Boone County, Illinois, was organized from Winnebago County on March 3, 1836, being named in honor of Kentucky's pioneer, Daniel Boone.
In 1835, the census figures show 37 men, women and children as residents. Today, the figure has increased to 20,820 according to the 2000 Census. The original town of Belvidere was laid out on the north side of the river, with the usual town square upon which the County Courthouse was built. However, when the railroad located on the south side in 1851, the business section gradually moved south, and that is the location of "downtown" today.