Bond County Historical Society
Greenville, Illinois

Bond County – A Brief History

Before Illinois became a territory in 1809, the first settlers arrived in Bond County in 1806. This family was the Reeves family and they were followed shortly by the Greene family. The first “community” was Jones’ Fort built before 1808. It was later renamed Greene’s Fort. Hill’s Fort was established around 1811 by Samuel Hill. It was established as the county seat for four months until a sight near Hurricane Creek, know as Perrysville, was chosen for the permanent seat. This was also the sight of the first election in Bond County.

Bondcountych The cornerstone for the present Bond County Court House was laid June 4, 1884. It was designed by W. R. Parsons of Quincy, Illinois and it cost $20,000. The dormer windows, cupola and chimney caps were removed for maintenance reasons prior to World War II. The building was also covered with stucco and painted gray. Fortunately, the stucco was of such poor quality it soon had to be removed. The county board has been more careful since that time, and although many remodeling projects have taken place since the 1940’s, much care has been taken to preserve original trims, woodwork, and Victorian details of the structure.

Until 1817, Bond County was part of Madison County. On January 4, of that year, the Illinois Territorial Legislature voted to establish a new county and name it after its territorial governor, Shadrach Bond. Bond County was 24 miles wide and six hundred miles long – bordered on the north by Lake Superior and stretching to six miles south of its present border. Vandalia, then the state capital, was part of the county. But as the state became more populated, it had to rescind its territory to other counties. Today, Bond County is one of the smallest counties in the state.

After the county was reduced to its present size, in 1821 it was decided to establish a new county seat. George Davidson donated twenty acres to the county for the new seat of justice and thus, Greenville was born.