Massac County, Illinois
Location within the U.S. state of Illinois
Illinois's location within the U.S.
|Founded||February 8, 1843|
|• Total||242 sq mi (630 km2)|
|• Land||237 sq mi (610 km2)|
|• Water||4.6 sq mi (12 km2) 1.9%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||64/sq mi (25/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
Massac County is a county in the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it had a population of 15,429. Established in 1843 and named for a French fort founded in the 18th century, its county seat is Metropolis.
This area was occupied by various cultures of indigenous peoples for thousands of years before European contact. The most complex and last was that of the Mississippian culture, which built the complex mounds and plaza at the Kincaid Site (now a National Historic Landmark). They abandoned the site in about 1500, centuries before European contact.
Part of the Illinois Country was claimed by French explorers; this area was barely settled, with most French colonial villages 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. Massiac is a commune in Cantal, France. Although beginning to be settled by Americans after the American Revolution, Massac County was formally organized on February 8, 1843, out of territory from both Johnson and Pope counties. In the mid-19th century, after the revolutions of 1848, the Midwest received many German immigrants. Their descendants today comprise nearly one-third of the population of the county.
Climate and weather
|Climate chart (explanation)|
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.
- Pope County - north
- Livingston County, Kentucky - east
- McCracken County, Kentucky - south
- Pulaski County - west
- Johnson County - northwest
National protected area
- Shawnee National Forest (part)
|U.S. Decennial Census|
Whereas according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:
- 91.0% White
- 5.9% Black
- 0.4% Native American
- 0.3% Asian
- 0.0% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
- 2.0% Two or more races
- 0.4% Other races
- 1.9% Hispanic or Latino (of any race)
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 15,429 people, 6,362 households, and 4,242 families residing in the county. 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). 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. In terms of ancestry, 25.7% were German, 16.1% were Irish, 8.5% were English, and 8.5% were American.
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.
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.
In its pre-Civil War history, Massac County, like all of Southern-leaning Southern Illinois, was powerfully Democratic as it was opposed to the abolitionist politics of the northern regions of the state. The county's electorate gave a Democratic majority in every Presidential election up to and including 1860. However, the region was ultimately to provide a number of Union soldiers rivaled on a per-capita basis only by a few fiercely Unionist counties in Appalachia and this was to make Massac County overwhelmingly Republican for the next century. During this period, the county's voters gave a plurality to every Republican nominee. It even supported William Howard Taft in 1912 when the GOP was mortally divided, and Franklin D. Roosevelt actually lost the county in 1936 by a greater margin than he did in 1932. Between 1896 and 1928 no Democrat managed thirty percent of the county's vote.
The 1964 election saw Lyndon Johnson become the first Democrat in 104 years to carry Massac County due to opposition to Barry Goldwater’s economic policies and to his Deep Southern orientation, and Southern Evangelical Jimmy Carter was to marginally better LBJ’s performance in 1976, whilst Bill Clinton was to win a larger plurality in 1992 due to a third-party challenge from Ross Perot. However, since 2000 overwhelming opposition by the county’s almost universally southern white population to the Democratic Party’s liberal views on social issues like homosexuality has caused a reversion to very strong Republican voting in Massac County. Hillary Clinton’s 23.3 percent share of the county’s vote is the lowest by a Democrat since John W. Davis in his landslide 1924 loss.
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- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved November 3, 2019.
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- 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
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