Iroquois County is the only county in the United States having the name “Iroquois,” a name originally applied to a former confederacy of six Native North American peoples, the Mohawk, Oneida, Seneca, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Tuscarora who originally settled along the Hudson River Valley.
In 1865 Watseka became the county seat; the old courthouse in Middleport was abandoned and a new one built in Watseka. All that remains of the old courthouse completed in 1847 is the square on which it stood. This is now a small park located one block west of the West Watseka School.
The Potawatomi Indians, who lived in the area called the Kankakee River, once thought to be the upper Illinois River, the Theatiki. Through variations in the pronunciation of Theatiki,
Settlers came to Kankakee County in 1834, after the federal government signed the treaty of Camp Tippecanoe in 1832. As word spread about the government acquiring the land, many immigrants of New York and Vermont moved their way west, mostly locating in Momence, IL. An act of the Illinois Legislature created Kankakee County out of the north part of Iroquois County and the south part of Will County on February 11, 1853.
The City of Kankakee became the eventual seat of government for Kankakee County near 1855