At the time of statehood, written records indicate that only Native Americans resided in the
area now known as Kane County. However, settlers soon began to take over this land, and
resident tribes were forced to the west of Iowa. In 1832 a Sauk leader and warrior named
Black Hawk (Makataimeshekiakiak) gathered together members of the Sauk and Fox tribes in
an effort to regain their homelands. To aid against this uprising, United States Army
troops under the command of General Winfield Scott were sent from the east to Chicago,
where they were delayed by a cholera epidemic. While there were no battles in Kane County,
Scott's men marched through the area on what is now Army Trail Road and forded the Fox
River north of the present city of St. Charles near the Blackhawk Forest Preserve. Black
Hawk's band was defeated at the Bad Axe River in Wisconsin.
years the trail from Chicago made by the army wagons was followed by permanent settlers
and the way was paved for new development in the Kane County area.
January 16, 1836, the Illinois legislature formed a new County and named it after Elias
Kent Kane, the highly-respected attorney who helped draft the Illinois constitution and
was the first Secretary of State. Kane was later elected to Congress and represented
Illinois in the U.S. Senate until his death in 1835.
"Kane County" included what is now DeKalb County and part of the northern
portions of Kendall. DeKalb subsequently separated from Kane County in 1837 and Kendall in