Clinton County, Illinois was erected from Washington, Bond and Fayette counties, and was named in honor of the distinguished statesman, DeWitt Clinton, of New York. Clinton County had become the home of permanent and bona fide settlers as early as 1814, when the first land entries were made. At the time of the organization of the county, December 27, 1824, some 33,000 acres had been entered, three-fifths by actual settlers, the balance by speculators. The names of the actual settlers appear in the county census of 1825.
Land entries were made in all congressional townships of the county during said period of time, 1814 to 1824. All lands entered at that early date were timber land. The value of prairie land was evidently not understood nor appreciated. The population of the county in 1824 was about 1,100 all told, consisting chiefly of Americans from southern states and Pennsylvania, with a mixture of some English and Irish, who had settled in the vicinity of Carlyle.