Named for Patrick Henry
Patrick Henry [1736-1799] was a lawyer, orator and statesman. Henry was the first and sixth governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. He was a member of the Continental Congress from 1774-76.
Established Seven Years after Illinois became a State
Formed from unorganized territory attached to Fulton County, Illinois on 13 Jan 1825. The original Henry County ran north to the border of Illinois and Wisconsin and included parts of present-day Carroll, Jo Daviess, Knox, Rock Island, and Whiteside counties.
In 1827, the formation of Jo Daviess County drastically reduced the size of Henry County to about half its present day area. The present borders of Henry County were not established until 1836, and until about 1837, Henry County was attached to Knox County.
Part of the Military Tract
Approximately the southern half of Henry County was part of the land granted to veterans of the War of 1812. [More about the Military Tract]