Places

Townships
  • Bradley
  • Carbondale
  • Degognia
  • DeSoto
  • Elk
  • Fountain Bluff
  • Grand Tower
  • Kinkaid
  • Levan
  • Makanda
  • Murphysboro
  • Ora
  • Pomona
  • Sand Ridge
  • Somerset
  • Vergennes
Towns
1823 Gazetteer
Big Beaucoup creek, rises in the southeastern part of Washington county, and running a southwardly course through Randolph and Jackson counties, about 40 miles, falls into Big Muddy river, in section 35, of township 7 south, in range 2, west of the third principal meridian. A toll bridge has lately been built across this stream, where the state road leading from Shawneetown to Kaskaskia crosses it.

Big Muddy river, (Riviere au Vase, ou Vaseux, discovered and named by the French,) a considerable stream in the southwestern part of the state. It rises between the waters of the Kaskaskia and Little Wabash, and running a southern and southwestern course through the counties of Jefferson, Franklin, Jackson and Union, empties into the Mississippi, between sections 1 and 12, of township 11 south, in range 4, west of the 3d principal meridian, about 50 miles above the mouth of the Ohio. Being fed by Little Muddy river, Beacoup[sic] creek, and several other smaller streams, it is rendered boatable for 40 or 50 miles through a fine prairie country. About 25 miles from its mouth, stone coal of a good quality, is found in a sufficient quantity to supply the surrounding country, and afford a surplus for exportation. Native copper has also been found in detached masses on the banks of this stream.

Brownsville, a flourishing post town, and the seat of justice of Jackson county, incorporated in 1819, under the direction of five trustees. It is situated on Big Muddy river, on section 2, of township 9 south, in range 3, west of the third principal meridian. The inhabitants are principally German. About 4 miles above this place, on the east bank of Muddy, is a saline building stone of the best quality also exists in abundance. Brownsville is in latitude 37 degrees 45' north, 84 miles, somewhat west of south, from Vandalia.

Cedar creek, a small stream of Jackson and Union counties. It runs a northwest course, and empties into Big Muddy river, in section 11, of township 10 south, in range 3, west of the third principal meridian.

Colombo creek, runs a southeast course through the northwestern part of Jackson county, and empties into Big Beaucoup creek.

Little Beaucoup creek, a small branch of Big Beaucoup, running through Randolph and Jackson counties.

Muddy saline, situated on the Muddy river near Brownsville, the county seat of Jackson. It is owned, and has been leased by the state to different individuals.

Ovid, a town in Jackson county, laid out in 1820. It is situated eight miles east of the Mississippi river, near the line which divides Jackson and Union counties. The main road leading from America and Golconda through Jonesborough and Brownsville, to Kaskaskia and St. Louis, passes through this place. It is 15 miles south of Brownsville, and about the same distance nearly north of Jonesborough. The lands in the vicinity, are of a very good quality, and mill seats are numerous within a few miles of the place.

Extracted from A Gazetteer of the States of Illinois and Missouri, author Lewis C. Beck, published in 1823.

1837 Gazetteer
Beaucoup Settlement is in Jackson county, twelve miles northeast from Brownsville, between the Big Beaucoup creek and Big Muddy river. The land is rich, heavily timbered, with a considerable settlement.

Big Muddy River, (called by the French who discovered it, Riviera au Vase, or Vaseux,) a considerable stream in the southwestern part of the state. It has four principal heads, which, rising in Washington Jefferson, and Hamilton counties, and uniting in Jackson county, form the main stream. They are the Beaucoup, Little Muddy, and Middle Fork. The general course of the stream is southwest, and it is navigable some distance above Brownsville. Below Brownsville it turns south to the county line, makes a short bend, and enters the Mississippi near the northeastern corner of township eleven south, in range four west of the third principal meridian. Its bluffs generally are abrupt, the land along its borders and branches undulating, and for most of its length well timbered. Valuable salines exist on its banks and are worked about Brownsville, where there is an inexhaustible bed of bituminous coal. Native copper has been found on its banks in detached masses. It runs through a fine agricultural and grazing country.
Bradley's Settlement is at the head of Kincaid creek, in the north part of Jackson county. It is a timbered region, tolerable land, and has twenty-five or thirty families.

BROWNSVILLE, the seat of of justice for Jackson county, is situated on the north side of Big Muddy river, on section two, nine south, and three west of the third principal meridian. It is twelve miles by land, and twenty-five by water from the Mississippi, and is surrounded by hills. The Big Muddy Salines and coal banks are near this place. The population is about twenty families.

Cedar Creek, a branch of Big Muddy river in Jackson county, rises in Union county, and runs first north, and then a western course, and enters Muddy river twelve miles above its mouth. This creek has high bluffs towards its mouth, which abound with cedar. The country is broken, timbered, well watered with springs, and contains about one hundred families. The main settlement is six miles from Brownsville.

Columbo Creek rises in Perry county, runs a southeast course, and enters Big Beaucoup, in Jackson county.

Cox's Prairie, northeast of Brownsville, in Jackson county, near Big Beaucoup, contains about four sections of good rolling land.

Crab Orchard, a small creek that rises in the south part of Franklin county, passes into Jackson, and enters the Big Muddy, fifteen miles above Brownsville. The country adjoining is level and good, and the settlement has forty or fifty families.

Devil's Oven is a singular promontory of sand rock that projects into the Mississippi, in Jackson county, one mile above the Grand Tower. It has a cave resembling the month of a mammoth oven, to be seen from the river.

Drewry's Creek, a branch of Crab Orchard. It rises in Union County, runs a devious course northeasterly into Jackson county, and has a settlement of fifteen or twenty families. The land timbered, and second rate soil.

Fountain Bluff, frequently called the "Big Hill" in Jackson county. It is a singularly formed eminence, or rocky bluff on the Mississippi, six miles above the mouth of the Big Muddy river. It is of an oval shape, eight miles in circumference, and with an elevation of 300 feet. The western side is on the river, and the top is broken full of sink holes, with shrubs and mattering timber. The north side is nearly perpendicular rock, but the south side is sloping, and ends in a fine rich tract of soi1, covered with farms. East is an extensive and low bottom with lakes and swamps. Fine springs of limpid water gush out from the foot of this bluff on all sides. North, and along the bank of the Mississippi, is dry and rich alluvion with a line of farms, known by the name of the "Settlement under the Bluff."

Gagnie, a sluggish stream that runs southwest into the Mississippi, and forms the boundary line between Randolph and Jackson counties.

Grand Prairie. Under this general name is embraced the prairie country lying between the waters which fall into the Mississippi, and those which enter the Wabash rivers. It does not consist of one vast tract, boundless to the vision, and uninhabitable for want of timber; but is made up of continuous tracts, with points of timber projecting inward, and long arms of prairie extending between the creeks and smaller streams. The southern joints of the Grand prairie are formed in the northeastern parts of Jackson county, and extend in a northeastern course between the streams of various widths, from one to ten or twelve miles, through Perry, Washington, Jefferson, Marion, the eastern part of Fayette, Effingham, through the western portion of Coles, into Champaign and Iroquois counties, where it becomes connected with the prairies that project eastward from the Illinois river and its tributaries. A large arm lies in Marion county, between the waters of Crooked creek and the East fork of the Kaskaskia river, where the Vincennes road passes through in its longest direction. This is frequently called the Grand prairie. Much the largest part of the Grand prairie is gently undulating; but of the southern portion considerable tracts are flat, and of rather inferior soil. No insurmountable obstacle exists to its future population. No portion of it is more than six or eight miles distant from timber, and coal in abundance is found in various parts. Those who have witnessed the changes produced upon a prairie surface within twenty or thirty years, consider these extensive prairies as offering no serious impediment to the future growth of the state.

Lewis's Creek, a trifling stream in Jackson county, enters Big Muddy near the coal bank four miles east of Brownsville.

Little Muddy is one of the four heads of the Big Muddy river. It rises in the southeastern corner of Washington county, crosses the line into Jefferson, then into Franklin and finally into Jackson, where it enters the parent stream on the right side, in section thirteen, eight south, one west. A post office. It has good timber and prairie on both sides.

Marshall's Prairie, north of Cox's prairie, fourteen miles northeast of Brownsville, in Jackson county, is rich, undulating land, and the settlement contains a dozen families.

Mount Carbon, a coal bank on Muddy river, four miles above Brownsville, in Jackson county. Large quantities are exported from this place down the river. Here is a large steam saw and grist mill.

Pinus, a post office in Jackson county, on section thirty-four, township ten south, two west, twelve miles south-southeast from Brownsville.

Ridge Settlement lies in Union county, on the road to Brownsville, and extends into Jackson county. It is a high, hilly, timbered tract of good land, well watered, and has from one hundred to one hundred and fifty families.

Extracted from A Gazetteer of Illinois; in Three Parts, author J. M. Peck, published in 1837.

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