Randolph County, Illinois

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Randolph County, Illinois
Motto: Where Illinois Began
Map of Illinois highlighting Randolph County
Location in the state of Illinois
Map of the United States highlighting Illinois
Illinois's location in the U.S.
Founded 1795
Named for Edmund Randolph
Seat Chester
Largest city Chester
Area
 • Total 597 sq mi (1,546 km2)
 • Land 576 sq mi (1,492 km2)
 • Water 22 sq mi (57 km2), 3.6%
Population
 • (2010) 33,476
 • Density 58/sq mi (22/km²)
Congressional district 12th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website www.randolphco.org

Randolph County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it had a population of 33,476.[1] Its county seat is Chester.[2]

Owing to its role in the state's history, the county motto is "Where Illinois Began."

The county is part of Southern Illinois in the southern portion of the state known locally as "Little Egypt"; it is near the Greater St. Louis area.

History[edit]

Randolph County was organized in 1795 out of a part of St. Clair County. It was named in honor of Edmund Randolph, Governor of Virginia. George Rogers Clark of the army of Virginia captured the area from the British on July 4, 1778, near the end of the Revolutionary War. The area then became the seat, for several years, of Illinois County, Virginia, although the Congress of the Confederation legislated the existence of the Northwest Territory on July 13, 1787. Edmund Randolph was Governor of Virginia at the time Virginia ceded the Northwest Territory to the United States. In 1809, when Illinois became a separate territory, Territorial Secretary Nathaniel Pope, in his capacity as acting governor, issued a proclamation establishing Randoloph as one of the Illinois' two original counties. The county's boundaries were last changed in 1827, when land was taken to form Perry County.

The Mississippi River has played a prominent role in the county's history, altering its boundaries in 1881 when it severed the isthmus that connected Kaskaskia to the Illinois mainland, destroying the original village of Kaskaskia and forcing its historic cemetery to be relocated across the river to Fort Kaskaskia. Crains Island [2], southeast of Chester, is another enclave of Illinois west of the Mississippi that was created by a change in the river's course.

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 597 square miles (1,550 km2), of which 576 square miles (1,490 km2) is land and 22 square miles (57 km2) (3.6%) is water.[4]

The Kaskaskia River flows into the Mississippi River in Randolph County. At this point the Mississippi, which usually defines the border between Illinois and Missouri, is entirely in Illinois. The Mississippi changed its course in the late-nineteenth century, leaving Kaskaskia, the former state capital, on the west side of the River. The boundary of the State, however, follows the old course of the River, leaving Illinois with an enclave on the western shore of the Mississippi River. A smaller enclave, Crains Island, is a few miles further down the river.

Climate and weather[edit]

Chester, Illinois
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
1.9
 
39
22
 
 
2
 
46
26
 
 
3.5
 
56
35
 
 
3.4
 
68
45
 
 
4.3
 
78
54
 
 
3.9
 
87
64
 
 
3.8
 
91
68
 
 
3.4
 
89
66
 
 
3.2
 
82
58
 
 
3.1
 
71
46
 
 
4.2
 
56
36
 
 
3.2
 
44
27
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: The Weather Channel[5]

In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Chester have ranged from a low of 22 °F (−6 °C) in January to a high of 91 °F (33 °C) in July, although a record low of −18 °F (−28 °C) was recorded in January 1985 and a record high of 113 °F (45 °C) was recorded in July 2012. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 1.85 inches (47 mm) in January to 4.30 inches (109 mm) in May.[5]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Randolph County is among the few counties in the United States to border two counties with the same name (Perry County in Missouri and Illinois).

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 3,492
1830 4,429 26.8%
1840 7,944 79.4%
1850 11,079 39.5%
1860 17,205 55.3%
1870 20,859 21.2%
1880 25,690 23.2%
1890 25,049 −2.5%
1900 28,001 11.8%
1910 29,120 4.0%
1920 29,109 0.0%
1930 29,313 0.7%
1940 33,608 14.7%
1950 31,673 −5.8%
1960 29,988 −5.3%
1970 31,379 4.6%
1980 35,652 13.6%
1990 34,583 −3.0%
2000 33,893 −2.0%
2010 33,476 −1.2%
Est. 2013 32,890 −1.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
1790-1960[7] 1900-1990[8]
1990-2000[9] 2010-2013[1]

As of the census of 2000,[10] there were 33,893 people, 12,084 households, and 8,362 families residing in the county. The population density was 59 people per square mile (23/km²). There were 13,328 housing units at an average density of 23 per square mile (9/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 88.71% White, 9.29% Black or African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.24% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.81% from other races, and 0.76% from two or more races. 1.54% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 46.3% were of German, 11.7% American, 9.0% Irish, 6.5% English and 5.7% French ancestry.

There were 12,084 households out of which 31.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.00% were married couples living together, 9.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.80% were non-families. 26.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the county the population was spread out with 22.10% under the age of 18, 9.60% from 18 to 24, 30.40% from 25 to 44, 22.30% from 45 to 64, and 15.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 116.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 119.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $37,013, and the median income for a family was $44,766. Males had a median income of $30,837 versus $21,501 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,696. About 7.10% of families and 10.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.10% of those under age 18 and 8.50% of those age 65 or over.

Government and infrastructure[edit]

The Illinois Department of Corrections Menard Correctional Center is located in Chester.[11][12] Prior to the January 11, 2003 commutation of death row sentences, male death row inmates were housed in Menard, Tamms, and Pontiac correctional centers. After that date, only Pontiac continued to host the male death row.[13]

Politics[edit]

Presidential elections results[14][15]
Year Republican Democratic Other
2012 57.60% 8,290 40.02% 5,759 2.39% 343
2008 49.59% 7,538 48.64% 7,395 1.76% 269
2004 54.00% 8,076 45.27% 6,771 0.73% 109
2000 49.88% 7,127 47.55% 6,794 2.56% 366
1996 37.0% 5,422 50.7% 7,419 12.3% 1,806
1992 29.6% 4,899 51.5% 8,529 19.0% 3,137
1988 48.3% 7,396 51.2% 7,844 0.5% 78
1984 59.5% 9,415 40.1% 6,355 0.4% 59
1980 56.9% 8,810 39.1% 6,052 4.1% 632
1976 48.1% 8,190 51.0% 8,693 0.9% 155
1972 60.2% 9,761 39.7% 6,440 0.1% 14
1968 50.4% 7,681 39.0% 5,953 10.6% 1,616
1964 38.7% 5,803 61.3% 9,199 0.0% 0
1960 52.0% 7,988 47.9% 7,344 0.1% 15
1956 60.0% 8,439 40.0% 6,778 0.0% 4
1952 54.6% 8,427 45.3% 6,998 0.1% 13

It's a rural conservative county in southern Illinois that have trended Republican in the last elections.

Media[edit]

There are two AM radio stations licensed in the county — WHCO 1230AM in Sparta and KSGM 980AM in Chester.

Weekly newspapers in the county are The Randolph County Herald Tribune located in Chester, The County Journal, which is based in Percy and also covers Perry and Jackson Counties, the North County News in Red Bud, and the Sparta News-Plaindealer.

The area is also served by the on-line newspaper based in Chester which is SunTimesNews.com

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Villages[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 8, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ White, Jesse. Origin and Evolution of Illinois Counties. State of Illinois, March 2010. [1]
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  5. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Chester, Illinois". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  6. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 8, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 8, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 8, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 8, 2014. 
  10. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  11. ^ "Menard Correctional Center." Illinois Department of Corrections. Retrieved on September 1, 2010.
  12. ^ "Chester city, Illinois." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on September 1, 2010.
  13. ^ "DOC Report Online." Illinois Department of Corrections. Retrieved on September 1, 2010.
  14. ^ Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections.
  15. ^ Randolph County Clerk and Recorder.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°03′N 89°49′W / 38.05°N 89.82°W / 38.05; -89.82