Including excerpts from, "History of Macon County, Illinois", 1880

Prior to 1829 the territory included within the present boundaries of Macon county formed a part of the county of Shelby. Before the assembling of the Legislature in 1829 a committee of three, consisting of Benjamin R. Austin, Andrew Smith and John Ward, had been appointed to go to Vandalia, then the capital of the State, and secure the passage of an act dividing Shelby county and creating a new county out of the territory thus divided.

The committee succeeded; and during the session the following Act establishing the county of Macon* was approved.


"SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the people of the State of Illinois represented in the General Assembly, That all that tract of country lying within the following boundaries, to wit: Beginning at the southwest corner of section numbered eighteen, in township numbered fourteen north, of range numbered one east of the third principal meridian; thence due north with the said third principal meridian line to the northwest corner of township numbered twenty north, of range numbered one east; thence due east with the line between townships numbered twenty and twenty-one north, to the northeast corner of township numbered twenty north, of range numbered six east; thence due south with the line between ranges number six and seven east, to the southeast corner of section numbered thirteen, in township numbered fourteen north, of range numbered six east; and from thence due west along through the middle of townships numbered fourteen north, to the place of beginning, shall constitute a county, to be called the county of Macon, and the seat of justice therein, when located, shall be called the town of Decatur."


Smith's History Macon County

In 1829, when Nathaniel Macon retired from public life, he was one of the most powerful and influential men in the United States. He was honored by his peers by the creation of "Macon" Counties in Illinois, Georgia, North Carolina and Alabama. Both Georgia and Mississippi have cities named for him. Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, VA and Fort Macon in NC bear his name. And the general population he had tried so diligently to serve also honored him by bestowing his name on their newborn sons. Even though he was called back to brief duty in 1835 and 1836, he seldom strayed far from Buck Spring. He died in 1837 and was quietly buried beside his wife on the homeplace he loved in Warren Co., NC.

The National Plaque at his grave site reads as follows:
Nathaniel Macon
Nathaniel Macon, a national prominent senator and congressman from North Carolina, was born December 17, 1758. He served in the United States congress continuously for thirty-seven years. As representative: 1791 until 1815, and senator from 1815 until he resigned in 1828. As speaker of the house of representatives, 1801-1807, Macon was one of the most powerful men in the nation and exercised great influence until his death June 29, 1837.

His wish was that no grief be expressed at his funeral. He requested that dinner and grog be served and that each friend cast a stone on his grave. He is buried at his homeplace beside his wife and son. The fourth grave is believed to be Macon's grandson. Large mounds of stones cover all of the graves. Thomas Jefferson referred to Macon as "THE LAST OF THE ROMANS."

*Painting by Robert D. Gauley, 1911, from the Collection of U.S. House of Representatives. This painting is in the public domain.

Learn more about Nathaniel Macon by visiting these sites:

HOME Township
Macon County

This Page Was Last Updated  Sunday, 21-Jan-2018 11:33:48 EST

Copyright 2011 by Cheryl Rothwell for ILGenWeb

All materials contained on these pages are furnished for the free use of individuals engaged in researching their personal genealogy. Any commercial use or any use for which money is asked or paid for any reason is strictly prohibited.