Illinois Counties
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Illinois Counties

There are one hundred and two counties in Illinois. St. Clair County was the first county established in what is today Illinois. Most counties in Illinois were named after early American leaders, especially of the American Revolutionary War, as well as soldiers from the Battle of Tippecanoe and the War of 1812.

Pope County, Illinois

Pope County Education, Geography, and HistoryPope County, Illinois Courthouse

Pope County is a county located in the state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it had a population of 4,470, making it the second-least populous county in Illinois. The county was created in 1816. The county seat is Golconda. Pope county is named after Nathaniel Pope, a Secretary of the Illinois Territory.

Etymology - Origin of Pope County Name

The county is named after Nathaniel Pope, first territorial Secretary of State (1809-1816).


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Pope County History

Pope County was created on January 10, 1816 (Territorial Laws, 1815-1816, p. 66) and was formed from Gallatin and Johnson Counties. Present area, or parts of it, formerly included in: Gallatin County (1812-1816), Randolph County (1801-1812), Johnson County (1812-1816) and Knox, Northwest Territory (1790-1801).

The County was named for Nathaniel Pope, first Territorial Secretary of State (1809-1816), and last Territorial Delegate to Congress from Illinois.. The County Seat is Golconda. Prior County Seats was Sarahsville- Name changed to Golconda on June 24, 1817 (1816-1817) and Golconda (1817-Present).

Geography: Land and Water

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.

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 375 square miles (970 km2), of which, 371 square miles (961 km2) of it is land and 4 square miles (10 km2) of it (1.01%) is water.

Pope county is located in south Illinois. The entire county is hilly. Dixon Springs State Park and Golconda Marina State Recreation Area are located in this county.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • North: Saline County
  • Northeast: Hardin County
  • Southeast: Livingston County, Ky.
  • Southwest: Massac County
  • West: Johnson County
  • Northwest: Williamson County


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