Brown County History

Brown County is nestled between fertile fields and rolling hills in west central Illinois. The county was formed out of Schuyler County in 1839, named in honor of U. S. General Jacob Brown, who defeated the British at the Battle of Sackett’s Harbor in 1813. Brown County is comprised of 307 square miles with 6244 residents, according to the 2010 census. It is the 5th smallest county in the state.

Mt. Sterling was originally platted in 1833 by Alexander Curry who also donated the land for the city. In 1837, lots #10 and #11 were deeded to the City for use as a public square. At that time, Mt. Sterling was a part of Schuyler County. Due to the difficulty of crossing the La Moine River at certain times of the year, many residents of the area contended that the Schuyler County seat at Rushville should be moved to a more central location. Instead, the Illinois state legislature enacted a law for the creation of a new county to be named after General Jacob Brown on February 1, 1839; Brown County was born and in search of a site for a courthouse.

On June 15, 1839, the county seat of Brown County was determined to be Mt. Sterling. On the same day, the law established that lots #10 and #11 known as the public square would be the location of the county courthouse