Have you ever heard of Nathaniel Greene?


Probably not. But there are 18 American counties named for him, including one here in Illinois.


In fact, Greene, who was an American general in the Revolutionary War, ranks second only to Benjamin Franklin among non-presidents who have counties named for them.


Nor is Greene the only person who never set foot in Illinois for whom a county in our state is named.  In fact, there are two Illinois counties (DeWitt and Clinton)  named for DeWitt Clinton, a U.S. senator and New York governor who never laid eyes on Illinois except on a map.


These are a few examples of the curious history of the naming of counties in the various states.


The personage with the most counties (31) named for him is George Washington. The most recent personage with a county named for him is Martin Luther King.


There are scores of  counties named for women, including Native American women, variations on the Virgin Mary, fictional women, queens and women of nobility.


There also are counties named for animals, plants, rivers and what-not. There are even counties named for other counties.


By the way, Jo Daviess County in the northwest corner of Illinois is one of four counties named for Joseph Hamilton Daveiss. The others are in Indiana, Kentucky and Missouri. (Don’t ask me why the spelling of the county names is different from the spelling of Daveiss actual surname. It just is. Oh, and the name is pronounced “Davis,” not “Day-vees.)


A biography of Daveiss is HERE.


And a list of all 3,143 counties and county equivalents in America is HERE.

Have you ever heard of Nathaniel Greene?

Probably not. But there are 18 American counties named for him, including one here in Illinois.

In fact, Greene, who was an American general in the Revolutionary War, ranks second only to Benjamin Franklin among non-presidents who have counties named for them.

Nor is Greene the only person who never set foot in Illinois for whom a county in our state is named.  In fact, there are two Illinois counties (DeWitt and Clinton)  named for DeWitt Clinton, a U.S. senator and New York governor who never laid eyes on Illinois except on a map.

These are a few examples of the curious history of the naming of counties in the various states.

The personage with the most counties (31) named for him is George Washington. The most recent personage with a county named for him is Martin Luther King.

There are scores of  counties named for women, including Native American women, variations on the Virgin Mary, fictional women, queens and women of nobility.

There also are counties named for animals, plants, rivers and what-not. There are even counties named for other counties.

By the way, Jo Daviess County in the northwest corner of Illinois is one of four counties named for Joseph Hamilton Daveiss. The others are in Indiana, Kentucky and Missouri. (Don’t ask me why the spelling of the county names is different from the spelling of Daveiss actual surname. It just is. Oh, and the name is pronounced “Davis,” not “Day-vees.)

A biography of Daveiss is HERE.

And a list of all 3,143 counties and county equivalents in America is HERE.