Hardin County
Hardin County Courthouse in Elizabethtown
Hardin County Courthouse in Elizabethtown
Map of Illinois highlighting Hardin 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°31′53″N 88°22′06″W / 37.5314°N 88.3683°W / 37.5314; -88.3683
Country United States
State Illinois
Founded1839
Named forHardin County, Kentucky
SeatElizabethtown
Largest cityRosiclare
Area
 • Total182 sq mi (470 km2)
 • Land178 sq mi (460 km2)
 • Water4.1 sq mi (11 km2)  2.2%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total3,649
 • Density20/sq mi (7.7/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district15th
Websitewww.hardincountyil.org
Topology of Hicks Dome in Hardin and Pope counties
Topology of Hicks Dome in Hardin and Pope counties

Hardin County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2020 census, it has a population of 3,649,[1] making it the least populous county in Illinois. Its county seat is Elizabethtown.[2] Hardin County is located in the part of the state known as Little Egypt. Hardin County was named for Hardin County, Kentucky, which was named in honor of Colonel John Hardin, an officer in the American Revolutionary War and the Northwest Indian War.

History

Hardin County was formed in 1839 from Pope County. Additional area was later added from Gallatin County. Hardin County was named for Hardin County, Kentucky, which was named in honor of Colonel John Hardin, an officer in the American Revolutionary War and the Northwest Indian War. Hardin was murdered by Shawnee Indians while he was on a peace mission in 1792 for President George Washington, in what is now Shelby County, Ohio. In the 1790s and early 1800s, the Hardin County area, especially Cave-In-Rock, was notorious as a stronghold used by outlaws, bandits, river pirates, and counterfeiters.

Geography

Fluorite mineral specimen from Hardin County
Fluorite mineral specimen from Hardin County

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 182 square miles (470 km2), of which 178 square miles (460 km2) is land and 4.1 square miles (11 km2) (2.2%) is water.[3] It is the second-smallest county in Illinois by area.

Hicks Dome (37°31′53″N 88°22′06″W / 37.53139°N 88.36833°W / 37.53139; -88.36833) is a geological feature in Hardin County. The Hicks Dome is underlain by ultramafic igneous rocks and igneous diatremes or breccia pipes. Most geologists accept the theory that the older rocks at the center of the uplift are a result of this deep-seated igneous activity. This activity may also have provided the fluorine in the fluorspar deposits in the region. Fluorspar, or calcium fluoride, was mined in Hardin County until the early 1990s.

Climate and weather

Elizabethtown, Illinois
Climate chart (explanation)
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
 
 
3.5
 
 
41
21
 
 
3.7
 
 
47
24
 
 
4.7
 
 
57
33
 
 
4.8
 
 
68
42
 
 
5
 
 
76
52
 
 
4.2
 
 
84
60
 
 
4.2
 
 
87
65
 
 
3.5
 
 
87
63
 
 
3.2
 
 
80
55
 
 
3.2
 
 
70
43
 
 
4.4
 
 
57
34
 
 
4.3
 
 
46
25
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: The Weather Channel[4]

In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Elizabethtown have ranged from a low of 21 °F (−6 °C) in January to a high of 87 °F (31 °C) in July, although a record low of −22 °F (−30 °C) was recorded in January 1994 and a record high of 104 °F (40 °C) was recorded in August 2007. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 3.22 inches (82 mm) in October to 5.02 inches (128 mm) in May.[4]

Adjacent counties

Major highways

National protected area

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
18401,378
18502,887109.5%
18603,75930.2%
18705,11336.0%
18806,02417.8%
18907,23420.1%
19007,4483.0%
19107,015−5.8%
19207,5337.4%
19306,955−7.7%
19407,75911.6%
19507,530−3.0%
19605,879−21.9%
19704,914−16.4%
19805,3839.5%
19905,189−3.6%
20004,800−7.5%
20104,320−10.0%
20203,649−15.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]
1790-1960[6] 1900-1990[7]
1990-2000[8] 2010-2017[1]
2000 census age pyramid for Hardin County
2000 census age pyramid for Hardin County

As of the 2010 census, there were 4,320 people, 1,915 households, and 1,234 families residing in the county.[9] The population density was 24.3 inhabitants per square mile (9.4/km2). There were 2,488 housing units at an average density of 14.0 per square mile (5.4/km2).[3] The racial makeup of the county was 97.3% white, 0.6% American Indian, 0.5% Asian, 0.3% black or African American, 0.1% Pacific islander, 0.3% from other races, and 0.8% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 1.3% of the population.[9] In terms of ancestry, 26.5% were Irish, 23.8% were German, 10.4% were English, and 4.3% were American.[10]

Of the 1,915 households, 26.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.9% were married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 35.6% were non-families, and 31.7% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.78. The median age was 46.3 years.[9]

The median income for a household in the county was $27,578 and the median income for a family was $38,576. Males had a median income of $42,955 versus $26,683 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,515. About 17.4% of families and 22.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 37.4% of those under age 18 and 14.6% of those age 65 or over.[11]

Communities

City

Villages

Unincorporated communities

Precincts

Ghost towns

Notable people

Politics

United States presidential election results for Hardin County, Illinois[13]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 1,691 78.21% 449 20.77% 22 1.02%
2016 1,653 76.96% 420 19.55% 75 3.49%
2012 1,535 65.88% 742 31.85% 53 2.27%
2008 1,330 58.80% 892 39.43% 40 1.77%
2004 1,501 61.59% 923 37.87% 13 0.53%
2000 1,366 51.80% 1,184 44.90% 87 3.30%
1996 790 30.19% 1,323 50.55% 504 19.26%
1992 985 31.04% 1,665 52.47% 523 16.48%
1988 1,504 53.26% 1,308 46.32% 12 0.42%
1984 1,689 58.26% 1,205 41.57% 5 0.17%
1980 1,721 55.27% 1,314 42.20% 79 2.54%
1976 1,393 46.17% 1,602 53.10% 22 0.73%
1972 1,915 62.54% 1,140 37.23% 7 0.23%
1968 1,492 51.75% 1,199 41.59% 192 6.66%
1964 1,324 44.68% 1,639 55.32% 0 0.00%
1960 1,944 56.96% 1,465 42.92% 4 0.12%
1956 1,919 56.93% 1,444 42.84% 8 0.24%
1952 1,984 55.84% 1,563 43.99% 6 0.17%
1948 1,713 55.49% 1,358 43.99% 16 0.52%
1944 2,037 59.25% 1,370 39.85% 31 0.90%
1940 2,333 53.84% 1,974 45.56% 26 0.60%
1936 2,008 50.06% 1,984 49.46% 19 0.47%
1932 1,559 48.37% 1,610 49.95% 54 1.68%
1928 1,758 64.35% 933 34.15% 41 1.50%
1924 1,378 49.06% 1,358 48.34% 73 2.60%
1920 1,555 61.54% 943 37.32% 29 1.15%
1916 1,419 51.68% 1,264 46.03% 63 2.29%
1912 691 43.60% 644 40.63% 250 15.77%
1908 813 52.52% 680 43.93% 55 3.55%
1904 756 49.09% 642 41.69% 142 9.22%
1900 753 46.31% 839 51.60% 34 2.09%
1896 780 46.15% 900 53.25% 10 0.59%
1892 660 43.11% 700 45.72% 171 11.17%


In its early history, Hardin County was opposed to the “Yankee” Republican Party and its Civil War against the South – with whom it was closely allied both culturally and economically. It did not vote for a Republican presidential candidate until Theodore Roosevelt’s 1904 landslide.

Since 1904, however, Hardin County has turned powerfully Republican. Like the nearby counties of Johnson, Massac and Pope, it managed to remain loyal to William Howard Taft during the 1912 election when the Republican Party was mortally divided. Hardin County would next be carried by a Democratic presidential candidate in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1932 landslide victory, and not after that until Lyndon Johnson in 1964. The county did trend Democratic in the following three decades, actually voting more Democratic than the nation at-large between 1972 and 1996. Nonetheless, since 2000 Hardin County has followed the same political trajectory as Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia and Appalachian regions of adjacent states, whereby the Democratic Party's liberal views on social issues have produced dramatic swings to the Republican Party amongst its almost entirely Southern white population.[14] The past six Presidential elections have observed a swing totalling 79 percentage points to the GOP, with Hillary Clinton in 2016 receiving barely half the proportion of the worst-performing Democrat from before 2010.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Elizabethtown, Illinois". The Weather Channel. Retrieved January 27, 2011.
  5. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
  6. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
  7. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
  8. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
  9. ^ 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 11, 2015.
  10. ^ "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 11, 2015.
  11. ^ "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 11, 2015.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Hardin County Histories".
  13. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  14. ^ Cohn, Nate; ‘Demographic Shift: Southern Whites’ Loyalty to G.O.P. Nearing That of Blacks to Democrats’, New York Times, April 24, 2014