Bond County is today one of Illinois’ smallest counties, both in size and population. However, it has a rich and important history that pre-dates statehood. The county was formed out of Madison County in 1817 as part of the Illinois Territory. It was named for Shadrach Bond, who had been a farmer, a politician, an army colonel during the War of 1812, and at the time was Receiver of Public Money. He would later be elected the state’s first governor in 1818.
The original boundary of Bond County was a 26 mile wide strip that started just a few miles south of its current border and stretched all the way to Lake Superior in the present state of Wisconsin.
Bond was one of 11 original counties when Illinois applied for statehood in 1818. It was represented at the state’s constitutional convention in the first capital of Kaskaskia by Thomas Kirkpatrick and Samuel G. Morse. The county seat was temporarily located at Hills Fort (just five miles west of Greenville), and soon moved to Perrysville, which was located along Hurricane Creek in present Fayette County.
In 1820 Illinois decided to move its capital to Vandalia. As a result, Fayette and Montgomery Counties were formed out of Bond in 1821. Since Perrysville would become part of Fayette, the new county seat for Bond was chosen at Greenville after George Davidson donated land for the building of a courthouse. Greenville is one of Illinois’ oldest towns having been founded in 1815, and remains the county seat today.