Jefferson County
Jefferson County Courthouse in Mount Vernon
Map of Illinois highlighting Jefferson County
Location within the U.S. state of Illinois
Map of the United States highlighting Illinois
Illinois's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 38°18′N 88°55′W / 38.3°N 88.92°W / 38.3; -88.92
Country United States
State Illinois
Founded1819
Named forThomas Jefferson
SeatMount Vernon
Largest cityMount Vernon
Area
 • Total584 sq mi (1,510 km2)
 • Land571 sq mi (1,480 km2)
 • Water13 sq mi (30 km2)  2.2%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total37,113
 • Density64/sq mi (25/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district12th
Websitewww.jeffersoncountyillinois.com

Jefferson County is a county located in the southern part of the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2020 census, it has a population of 37,113.[1] The county seat is Mount Vernon.[2]

Jefferson County contains the Mount Vernon, Illinois micropolitan area. It is located in the southern portion known locally as "Little Egypt".

The western border of the county adjoins the Greater St. Louis consolidated metropolitan statistical area, the Metro-East region, and the St. Louis commuter region and market and viewing area.

History

The first settler in Jefferson County is believed to have been Andrew Moore. In 1810, he settled near the southeast corner of the county, near where the Goshen Road emerges from the forest of Hamilton County into what is now known as Moore's Prairie. Moore arrived from the Goshen Settlement, near Edwardsville. His migration was therefore retrograde, from the west toward the interior of the State.

In 1814, Andrew Moore departed with his eight-year-old son for Jordan's settlement, a journey from which he never returned. A skull that was believed to have been Moore's was found several years later about two miles from his cabin. Jordan's Settlement, also called Jordan's Fort, was southeast of modern Thompsonville, Illinois, about twenty miles south of Moore's cabin. This episode occurred during the War of 1812 when many of the Indian tribes were allied with the British.

In 1816, Carter Wilkey, Daniel Crenshaw and Robert Cook settled in Moore's Prairie. Daniel Crenshaw moved into Moore's cabin. This settlement is believed to be the first permanent settlement in the county.

Jefferson County was organized in 1819, out of parts of White, Edwards and Franklin Counties. It was named in honor of Thomas Jefferson, principal draftsman of the Northwest Ordinance, among other things.[3] The baseline along the northern border of the County crosses the Third Principal Meridian at the northwest corner of the county.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 584 square miles (1,510 km2), of which 571 square miles (1,480 km2) is land and 13 square miles (34 km2) (2.2%) is water.[4]

Climate and weather

Mount Vernon, Illinois
Climate chart (explanation)
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
 
 
2.5
 
 
37
19
 
 
2.7
 
 
43
23
 
 
4
 
 
54
33
 
 
4.4
 
 
65
43
 
 
4.6
 
 
75
53
 
 
3.6
 
 
84
62
 
 
3.6
 
 
88
66
 
 
3.3
 
 
86
64
 
 
3.1
 
 
79
56
 
 
2.9
 
 
68
43
 
 
4.4
 
 
54
34
 
 
3.2
 
 
42
24
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: The Weather Channel[5]
Metric conversion
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
 
 
62
 
 
3
−7
 
 
68
 
 
6
−5
 
 
101
 
 
12
1
 
 
113
 
 
18
6
 
 
116
 
 
24
12
 
 
92
 
 
29
17
 
 
91
 
 
31
19
 
 
83
 
 
30
18
 
 
79
 
 
26
13
 
 
74
 
 
20
6
 
 
111
 
 
12
1
 
 
81
 
 
6
−4
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm

In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Mount Vernon have ranged from a low of 19 °F (−7 °C) in January to a high of 88 °F (31 °C) in July, although a record low of −21 °F (−29 °C) was recorded in January 1994 and a record high of 114 °F (46 °C) was recorded in July 1936. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.45 inches (62 mm) in January to 4.58 inches (116 mm) in May.[5]

Major highways

Transit

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1820691
18302,555269.8%
18405,762125.5%
18508,10940.7%
186012,96559.9%
187017,86437.8%
188020,68615.8%
189022,5909.2%
190028,13324.5%
191029,1113.5%
192028,480−2.2%
193031,0349.0%
194034,37510.8%
195035,8924.4%
196032,315−10.0%
197031,446−2.7%
198036,55216.2%
199037,0201.3%
200040,0458.2%
201038,827−3.0%
202037,113−4.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
1790-1960[7] 1900-1990[8]
1990-2000[9] 2010-2013[1]
2000 census age pyramid for Jefferson County
2000 census age pyramid for Jefferson County

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 38,827 people, 15,365 households, and 10,140 families residing in the county.[11] The population density was 68.0 inhabitants per square mile (26.3/km2). There were 16,954 housing units at an average density of 29.7 per square mile (11.5/km2).[4] The racial makeup of the county was 88.4% white, 8.4% black or African American, 0.6% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 0.8% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 2.1% of the population.[11] In terms of ancestry, 24.3% were German, 15.8% were Irish, 13.6% were English, and 10.2% were American.[12]

Of the 15,365 households, 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.0% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 34.0% were non-families, and 29.1% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.92. The median age was 40.6 years.[11]

The median income for a household in the county was $41,161 and the median income for a family was $51,262. Males had a median income of $41,193 versus $29,645 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,370. About 12.4% of families and 17.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.8% of those under age 18 and 10.7% of those age 65 or over.[13]

Agencies

In 2015 the county police department announced that the words "In God We Trust" will be on police squad cars.[14]

Jeff Bullard is the current Sheriff of Jefferson County.

Politics

Jefferson is politically a fairly typical “anti-Yankee” Southern Illinois county. Opposition to the “Yankee” Republican Party and that party's Civil War meant that Jefferson County voted solidly Democratic until Theodore Roosevelt carried the county in his 1904 landslide. It was to again vote Republican in the greater landslides of 1920 and 1928, but otherwise was firmly Democratic until World War II.

Following the New Deal, Jefferson became something of a bellwether county, voting for every winning Presidential candidate between 1928 and 2004 except in the Catholicism-influenced 1960 election, and that of 1988 which was heavily influenced by a major Midwestern drought. Disagreement with the Democratic Party's liberal views on social issues since the 1990s has caused a powerful swing to the GOP in the past quarter-century:[15] as is typical of the Upland South, Barack Obama in 2012 and Hillary Clinton did far worse than any previous Democrat.

United States presidential election results for Jefferson County, Illinois[16]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 12,476 71.55% 4,608 26.43% 352 2.02%
2016 11,695 68.80% 4,425 26.03% 879 5.17%
2012 9,811 60.12% 6,089 37.31% 420 2.57%
2008 9,302 54.02% 7,462 43.33% 457 2.65%
2004 10,160 59.95% 6,713 39.61% 75 0.44%
2000 8,362 54.44% 6,685 43.52% 313 2.04%
1996 5,937 39.63% 7,263 48.48% 1,781 11.89%
1992 5,497 31.24% 8,665 49.24% 3,435 19.52%
1988 7,624 49.42% 7,729 50.10% 73 0.47%
1984 9,642 57.10% 7,200 42.64% 43 0.25%
1980 8,972 54.91% 6,761 41.38% 607 3.71%
1976 7,422 44.93% 8,989 54.41% 109 0.66%
1972 9,448 59.40% 6,396 40.21% 61 0.38%
1968 7,367 47.63% 6,476 41.87% 1,624 10.50%
1964 6,248 39.29% 9,653 60.71% 0 0.00%
1960 9,841 55.84% 7,784 44.16% 0 0.00%
1956 9,637 54.36% 8,090 45.64% 0 0.00%
1952 9,841 53.03% 8,698 46.87% 19 0.10%
1948 7,393 45.30% 8,928 54.70% 0 0.00%
1944 7,916 47.83% 8,496 51.33% 139 0.84%
1940 8,692 44.09% 10,887 55.22% 136 0.69%
1936 7,290 41.26% 10,240 57.96% 138 0.78%
1932 5,333 35.54% 9,495 63.28% 177 1.18%
1928 7,326 55.08% 5,905 44.40% 70 0.53%
1924 5,406 44.57% 6,258 51.59% 466 3.84%
1920 5,711 53.57% 4,772 44.77% 177 1.66%
1916 6,028 46.35% 6,685 51.40% 292 2.25%
1912 1,834 27.73% 3,237 48.94% 1,543 23.33%
1908 3,210 47.30% 3,377 49.76% 200 2.95%
1904 3,063 51.33% 2,462 41.26% 442 7.41%
1900 2,805 44.22% 3,332 52.53% 206 3.25%
1896 2,603 41.27% 3,588 56.89% 116 1.84%
1892 1,949 37.24% 2,332 44.55% 953 18.21%

Communities

Cities

Villages

Census-designated place

Other unincorporated communities

Townships

Jefferson County is divided into sixteen townships:

Education

School districts include:[17]

K-12:

Secondary:

Elementary:

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved July 6, 2014.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. pp. 168.
  4. ^ a b "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Mount Vernon, Illinois". The Weather Channel. Retrieved January 27, 2011.
  6. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 6, 2014.
  7. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 6, 2014.
  8. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 6, 2014.
  9. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 27, 2010. Retrieved July 6, 2014.
  10. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ "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.
  13. ^ "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.
  14. ^ "'In God We Trust' to be placed on Jefferson Co., IL squad cars" (Archive). KFVS. August 1, 2015. Retrieved on August 2, 2015.
  15. ^ Cohn, Nate; ‘Demographic Shift: Southern Whites’ Loyalty to G.O.P. Nearing That of Blacks to Democrats’, The New York Times, April 24, 2014
  16. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  17. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Jefferson County, IL" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 22, 2022. Retrieved July 22, 2022. - Text list

Coordinates: 38°18′N 88°55′W / 38.30°N 88.92°W / 38.30; -88.92