Hancock County, Illinois 



Formed from Pike Co., 1825.1 Described in 1837 as predominantly prairie and “deficient in timber.”2 Early settlers came mainly from mid-Atlantic and southern states.3 Population in 1835 about 3,200; in 1840 about 9,900; and in 1844 at least 15,000.4 Carthage designated county seat, 1833.5 Included town of Commerce (later Nauvoo) where Latter-day Saints settled, 1839, following expulsion from Missouri.6 Saints also settled in at least sixteen other communities throughout county.7 Mob shot and killed JS and brother Hyrum while they were imprisoned in Carthage, 27 June 1844.8