Mercer County, Illinois

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Mercer County, Illinois
Mercer County Courthouse Image.jpeg
Map of Illinois highlighting Mercer County
Location in the U.S. state of Illinois
Map of the United States highlighting Illinois
Illinois's location in the U.S.
Founded January 13, 1825
Named for Hugh Mercer
Seat Aledo
Largest city Aledo
Area
 • Total 569 sq mi (1,474 km2)
 • Land 561 sq mi (1,453 km2)
 • Water 7.5 sq mi (19 km2), 1.3%
Population
 • (2010) 16,434
 • Density 29/sq mi (11/km²)
Congressional district 17th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website www.mercercountyil.org

Mercer County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it had a population of 16,434,[1] its county seat is Aledo.[2]

Mercer County is included in the Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL Metropolitan Statistical Area.[3]

History[edit]

Mercer County is named for Hugh Mercer (1726–1777), a physician and general during the American Revolution who died from wounds suffered at the Battle of Princeton.

In May 1812, Congress passed an act which set aside lands in Arkansas, Michigan, and Illinois as payment to volunteer soldiers in the War of 1812. Mercer County was part of this "Military Tract."

Seven years after Illinois became a state, Mercer County was founded, it was formed from unorganized territory near Pike County on January 13, 1825. Although the county had been created, its government was not organized for several years; for administration purposes it was attached first to Schuyler County (until 1826), then to Peoria (until 1831), and finally to Warren County. The organization of the county government was finally completed in 1835, after a large influx of settlers following the Black Hawk War.[4]

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 569 square miles (1,470 km2), of which 561 square miles (1,450 km2) is land and 7.5 square miles (19 km2) (1.3%) is water.[5]

Climate and weather[edit]

Aledo, Illinois
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
1.3
 
 
29
11
 
 
1.3
 
 
35
17
 
 
2.4
 
 
47
26
 
 
3.7
 
 
61
37
 
 
3.9
 
 
72
48
 
 
4.4
 
 
81
59
 
 
4.2
 
 
84
62
 
 
4.3
 
 
82
60
 
 
3.3
 
 
75
51
 
 
2.7
 
 
64
40
 
 
2.5
 
 
47
28
 
 
1.9
 
 
34
17
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 Aledo have ranged from a low of 11 °F (−12 °C) in January to a high of 84 °F (29 °C) in July, although a record low of −30 °F (−34 °C) was recorded in February 1905 and a record high of 113 °F (45 °C) was recorded in July 1936. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 1.27 inches (32 mm) in January to 4.43 inches (113 mm) in June.[6]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1830 26
1840 2,352 8,946.2%
1850 5,246 123.0%
1860 15,042 186.7%
1870 18,769 24.8%
1880 19,502 3.9%
1890 18,545 −4.9%
1900 20,945 12.9%
1910 19,723 −5.8%
1920 18,800 −4.7%
1930 16,641 −11.5%
1940 17,701 6.4%
1950 17,374 −1.8%
1960 17,149 −1.3%
1970 17,294 0.8%
1980 19,286 11.5%
1990 17,290 −10.3%
2000 16,957 −1.9%
2010 16,434 −3.1%
Est. 2016 15,730 [7] −4.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790-1960[9] 1900-1990[10]
1990-2000[11] 2010-2013[1]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 16,434 people, 6,734 households, and 4,724 families residing in the county.[12] The population density was 29.3 inhabitants per square mile (11.3/km2). There were 7,358 housing units at an average density of 13.1 per square mile (5.1/km2).[5] The racial makeup of the county was 98.3% white, 0.3% black or African American, 0.3% Asian, 0.1% American Indian, 0.3% from other races, and 0.7% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 1.9% of the population.[12] In terms of ancestry, 25.9% were German, 18.2% were Irish, 11.3% were English, 9.4% were Swedish, and 7.4% were American.[13]

Of the 6,734 households, 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.3% were married couples living together, 7.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 29.8% were non-families, and 25.8% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.88. The median age was 43.7 years.[12]

The median income for a household in the county was $50,909 and the median income for a family was $62,025. Males had a median income of $46,136 versus $30,392 for females, the per capita income for the county was $25,332. About 8.2% of families and 9.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.9% of those under age 18 and 7.2% of those age 65 or over.[14]

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Villages[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Townships[edit]

Mercer County is divided into fifteen townships:

Politics[edit]

Presidential Elections Results[15]
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2016 56.4% 4,807 36.0% 3,071 7.6% 647
2012 45.2% 3,876 52.6% 4,507 2.2% 185
2008 43.2% 3,833 55.1% 4,887 1.7% 150
2004 49.1% 4,405 50.3% 4,512 0.6% 57
2000 44.3% 3,688 52.9% 4,400 2.8% 230
1996 34.0% 2,688 54.2% 4,278 11.8% 931
1992 34.9% 2,983 46.7% 3,990 18.3% 1,567
1988 46.5% 3,683 53.0% 4,204 0.5% 42
1984 55.0% 4,907 44.6% 3,982 0.4% 38
1980 56.2% 5,144 36.7% 3,361 7.1% 651
1976 53.6% 4,816 45.5% 4,090 0.9% 76
1972 61.0% 5,452 38.9% 3,477 0.1% 11
1968 56.3% 4,844 36.6% 3,143 7.1% 613
1964 48.9% 4,220 51.1% 4,410
1960 61.6% 5,582 38.4% 3,476 0.0% 3
1956 65.8% 5,732 34.1% 2,969 0.1% 7
1952 70.5% 6,416 29.5% 2,679 0.0% 2
1948 62.6% 5,267 37.0% 3,117 0.4% 36
1944 63.1% 5,667 36.5% 3,277 0.4% 34
1940 62.1% 6,336 37.5% 3,830 0.4% 38
1936 50.9% 5,028 48.1% 4,751 1.1% 105
1932 50.2% 4,436 48.8% 4,309 1.0% 90
1928 70.6% 5,699 28.7% 2,316 0.7% 58
1924 68.3% 5,618 20.7% 1,699 11.0% 908
1920 74.6% 5,531 21.2% 1,574 4.2% 311
1916 58.9% 5,308 38.1% 3,430 3.0% 270
1912 19.2% 959 32.1% 1,602 48.7% 2,435
1908 57.5% 2,871 35.6% 1,777 6.9% 344
1904 63.7% 3,230 27.3% 1,386 9.1% 459
1900 59.4% 3,304 37.9% 2,110 2.7% 149
1896 56.5% 3,120 42.2% 2,329 1.4% 75
1892 52.7% 2,470 42.1% 1,975 5.2% 242

Historically Mercer County was a solidly Republican Yankee-influenced county, and before the Republican Party existed a stronghold of the Whig Party, the county never voted for a Democratic presidential candidate until Lyndon Johnson’s 1964 landslide over Barry Goldwater – the solitary break in Whig and Republican dominance occurring in 1912 when the GOP was mortally split and Progressive Theodore Roosevelt carried the county over conservative incumbent President William Howard Taft. After Johnson’s victory in the county, Mercer voted to being Republican between 1968 and 1984, but Reagan’s landslide in that election saw a swing to the Democrats that was capitalized upon by Michael Dukakis to carry the county in 1988. Between than and 2012, Mercer was solidly Democratic, but concern over declining economic opportunities in the “Rust Belt” caused a dramatic swing to populist Republican Donald Trump in 2016. Trump’s performance was the best by a Republican since Richard Nixon’s 3,000-plus-county landslide in 1972.

Mercer County is located in Illinois's 17th Congressional District and is currently represented by Democrat Cheri Bustos. Within the Illinois House of Representatives, the county is located in the 74th district and is currently represented by Republican Daniel Swanson. The county is located in the 37th district of the Illinois Senate, and is currently represented by Republican Chuck Weaver.

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 14, 2011. Retrieved July 7, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ United States Office of Management and Budget. "Update of Statistical Area Definitions and Guidance on Their Uses" (PDF). pp. 5, 36. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-05-14. Retrieved 2006-07-21. 
  4. ^ Mercer County Fact Sheet, Illinois State Archives. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-10-23. Retrieved 2007-10-23. 
  5. ^ a b "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-07-12. 
  6. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Aledo, Illinois". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  7. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  8. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 7, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 7, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 7, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 7, 2014. 
  12. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-07-12. 
  13. ^ "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-07-12. 
  14. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-07-12. 
  15. ^ http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°12′N 90°44′W / 41.20°N 90.74°W / 41.20; -90.74