Jackson County ILGenWeb

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Townships & Cities in Jackson Co

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Welcome to Jackson County ILGenWeb. Your ILGenWeb County Coordinator for Jackson County is Barbara Saxbury-Freeman. The county information is a little bare at the moment, however, with a little time this site will begin to take shape as a wonderful resource for those researching in Jackson County Illinois.

Contributions to this site are always welcome. Any and all contributions to the Jackson County ILGenWeb Project from this point forward will remain a permanent part of the ILGenWeb Project and USGenWeb Project for free access to future researchers. Unfortunately the prior County Coordinator removed all of the data that was contributed to Jackson County ILGenWeb in the past years and we are in the position of starting over. Any data you can provide would be greatly appreciated by all.

A Gazetteer of the States of Illinois and Missouri

by Lewis C. Beck, A.M.

Albany: Printed by Charles R. and George Webster; 1823.


Jackson county is situated in the southeastern section of the state. It is bounded north by Randolph county, east by Franklin, south by Union, and west by Randolph and the Mississippi river. Its length is 30 miles, with a medium width of 24; its area is 720 square miles.

This county is watered by Muddy river and its tributaries. - It is generally timbered land, although it contains many prairies. That part of the Mississippi which forms its western boundary, is, with few exceptions, high and rocky. Six or seven miles above the mouth of Muddy river, a chain of rocks extend across the Mississippi, and forms its bed and from the height of the banks on each side, and the immense masses of rock which are still to be seen rising from them, we are irresistibly led to conclude, that here was once a complete barrier to the passage of the water from the north. But as it is not our present intention to indulge in geological speculations, we shall only speak of things as they are. The Grand Tower, which is a perpendicular rock rising from the river at this place, is at present about 70 or 80 feet in height, but has the appearance of having been worn down. It consists of horizontal strata of sand stone, and corresponds in its appearance and its stratifications, with the banks of the Mississippi. The high bank which commences here, continues with little interruption to the mouth of the Kaskaskia river; sometimes presenting a bare perpendicular rock, with those numerous excavations and fanciful appearances, to which the boatmen have given the names of the 'Devil's tea table,' 'bake oven,' 'back bone,' &c.; at others, gently or abruptly sloping, covered with a light soil, and a scanty growth of cedars.

Muddy river, which meanders through the interior of this county, is navigable for a considerable distance, and affords to the inhabitants every facility for exporting their surplus produce. On this stream, near Brownsville, there is a saline, which has been leased for 10 years. It is not so extensive as the Ohio Saline, but is sufficiently so to supply this and the adjoining counties. A large body of good stone coal is also said to exist about 25 miles up this stream, from which the smith's in the vicinity receive their supplies, and some is even taken to New Orleans. Native copper, similar to that found on the Illinois near Peoria, has also been found on the banks of Muddy river. It appears, however, merely in the form of detached masses lying on the surface, and affords no evidence of the existence of that mineral in any quantity in the vicinity. On the margin of this stream are several beautiful prairies, which are very fertile and quite thickly settled.

Jackson county contains 1549 inhabitants, it is attached to the third judicial circuit; sends one member to the house of representatives, and one to the senate. Its seat of justice is Brownsville.

More off-site resources:

The History of Southern Illinois - Jackson County

Historical county information can be found on the Jackson County Fact Sheet on the Illinois State Archives website.

Jackson county was formed on January 10, 1816. The current county boundaries include a total of 603 square miles of which 588 square miles are land and 14 square miles of water.

Jackson county was named after Andrew Jackson, Statesman and seventh President of the United States.

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