Cook county is more than just Chicago, the county seat. It is also home to 128 other municipalities.
Cook county has a rich and storied history. The "Great Fire" of 1871 actually followed a major blaze on the west side of Chicago the previous night. Fanned by a 20-m.p.h. southwest wind, the fire, started in Mrs. O'Leary's barn, consumed all in its path--for more than four-and-a-half miles and jumped the main branch of the Chicago River before dying out at the prairie's edge for lack of fuel.
In 1893, just 22 years later, Chicago hosted the World's Fair, to the delight of millions.
The county population on July 1, 1999, was 5,192,326, an increase of 87,282 over the 1990 census.
For information on county government, contact the National Association of Counties Web site.
Additional information is available at these pages: