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.

Will County, Illinois

Will County Education, Geography, and HistoryWill County, Illinois Courthouse

Will County is a county located in the northern part of the state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it had a population of 677,560. Will County was created on January 12, 1836. The county seat is Joliet. The county is named for Conrad Will (1779-1835), physician, local businessman and longtime member of the state legislature.

Will County is one of the five collar counties of the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Will County Name

The county is named for Conrad Will, member of the Constitutional Convention of 1818 and member of the first nine Illinois General Assemblies.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Will County History

Will County was created on January 12, 1836 (Laws, 1836, p. 262) and was formed from Cook and Iroquois Counties. Present area, or parts of it, formerly included in: Cook County (1831-1836), Iroquois County (1833-1836), Vermilion County (1826-1836), Putnam County (1825-1827), Edgar County (1823-1825), Fulton County (1823-1825), Clark County (1819-1823), Pike County (1821-1823), Crawford County (1816-1823), Edwards County (1815-1816), Madison County (1812-1815), St. Clair County (1801-1812) and Knox, Northwest Territory (1790-1801).

The County was named for Conrad Will, a pioneer politician, Territorial Recorder of Jackson County, member of the Constitutional Convention of 1818, and member of the General Assemblies of the State from the first to ninth inclusive. The County Seat is Joliet (1836-Present)-Name changed from Juliet on May 24, 1845..

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 849 square miles (2,200 km2), of which, 837 square miles (2,168 km2) of it is land and 12 square miles (32 km2) of it (1.47%) is water.

Will county is located in northeast Illinois.The Kankakee River, Du Page River and the Des Plaines River run through the county and join on its western border. The Illinois and Michigan Canal and the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal run through Will County.

The 17,000 acre Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie is a US Forest Service park in the county. Channahon State Park and Des Plaines Fish and Wildlife Area are located in this county and part of Kankakee River State Park.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • North: DuPage County
  • Northeast: Cook County
  • East: Lake County, Ind.
  • Southeast: Kankakee County
  • Southwest: Grundy County
  • Northwest: Kendall County; Kane County


  • Governors State University is a 6,000-student public university located in University Park, Illinois.
  • Lewis University is a 5,200-student four-year private university located in Romeoville, Illinois.
  • University of St. Francis is a 3,300-student four-year private university located in Joliet, Illinois.
  • The county is in Community College District 525 and is served by Joliet Junior College in Joliet. Joliet Junior College was the first two year higher education institution in the United States.

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