Mercer County
Mercer County Courthouse
Map of Illinois highlighting Mercer County
Location within the U.S. state of Illinois
Map of the United States highlighting Illinois
Illinois's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 41°12′N 90°44′W / 41.2°N 90.74°W / 41.2; -90.74
Country United States
State Illinois
FoundedJanuary 13, 1825
Named forHugh Mercer
SeatAledo
Largest cityAledo
Area
 • Total569 sq mi (1,470 km2)
 • Land561 sq mi (1,450 km2)
 • Water7.5 sq mi (19 km2)  1.3%
Population
 (2010)
 • Total16,434
 • Estimate 
(2018)
15,601
 • Density29/sq mi (11/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district17th
Websitewww.mercercountyil.org

Mercer County is a county in 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

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

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

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

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
183026
18402,3528,946.2%
18505,246123.0%
186015,042186.7%
187018,76924.8%
188019,5023.9%
189018,545−4.9%
190020,94512.9%
191019,723−5.8%
192018,800−4.7%
193016,641−11.5%
194017,7016.4%
195017,374−1.8%
196017,149−1.3%
197017,2940.8%
198019,28611.5%
199017,290−10.3%
200016,957−1.9%
201016,434−3.1%
2018 (est.)15,601[7]−5.1%
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

Cities

Villages

Unincorporated communities

Townships

Mercer County is divided into fifteen townships:

Politics

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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 then 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.

United States presidential election results for Mercer County, Illinois[15]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 5,418 60.78% 3,280 36.80% 216 2.42%
2016 4,807 56.39% 3,071 36.02% 647 7.59%
2012 3,876 45.24% 4,507 52.60% 185 2.16%
2008 3,833 43.21% 4,887 55.10% 150 1.69%
2004 4,405 49.09% 4,512 50.28% 57 0.64%
2000 3,688 44.34% 4,400 52.90% 230 2.77%
1996 2,688 34.04% 4,278 54.17% 931 11.79%
1992 2,983 34.93% 3,990 46.72% 1,567 18.35%
1988 3,683 46.45% 4,204 53.02% 42 0.53%
1984 4,907 54.97% 3,982 44.61% 38 0.43%
1980 5,144 56.18% 3,361 36.71% 651 7.11%
1976 4,816 53.62% 4,090 45.54% 76 0.85%
1972 5,452 60.98% 3,477 38.89% 11 0.12%
1968 4,844 56.33% 3,143 36.55% 613 7.13%
1964 4,220 48.90% 4,410 51.10% 0 0.00%
1960 5,582 61.60% 3,476 38.36% 3 0.03%
1956 5,732 65.82% 2,969 34.10% 7 0.08%
1952 6,416 70.53% 2,679 29.45% 2 0.02%
1948 5,267 62.55% 3,117 37.02% 36 0.43%
1944 5,667 63.12% 3,277 36.50% 34 0.38%
1940 6,336 62.09% 3,830 37.53% 38 0.37%
1936 5,028 50.87% 4,751 48.07% 105 1.06%
1932 4,436 50.21% 4,309 48.77% 90 1.02%
1928 5,699 70.59% 2,316 28.69% 58 0.72%
1924 5,618 68.30% 1,699 20.66% 908 11.04%
1920 5,531 74.58% 1,574 21.22% 311 4.19%
1916 5,308 58.93% 3,430 38.08% 270 3.00%
1912 959 19.20% 1,602 32.07% 2,435 48.74%
1908 2,871 57.51% 1,777 35.60% 344 6.89%
1904 3,230 63.65% 1,386 27.31% 459 9.04%
1900 3,304 59.39% 2,110 37.93% 149 2.68%
1896 3,120 56.48% 2,329 42.16% 75 1.36%
1892 2,470 52.70% 1,975 42.14% 242 5.16%


See also

Footnotes

  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. ^ 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 May 14, 2006. Retrieved July 21, 2006.
  4. ^ Mercer County Fact Sheet, Illinois State Archives. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 23, 2007. Retrieved October 23, 2007.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ a b "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Aledo, Illinois". The Weather Channel. Retrieved January 27, 2011.
  7. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved November 3, 2019.
  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. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  13. ^ "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.
  14. ^ "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.
  15. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved November 11, 2018.

Further reading

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