Alexander County, Illinois

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Alexander County, Illinois
Map of Illinois highlighting Alexander County
Location in the state of Illinois
Map of the United States highlighting Illinois
Illinois's location in the U.S.
Founded 1819
Seat Cairo
Largest city Cairo
Area
 • Total 253 sq mi (655 km2)
 • Land 236 sq mi (611 km2)
 • Water 17 sq mi (44 km2), 6.8%
Population
 • (2010) 8,238
 • Density 35/sq mi (14/km²)
Congressional district 12th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Alexander County is the southernmost county of the U.S. state of Illinois. As of the 2010 census, the population was 8,238.[1] Its county seat is Cairo.[2]

Alexander County is part of the Cape Girardeau, MO-IL Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History[edit]

Alexander County was organized out of Union County in 1819. It was named for William M. Alexander, a physician who practiced in the town of America (the first county seat).[3] Alexander became Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives in 1822. The county seat was moved to Unity in 1833, then to Thebes in 1843, and finally to Cairo in 1860. America, the first county seat, is now within Pulaski County, which was formed from Alexander and Johnson Counties in 1843.[4]

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 253 square miles (660 km2), of which 236 square miles (610 km2) is land and 17 square miles (44 km2) (6.8%) is water.[5] Its borders are partly defined by the Mississippi River and the Ohio River. The lowest point in the state of Illinois is located on the Mississippi River in Cairo in Alexander County, where it flows out of Illinois and into Kentucky.

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected areas[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Climate and weather[edit]

Cairo, Illinois
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
3.2
 
41
26
 
 
3.6
 
48
30
 
 
4.4
 
58
39
 
 
4.7
 
69
50
 
 
4.8
 
78
59
 
 
4.2
 
86
67
 
 
4.4
 
90
71
 
 
3.6
 
87
69
 
 
3
 
81
61
 
 
3.4
 
71
49
 
 
4.4
 
57
39
 
 
4.2
 
46
30
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: The Weather Channel[6]

In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Cairo have ranged from a low of 26 °F (−3 °C) in January to a high of 90 °F (32 °C) in July, although a record low of −12 °F (−24 °C) was recorded in January 1985 and a record high of 104 °F (40 °C) was recorded in June 1954. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 3.04 inches (77 mm) in September to 4.76 inches (121 mm) in May.[6]

Law enforcement[edit]

The Tamms Correctional Center, a now shuttered super-maximum correctional facility operated by the Illinois Department of Corrections, was located in Tamms.[7][8] The State of Illinois execution chamber was at Tamms.[9] Prior to the January 11, 2003 commutation of death row sentences, male death row inmates were housed in Tamms, Menard, and Pontiac correctional centers. After that date, only Pontiac continued to host the male death row.[10] On January 4, 2013, after years of controversy over inmate conditions, the prison officially closed, negatively impacting the county's economy.[11][12][13]

In late September 2009, press reports indicated that the Alexander County Sheriff's office had five of its seven squad cars repossessed as payments had not been made. The sheriff once had 29 deputies, but was reduced to just five at the time of the reports. The Illinois State Police have provided assistance to the county with additional patrols.[14]

Demographics[edit]

2000 census age pyramid for Alexander County.
Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 626
1830 1,390 122.0%
1840 3,313 138.3%
1850 2,484 −25.0%
1860 4,707 89.5%
1870 10,564 124.4%
1880 14,808 40.2%
1890 16,563 11.9%
1900 19,384 17.0%
1910 22,741 17.3%
1920 23,980 5.4%
1930 22,542 −6.0%
1940 25,496 13.1%
1950 20,316 −20.3%
1960 16,061 −20.9%
1970 12,015 −25.2%
1980 12,264 2.1%
1990 10,626 −13.4%
2000 9,590 −9.7%
2010 8,238 −14.1%
Est. 2013 7,629 −7.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[15]
1790-1960[16] 1900-1990[17]
1990-2000[18] 2010-2013[1]

2010[edit]

Whereas according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:

2000[edit]

As of the census[19] of 2000, there were 9,590 people, 3,808 households, and 2,475 families residing in the county. The population density was 41 people per square mile (16/km²). There were 4,591 housing units at an average density of 19 per square mile (8/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 62.98% White, 34.90% Black or African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.36% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.54% from other races, and 0.91% from two or more races. 1.44% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 16.3% were of American, 11.2% German, 8.2% Irish and 5.1% English ancestry according to Census 2000. 97.7% spoke English and 1.8% Spanish as their first language.

There were 3,808 households out of which 30.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.10% were married couples living together, 17.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.00% were non-families. 32.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the county the population was spread out with 25.80% under the age of 18, 7.70% from 18 to 24, 26.60% from 25 to 44, 22.90% from 45 to 64, and 16.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 98.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $26,042, and the median income for a family was $31,824. Males had a median income of $29,133 versus $18,966 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,084. About 21.20% of families and 26.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 38.60% of those under age 18 and 14.80% of those age 65 or over.

Education[edit]

Communities[edit]

City[edit]

Villages[edit]

Census-designated place[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 3, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Perrin 1883, p. 455.
  4. ^ Callary, Edward (2009). Place Names of Illinois. Urbana and Chicago, Illinois: University of Illinois Press. p. 4. 
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  6. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Cairo, Illinois". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  7. ^ "Tamms village, Illinois." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on August 15, 2010.
  8. ^ "Tamms Correctional Center." Illinois Department of Corrections. Retrieved on September 1, 2010.
  9. ^ "Tamms Closed Maximum Security Unit: Ten-Point Plan Brief." Illinois Department of Corrections. 3 (9/51). September 3, 2009. Retrieved on September 1, 2010.
  10. ^ "DOC Report Online." Illinois Department of Corrections. Retrieved on September 1, 2010.
  11. ^ http://www.aclu.org/blog/prisoners-rights/tamms-supermax-prison-its-inhumane-and-ridiculously-expensive-solitary
  12. ^ http://www.kfvs12.com/story/22588419/tamms-closure-impact-on-town-months-later
  13. ^ http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/The-312/February-2013/Why-Labor-Is-Fighting-the-Tamms-Prison-Closure/
  14. ^ Repo Man Visitis an Illinois Police Dept., CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, by Dean Renolds, aired 28 September 2009 http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-18563_162-5347697.html
  15. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 3, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 3, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 3, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 3, 2014. 
  19. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°11′N 89°20′W / 37.19°N 89.34°W / 37.19; -89.34