McDonough County, Illinois, USA


Thomas McDonough (Macdonough) and Alexander Macomb were both heroes of the War of 1812. A statue honoring McDonough and Macomb is located in Chandler Park, Macomb IL.

Thomas McDonough was born in 1783 in Delaware. At age 17, he joined the US Navy. Alexander Macomb was born in Detroit in 1782, but spent most of his childhood in New York. At age 17, he joined a militia in New York City. Macomb continued his military career and was one of the first two students to complete formal training at West Point.

During the War of 1812, McDonough was a Commodore of the US Navy, while Macomb was appointed Adjutant General of the US Army. McDonough commanded the fleet of 14 vessels on Lake Champlain in their defeat of the British near Plattsburg, NY on 11 Sept 1814. Macomb and his force of less than 8000 faced nearly 11000 British troops at Plattsburg, NY. Macomb's troops were also victorious over the British at Plattsburg on 11 Sept 1814.

Prior to the land and naval battles of Lake Champlain (Plattsburg Bay), it appeared that the British were winning the war. McDonough's and Macomb's victories forced the retreat of the British from northeastern New York state into Canada. The British failure in the campaign along Lake Champlain led to the end of the War of 1812.

McDonough died 10 Nov 1825 while in command of the Mediterranean Squadron. McDonough County, Illinois was created less than two months later (25 Jan 1826). Macomb was named commanding general of the US Army in 1828 and remained in this position until his death in Washington, DC in 1841.


In 1973, citizens in McDonough County, enraged at being bypassed during distribution of Federal and State funds for public projects, organized the Republic of Forgotonia. The "capitol" of Forgotonia was the unincorporated community of Fandon in south-central McDonough County. The "Governor" of Forgotonia was Neil Gamm, a student at WIU.

History of Argyle Lake State Park

The state created Argyle Lake State Park in 1948 on 1500 acres of land. The 93-acre Lake was formed by placing a dam across Spring Creek across the old Argyle Hollow. The old hollow had been mined for coal, clay and limestone. A replica of a drift mine has been recreated in the park.

Sites on National Historic Register

The Welling-Everly Horse Barn, near Adair is of stick-style, Basilica Type Architecture and was built in 1882.

The Clarence Kleinkopf Round Barn, near Colchester is a true-round architecture, built in 1914.

The McDonough County Courthouse, Macomb, was built in 1872. The Second Empire Revival architecture structure is of limestone and red brick. The original Mansard Roof replaced in 1890

McDonough County - Part of the Military Tract

McDonough County, Illinois is in the center of the Military Tract, land set aside as reward for veterans of the War of 1812. The first land ownership in the county was initially granted to these veterans about 1818, although many of them sold their land rights to others. Land granted to veterans of the War of 1812. [More about the Military Tract] The newspaper the Bounty Land Register, first published in 1835, to advertise lands granted to veterans, is one of the ancestors of today's Quincy Herald-Whig newspaper.

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