Downtown Joliet


article in
Chicago Tribune.
Click image below.

Will County, Illinois

The area which is now Will County was a favorite hunting ground for the Indians. It had an abundant supply of water and timber, and travel was facilitated by the old Sauk Trail, and by the Des Plaines, DuPage and Kankakee rivers. Indian burial grounds indicate that people lived here 3,000 to 4,000 years ago and that several distinct racial types of Indians inhabited the area over the centuries.

Will County was created in 1836 by an act of the Illinois legislature, which subdivided it from Cook County. The name honored Dr. Conrad Will, a member of the first Constitutional Convention and a member of the Illinois Legislature until his death in 1835. In March, 1836, three commissioners, a sheriff, a coroner, and a recorder were elected. The commission appointed other officers and divided the county into ten election districts and seventeen road districts. The county lost a small area when Kankakee County was organized in 1852, but since then its boundaries have been unchanged.

Will County is located in northeastern Illinois, south of Cook County. The county seat is Joliet, which is located approximately 40 miles southwest of Chicago on the Des Plaines River.

In terms of area, Will County is 837 square miles. There are 24 townships and 35 municipalities in Will County. As of April 2001, the U.S. Census reported a population of 502,266 in Will County.

Will County Sheriff
Paul J. Kaupas (R) is the
Will County Sheriff.
14 W. Jefferson St., Joliet

Will County Historic Preservation Commission
The Historic Preservation Commission promotes and assists in the preservation of Will County's rural heritage through the identification, evaluation and documentation of Will County's historic landmarks, and thereby increases and encourages public awareness of, and appreciation for Will County's history and historic landscape. Send e-mail to:

Main County web site: