by Jessica Waytenick •

Henderson County is a rural county along the Mississippi River about 75-miles southwest of the Quad Cities. 
Phone: 309-924-2406
Web Site:
Media Contact: Tom Doran, 309-924-1361 or

Henderson County is made up of 13 small villages and townships. Each is unique with a variety of historical sites and events. The last full week-end of September every year highlights these sites and events in their Heritage Trail Days.

Many parks hug the river here including Big River State Forest, Delabar State Park, the Henderson County Conservation Area, and Lock and Dam 18.  Big River State Forest is home to the Lincoln/Sauk Indian Trail and Pioneer Cemetery.  Here you will find a segment of early pioneer trail used by Abraham Lincoln and the militia during the Black Hawk War of 1832.

The county seat is Oquawka and is home to the Henderson County Courthouse, the Alexis Phelps House, and the Oquawka Museum.  One of the nation's most unusual memorials is located in Oquawka the Norma Jean Memorial.  Norma Jean was a circus elephant that was tragically stuck and killed by lightening and was then buried on the spot where she fell.  The circus also plays a role in the Oquawka Museum which is home of Justice Schlotzhaur who was an advance man for the Ringling Bros. Circus.

Henderson County is also home to the Henderson Covered Bridge that was built in 1866, and is now on the National Register of Historic Places.  In 1983, the bridge was washed downstream by floodwaters and was then reconstructed on its original site.  The history of Henderson County is recounted in its many other small towns, churches, and cemeteries.

Today's Events
View Full Event Calendar » View Full Event Calendar »