory.
Having been part of several other counties, lastly Warren, it became a county in it's own right in 1841. The
county seat is in Oquawka Illinois.
Townships and Villages in Henderson
Henderson County is broken down into eleven townships; Bald Bluff, Biggsville, Carmen, Gladstone, Oquakwa,
Raitan, Rozetta, Stronghurst, Terre Haute. There are six villages; Biggsville, Gladstone, Lomax, Media, Stronhurst
and Gulfport. There are six unincorporated areas; Olens, Hopper, Lone Tree, Carthage Lake, Decorra, and
These were most likely the original blocks, as they were surveyed. Within these township blocks, there may be
cities, towns, villages and "places or unincorporated areas." The names of these villages may have changed over the
years. Oquawka was first named Yellow Banks, as that is what the Indians called it; as it was a beach with yellow
sand. The area that is now known as Hopper, was first called Warren, then Hopper mills and now simply Hopper.
Dallas City is partiallly in Henderson county, but part of the town is located in another county. If you moved
across town in Dallas city, your County records may have moved to another county. Burlington (Des Moines) county
Iowa is just across the bridge, so that may be a resource for researching Henderson County ancestors.