Alexander County, Illinois

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Alexander County, Illinois
Alexander County Courthouse, Cairo.jpg
Map of Illinois highlighting Alexander County
Location in the U.S. 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. 2016 6,478 [15] −21.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[16]
1790-1960[17] 1900-1990[18]
1990-2000[19] 2010-2013[1]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 8,238 people, 3,329 households, and 2,093 families residing in the county.[20] The population density was 35.0 inhabitants per square mile (13.5/km2). There were 4,006 housing units at an average density of 17.0 per square mile (6.6/km2).[5] The racial makeup of the county was 60.9% white, 35.4% black or African American, 0.3% American Indian, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific islander, 1.4% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 1.9% of the population.[20] In terms of ancestry, 13.9% were German, 6.8% were Irish, 5.3% were English, and 4.7% were American.[21]

Of the 3,329 households, 29.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.6% were married couples living together, 18.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 37.1% were non-families, and 33.6% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.94. The median age was 41.1 years.[20]

The median income for a household in the county was $28,833 and the median income for a family was $44,699. Males had a median income of $35,880 versus $25,743 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,858. About 11.8% of families and 20.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 33.1% of those under age 18 and 14.7% of those age 65 or over.[22]

Education[edit]

Communities[edit]

City[edit]

Villages[edit]

Census-designated place[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Politics[edit]

April 15, 2004, Barack Obama speaks at a luncheon in the city of Cairo, during his US Senate campaign
Presidential Elections Results[23]
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2016 53.1% 1,496 44.8% 1,262 2.2% 62
2012 42.5% 1,487 56.1% 1,965 1.4% 49
2008 42.9% 1,692 55.5% 2,189 1.7% 66
2004 47.3% 1,831 52.1% 2,016 0.7% 26
2000 39.5% 1,588 58.6% 2,357 1.9% 77
1996 28.2% 1,212 64.0% 2,753 7.9% 339
1992 29.8% 1,301 58.8% 2,566 11.4% 495
1988 41.9% 1,954 57.8% 2,693 0.3% 16
1984 47.1% 2,574 52.5% 2,872 0.4% 21
1980 46.7% 2,650 51.5% 2,925 1.8% 103
1976 41.5% 2,349 57.4% 3,246 1.1% 63
1972 59.1% 3,669 40.0% 2,482 0.9% 58
1968 36.6% 2,540 42.2% 2,929 21.1% 1,465
1964 37.8% 2,895 62.2% 4,763
1960 48.0% 4,143 51.8% 4,477 0.2% 18
1956 51.4% 4,425 48.4% 4,167 0.2% 21
1952 54.6% 5,219 45.1% 4,305 0.3% 29
1948 49.1% 4,561 49.9% 4,641 1.0% 96
1944 49.7% 4,792 49.5% 4,767 0.8% 78
1940 48.2% 6,260 50.8% 6,591 1.1% 137
1936 43.9% 5,553 55.1% 6,972 1.0% 128
1932 44.9% 4,729 53.7% 5,653 1.4% 151
1928 61.2% 5,666 38.5% 3,558 0.3% 28
1924 58.1% 4,465 34.3% 2,639 7.6% 581
1920 61.9% 5,287 37.1% 3,167 1.0% 85
1916 56.8% 5,395 41.5% 3,940 1.8% 170
1912 41.7% 2,003 40.4% 1,936 17.8% 854
1908 63.9% 3,790 34.2% 2,027 2.0% 119
1904 63.1% 3,203 33.2% 1,686 3.7% 186
1900 60.8% 2,790 38.3% 1,760 0.9% 42
1896 60.4% 2,802 39.1% 1,813 0.6% 28
1892 53.9% 2,053 44.0% 1,674 2.1% 80

Alexander County is unique among antebellum free state rural counties in having a postbellum political history largely determined by a previously disfranchised black electorate. It is most similar in this respect to – though still substantially different from – some counties of the south and the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The county was thus solidly Republican until the New Deal, and gradually turned solidly Democratic until the presidency of Bill Clinton. In the twenty-first century, the county has become a swing county due to large-scale black emigration and a rapid swing of its white population toward Republican candidates.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Specific
  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved July 3, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. 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. ^ a b "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  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 Archived 2010-08-21 at the Wayback Machine.." Illinois Department of Corrections. 3 (9/51). September 3, 2009. Retrieved on September 1, 2010.
  10. ^ "DOC Report Online Archived 2011-07-18 at the Wayback Machine.." Illinois Department of Corrections. Retrieved on September 1, 2010.
  11. ^ https://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. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  16. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved July 3, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 3, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 3, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 3, 2014. 
  20. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  21. ^ "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  22. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  23. ^ http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS
General

External links[edit]

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