Historically, I can't find a reference to the last bison in Union County, though the county history written in 1883, mentions a buffalo road that crossed the county about a mile south of Jonesboro.
To the northeast however, according to the Milo Erwin's History of Williamson County, Illinois bison were last seen here in 1810.
The new bison herd belongs to Clifton and Kim Howell who are hoping to catch onto the growing demand for lean bison meat.
According to the Department of Agriculture, 16,225 bison were processed in federally inspected plants during the first half of this year, up from 14,377 slaughtered during the same period last year. Since 2001 - the first year the USDA tracked bison production - processing of the meat has nearly doubled.
Advocates point to bison's healthfulness: A serving of buffalo meat has about 2.42 grams of fat, compared with 8.09 grams for select beef or 7.41 grams for skinless chicken, the bison association says.