Massac County, Illinois

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Massac County
Massac County Courthouse
Map of Illinois highlighting Massac County
Location within the U.S. state of Illinois
Map of the United States highlighting Illinois
Illinois's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 37°13′N 88°43′W / 37.22°N 88.71°W / 37.22; -88.71
Country United States
State Illinois
FoundedFebruary 8, 1843
SeatMetropolis
Largest cityMetropolis
Area
 • Total242 sq mi (630 km2)
 • Land237 sq mi (610 km2)
 • Water4.6 sq mi (12 km2)  1.9%
Population
 (2010)
 • Total15,429
 • Estimate 
(2018)
14,080
 • Density64/sq mi (25/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district15th

Massac County is a county in the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it had a population of 15,429.[1] Established in 1843 and named for a French fort founded in the 18th century, its county seat is Metropolis.[2]

Massac County is included in the Paducah, KY-IL Micropolitan Statistical Area. It is located along the Ohio River, in the portion of the state known locally as "Little Egypt".

History[edit]

This area was occupied by various cultures of indigenous peoples for thousands of years before European contact. Evidence has been found of indigenous occupancy since the Archaic Period (8000 to 2000 BCE). More development took place in the Early Woodland period, such as the Adena culture (1000 to 200 BCE). Middle and Late Woodland occupancy continued to about 1000CE, before the rise of the Mississippian culture along the Mississippi River and its major tributaries. It influenced a continent-wide trading and cultural network.

The most complex and last indigenous culture was that of the Mississippian. The people at this time developed a large settlement during the period 1050CE to 1400-1450CE. At what is known as the Kincaid Site, considered a chiefdom of a stratified society, the people built a total of 19 complex earthwork mounds, including an elite burial mound,[3] and great plaza as the monuments at the center of a large residential settlement.[4]

This site is now operated by the state and is designated as a National Historic Landmark. The people abandoned the site about 1500, perhaps because of environmental reasons, such as running out of timber or game. No evidence has been found that any historic Native American tribes occupied the site in the centuries before European-American settlement. This did not take place until three centuries later, with most occurring 400 years later.

While this was part of the Illinois Country claimed by French explorers, this area was barely settled by their colonists. Most French colonial villages, such as Prairie du Rocher, were close to the Mississippi River. During the French and Indian War against the British, the French built a fort here in 1757. It was named Fort Massac after Claude Louis d'Espinchal, Marquis de Massiac, the French Naval Minister.[5] Massiac is a commune in Cantal, France. The county was later named after Massac.

After the American Revolution, initially this area was settled by people from the South, who migrated along the Ohio River. Southern Illinois was given the colloquial name of "Little Egypt." Massac County was not formally organized until February 8, 1843, when population had increased, and it was made up of territory from both Johnson and Pope counties. It was developed for agriculture.

In the mid-19th century, after the revolutions of 1848, Illinois received many German immigrants, who changed the politics of the county. They were pro-Union and the Republican Party at the time of the American Civil War and after, whereas the ethnic Southerners had favored the Confederacy and Democratic Party. The ethnic German descendants today comprise nearly one-third of the population of Massac County.

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 242 square miles (630 km2), of which 237 square miles (610 km2) is land and 4.6 square miles (12 km2) (1.9%) is water.[6]

Climate and weather[edit]

Metropolis, Illinois
Climate chart (explanation)
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
 
 
3.5
 
 
42
25
 
 
3.9
 
 
48
29
 
 
4.4
 
 
58
38
 
 
4.7
 
 
69
47
 
 
4.8
 
 
77
56
 
 
4
 
 
86
64
 
 
4.3
 
 
90
68
 
 
3
 
 
88
66
 
 
3.3
 
 
82
59
 
 
3.2
 
 
71
47
 
 
4.5
 
 
58
38
 
 
4.4
 
 
47
29
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: The Weather Channel[7]

In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Metropolis have ranged from a low of 25 °F (−4 °C) in January to a high of 90 °F (32 °C) in July, although a record low of −21 °F (−29 °C) was recorded in January 1984 and a record high of 105 °F (41 °C) was recorded in July 1999. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 3.00 inches (76 mm) in August to 4.76 inches (121 mm) in May.[7]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected area[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18504,092
18606,21351.8%
18709,58154.2%
188010,4439.0%
189011,3138.3%
190013,11015.9%
191014,2008.3%
192013,559−4.5%
193014,0813.8%
194014,9376.1%
195013,594−9.0%
196014,3415.5%
197013,889−3.2%
198014,9907.9%
199014,752−1.6%
200015,1612.8%
201015,4291.8%
2018 (est.)14,080[8]−8.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
1790-1960[10] 1900-1990[11]
1990-2000[12] 2010-2013[1]

2010[edit]

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

2010[edit]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 15,429 people, 6,362 households, and 4,242 families residing in the county.[13] The population density was 65.0 inhabitants per square mile (25.1/km2). There were 7,113 housing units at an average density of 30.0 per square mile (11.6/km2).[6] The racial makeup of the county was 91.0% white, 5.9% black or African American, 0.4% American Indian, 0.3% Asian, 0.5% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 1.9% of the population.[13] In terms of ancestry, 25.7% were German, 16.1% were Irish, 8.5% were English, and 8.5% were American.[14]

Of the 6,362 households, 30.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.3% were married couples living together, 12.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 33.3% were non-families, and 29.2% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.91. The median age was 42.1 years.[13]

The median income for a household in the county was $41,077 and the median income for a family was $51,794. Males had a median income of $46,231 versus $25,717 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,216. About 9.7% of families and 13.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.5% of those under age 18 and 11.7% of those age 65 or over.[15]

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Village[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Politics[edit]

In its pre-Civil War history, the people of Massac County, which like most of Southern Illinois was settled by Southerners, were strongly Democratic. While Illinois was a free state, people of this region were opposed to the abolitionist politics of the northern regions of the state. County voters chose Democratic candidates in every Presidential election up to and including 1860.

But the region also had numerous ethnic Germans who had arrived after the revolutions of 1848. They favored the Union, and provided a number of Union soldiers rivaled on a per-capita basis only by a few fiercely Unionist counties in Appalachia.[16][17] For the next century, Massac County voters favored Republican candidates for the presidency. During this period, the county's voters gave a plurality to every Republican nominee. They supported William Howard Taft in 1912, when the GOP was bitterly divided. During the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt lost the county in 1936 by a greater margin than he did in 1932, when his popularity elsewhere increased as people benefited from government programs. Between 1896 and 1928, no Democratic presidential candidate gained thirty percent of the county's vote.

In the 1964 election, following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and during the Vietnam War, incumbent Lyndon Johnson was the first Democrat in 104 years to carry Massac County. Locally voters opposed Barry Goldwater’s economic policies and his Deep Southern orientation. Southern Evangelical Jimmy Carter marginally bettered LBJ’s performance in 1976. Bill Clinton won a larger plurality in 1992, due to a third-party challenge from Ross Perot.

But, since 2000 the conservative whites have shifted to the Republican Party in favoring presidential candidates. Some analysts say the conservatives changed parties because of socio-cultural issues.[18] In 2016 Hillary Clinton won 23.3 percent share of the county’s vote, the lowest by a Democrat since John W. Davis in his landslide 1924 loss. In 2020 they gave Donald Trump 73.3% of their vote and Joe Biden 25.3%. Overall, state voters favored Biden, who won the election in both popular and electoral college votes.[19]

Presidential elections results
Presidential elections results[20]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2020 73.3% 4,997 25.3% 1,725 1.4% 96
2016 72.4% 4,846 23.3% 1,558 4.4% 293
2012 65.9% 4,278 32.2% 2,092 1.9% 125
2008 60.6% 4,371 37.4% 2,693 2.0% 145
2004 61.7% 4,578 37.8% 2,805 0.6% 41
2000 54.5% 3,676 43.2% 2,912 2.3% 156
1996 41.4% 2,507 46.9% 2,841 11.7% 710
1992 39.0% 2,754 47.4% 3,347 13.5% 955
1988 51.9% 3,507 47.7% 3,227 0.4% 29
1984 54.3% 3,827 45.3% 3,194 0.4% 28
1980 58.9% 4,284 38.8% 2,821 2.3% 167
1976 46.5% 3,226 52.9% 3,666 0.7% 45
1972 70.0% 4,313 29.7% 1,831 0.3% 18
1968 55.5% 3,578 30.0% 1,934 14.5% 934
1964 47.5% 3,078 52.5% 3,396
1960 63.1% 4,521 36.9% 2,644 0.1% 6
1956 64.3% 4,265 35.6% 2,359 0.1% 5
1952 60.8% 4,212 39.1% 2,711 0.1% 7
1948 62.5% 3,201 35.9% 1,842 1.6% 82
1944 67.5% 3,814 31.1% 1,758 1.4% 76
1940 62.3% 4,722 37.1% 2,813 0.5% 39
1936 55.8% 3,894 43.5% 3,039 0.7% 50
1932 51.6% 2,851 46.9% 2,593 1.5% 81
1928 72.9% 3,405 26.6% 1,241 0.6% 27
1924 71.4% 3,227 20.4% 920 8.2% 370
1920 83.0% 3,731 15.3% 688 1.7% 77
1916 73.8% 3,926 23.2% 1,236 3.0% 161
1912 48.1% 1,341 21.5% 599 30.4% 850
1908 73.7% 2,084 23.1% 652 3.3% 93
1904 74.7% 2,078 21.2% 589 4.1% 114
1900 71.2% 2,057 27.5% 796 1.3% 37
1896 69.6% 2,046 29.6% 869 0.8% 23
1892 62.5% 1,652 30.2% 799 7.2% 191

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Brennan, Tamira K. (October 2009). Domestic Diversity at Kincaid Mounds. Midwest Archaeological Conference. Iowa City, Iowa. p. 2. Retrieved February 19, 2011.
  4. ^ "Kincaid: A Prehistoric Cultural and Religious Center In Southern Illinois". Dr. John E. Schwegman. Archived from the original on April 1, 2012. Retrieved January 10, 2008.
  5. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 202.
  6. ^ a b "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  7. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Metropolis, Illinois". The Weather Channel. Retrieved January 27, 2011.
  8. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved November 3, 2019.
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
  10. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
  11. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
  12. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
  13. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  14. ^ "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  15. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  16. ^ Wells, Damon; Stephen Douglas: The Last Years, 1857–1861, p. 285 ISBN 0292776357
  17. ^ Copeland, James E.; ‘Where Were the Kentucky Unionists and Secessionists’; The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, volume 71, no. 4 (October, 1973), pp. 344-363
  18. ^ Cohn, Nate; ‘Demographic Shift: Southern Whites’ Loyalty to G.O.P. Nearing That of Blacks to Democrats’, New York Times, April 24, 2014
  19. ^ "Illinois Presidential Election Results 2020". NBC News. 2020. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
  20. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved April 21, 2018.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°13′N 88°43′W / 37.22°N 88.71°W / 37.22; -88.71