Pike County Illinois GenWeb

Dedicated to providing free information for family historians searching for their roots in Pike County, Illinois.

History of Pike County, Illinois

Pike County, situated in the western por-tion of the State, lying between the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers, having an area of 795 square miles — named in honor of the explorer, Capt. Zebulon Pike The first American settlers came about 1820. and, in 1821, the county was organ-ized, at first embracing all the country north and west of the Illinois River, including the present county of Cook. Out of this territory were finally organized about one fourth of the counties of the State. Coles' Grove (now Gilead, in Calhoun County) was the first county-seat, but the seat of justice was removed, in 1824, to Atlas, and to Pittsfield in 1833. The surface is undulating, in some portions is hilly, and diversified with prairies and hardwood timber. Livestock, cereals and hay are the staple products, while coal and Niagara limestone are found in abundance. Population (1890), 31,000; (1900), 31,595. [Illinois Encyclopedia]