Header Graphic

Exerpt: Portrait & Biographical Album of WS Cty, IL 1885

pg. 834

How Whiteside Missed Forming a Part of the State of Wisconsin

Few of the present generation know that it was the desire of probably the greater number of the early settlers that Whiteside County should form a part of Wisconsin Territory and that at an election held in 1841 the question of a seperation was voted upon. According to an ordinance of Congress in relation to the government of the Northwestern Territory, the northern boundary of Illinois should be a direct line west from the southern bend of Lake Michigan. This would have brought nearly the whole of Whiteside County in Wisconsin Territory. By the ordinance the line could not be changed without the consent of the orginal States and the people of the Northwest Territory. Notwithstanding this section of the ordinance, the line was changed by an act of Congress, without the consent of the people, the object being to enable the State of Illinois to have the benefit of the lake. Meetings were held throughout. Northern Illinois of those favoring the original line. The desire to form a part of Wisconsin was intensified by the fact that Illinois had becomre, as it was supposed, almost hopelessly in debt. State paper was worth but about 15 cents on the dollar. Wheat at this time was worth but 25 cents per bushel and pork $1 per hundred, and no market nearer than Chicago. The prospect was indeed gloomy, and it is but little wonder the citizens of Norther Illinois were willing to do anything honorable to change their condition. Notwithstanding the dsire of the people for annexation and the hearty co0operation of the people and authorieties of Wisconsin, the effort failed. The State debt was provided for, an era of prosperity set in, and it is doubtful if there could many be found to advocate annexation at this time. Whieside Coutny is one of the banner counties of the State of Illinois.

TAMPICO AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY - MUSEUM - FAMILY HISTORY LIBRARY/RESEARCH CENTER  119 Main St., P. O. Box 154,  Tampico, IL  61283   www.tampicohistoricalsociety.com   tampicoareahistory@gmail.com  We are an all-volunteer organization so your donations are always appreciated!  Sign up to receive our e-newsletter. Thank you!  Visit us on FACEBOOK.