Randolph County
Randolph County Courthouse in Chester
Motto(s): 
Where Illinois Began
Map of Illinois highlighting Randolph 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°03′N 89°49′W / 38.05°N 89.82°W / 38.05; -89.82
Country United States
State Illinois
Founded1795
Named forEdmund Randolph
SeatChester
Largest cityChester
Area
 • Total597 sq mi (1,550 km2)
 • Land576 sq mi (1,490 km2)
 • Water22 sq mi (60 km2)  3.6%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total30,163
 • Density51/sq mi (20/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district12th
Websiteam.randolphco.org

Randolph County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2020 census, it had a population of 30,163.[1] Its county seat is Chester.[2]

Owing to its role in the state's history, the county motto is "Where Illinois Began." It contains the historically important village of Kaskaskia, Illinois's first capital.

The county is part of Southern Illinois in the southern portion of the state known locally as "Little Egypt", and includes fertile river flats, part of the American Bottom; it is near the Greater St. Louis area.

History

Randolph County was organized in 1795 out of a part of St. Clair County. It was named in honor of Edmund Randolph, Governor of Virginia. George Rogers Clark of the army of Virginia captured the area from the British on July 4, 1778, near the end of the Revolutionary War. The area then became the seat, for several years, of Illinois County, Virginia, although the Congress of the Confederation legislated the existence of the Northwest Territory on July 13, 1787. Edmund Randolph was Governor of Virginia at the time Virginia ceded the Northwest Territory to the United States. In 1809, when Illinois became a separate territory, Territorial Secretary Nathaniel Pope, in his capacity as acting governor, issued a proclamation establishing Randolph as one of the Illinois' two original counties. The county's boundaries were last changed in 1827, when land was taken to form Perry County.

The Mississippi River has played a prominent role in the county's history, altering its boundaries in 1881 when it severed the isthmus that connected Kaskaskia to the Illinois mainland, destroying the original village of Kaskaskia and forcing its historic cemetery to be relocated across the river to Fort Kaskaskia. Crains Island [2], southeast of Chester, is another enclave of Illinois west of the Mississippi that was created by a change in the river's course.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 597 square miles (1,550 km2), of which 576 square miles (1,490 km2) is land and 22 square miles (57 km2) (3.6%) is water.[4]

The Kaskaskia River flows into the Mississippi River in Randolph County. At this point the Mississippi, which usually defines the border between Illinois and Missouri, is entirely in Illinois. The Mississippi changed its course in the late-nineteenth century, leaving Kaskaskia, the former state capital, on the west side of the river. The boundary of the State, however, follows the old course of the river, leaving Illinois with an exclave on the western shore of the Mississippi River. A smaller enclave, Crains Island, is a few miles further down the river.

Climate and weather

Chester, Illinois
Climate chart (explanation)
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
 
 
1.9
 
 
39
22
 
 
2
 
 
46
26
 
 
3.5
 
 
56
35
 
 
3.4
 
 
68
45
 
 
4.3
 
 
78
54
 
 
3.9
 
 
87
64
 
 
3.8
 
 
91
68
 
 
3.4
 
 
89
66
 
 
3.2
 
 
82
58
 
 
3.1
 
 
71
46
 
 
4.2
 
 
56
36
 
 
3.2
 
 
44
27
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: The Weather Channel[5]

In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Chester have ranged from a low of 22 °F (−6 °C) in January to a high of 91 °F (33 °C) in July, although a record low of −18 °F (−28 °C) was recorded in January 1985 and a record high of 113 °F (45 °C) was recorded in July 2012. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 1.85 inches (47 mm) in January to 4.30 inches (109 mm) in May.[5]

Major highways

Adjacent counties

Randolph County is among the few counties in the United States to border two counties with the same name (Perry County in Missouri and Illinois).

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
18203,492
18304,42926.8%
18407,94479.4%
185011,07939.5%
186017,20555.3%
187020,85921.2%
188025,69023.2%
189025,049−2.5%
190028,00111.8%
191029,1204.0%
192029,1090.0%
193029,3130.7%
194033,60814.7%
195031,673−5.8%
196029,988−5.3%
197031,3794.6%
198035,65213.6%
199034,583−3.0%
200033,893−2.0%
201033,476−1.2%
202030,163−9.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
1790-1960[7] 1900-1990[8]
1990-2000[9] 2010-2013[10]2020 United States census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 33,476 people, 12,314 households, and 8,188 families residing in the county.[11] The population density was 58.2 inhabitants per square mile (22.5/km2). There were 13,707 housing units at an average density of 23.8 per square mile (9.2/km2).[4] The racial makeup of the county was 87.6% white, 9.7% black or African American, 0.3% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 1.2% from other races, and 0.9% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 2.6% of the population.[11] In terms of ancestry, 40.3% were German, 11.3% were Irish, 9.4% were English, and 5.7% were American.[12]

Of the 12,314 households, 29.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.0% were married couples living together, 10.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 33.5% were non-families, and 28.9% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.90. The median age was 41.0 years.[11]

The median income for a household in the county was $45,020 and the median income for a family was $55,113. Males had a median income of $43,359 versus $28,376 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,950. About 7.0% of families and 10.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.9% of those under age 18 and 9.9% of those age 65 or over.[13]

Government and infrastructure

The Illinois Department of Corrections Menard Correctional Center is located in Chester.[14][15] Prior to the January 11, 2003 commutation of death row sentences, male death row inmates were housed in Menard, Tamms, and Pontiac correctional centers. After that date, only Pontiac continued to host the male death row.[16]

Politics

Randolph is a rural conservative county in southern Illinois that has trended Republican since 2000 in presidential elections.

United States presidential election results for Randolph County, Illinois[17]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 11,076 74.29% 3,592 24.09% 242 1.62%
2016 10,023 70.61% 3,439 24.23% 732 5.16%
2012 8,290 57.42% 5,759 39.89% 389 2.69%
2008 7,538 49.59% 7,395 48.64% 269 1.77%
2004 8,076 54.00% 6,771 45.27% 109 0.73%
2000 7,127 49.88% 6,794 47.55% 366 2.56%
1996 5,422 37.02% 7,419 50.65% 1,806 12.33%
1992 4,899 29.57% 8,529 51.49% 3,137 18.94%
1988 7,396 48.28% 7,844 51.21% 78 0.51%
1984 9,415 59.48% 6,355 40.15% 59 0.37%
1980 8,810 56.86% 6,052 39.06% 632 4.08%
1976 8,190 48.07% 8,693 51.02% 155 0.91%
1972 9,761 60.20% 6,440 39.72% 14 0.09%
1968 7,681 50.37% 5,953 39.04% 1,616 10.60%
1964 5,803 38.68% 9,199 61.32% 0 0.00%
1960 7,988 52.05% 7,344 47.85% 15 0.10%
1956 8,439 55.44% 6,778 44.53% 4 0.03%
1952 8,427 54.59% 6,998 45.33% 13 0.08%
1948 6,867 49.83% 6,852 49.72% 62 0.45%
1944 7,518 54.65% 6,199 45.06% 39 0.28%
1940 9,333 54.21% 7,802 45.32% 80 0.46%
1936 7,057 44.95% 8,247 52.53% 397 2.53%
1932 4,747 34.78% 8,634 63.27% 266 1.95%
1928 5,739 47.46% 6,251 51.69% 103 0.85%
1924 4,527 41.61% 3,734 34.32% 2,619 24.07%
1920 6,180 62.54% 3,181 32.19% 521 5.27%
1916 5,517 49.06% 5,403 48.04% 326 2.90%
1912 1,169 18.31% 3,217 50.38% 2,000 31.32%
1908 3,045 47.04% 3,172 49.00% 256 3.95%
1904 3,238 52.17% 2,518 40.57% 451 7.27%
1900 3,045 47.07% 3,278 50.67% 146 2.26%
1896 3,024 48.55% 3,081 49.46% 124 1.99%
1892 2,425 43.87% 2,702 48.88% 401 7.25%


Media

There are two AM radio stations licensed in the county — WHCO 1230AM in Sparta and KSGM 980AM in Chester.

Weekly newspapers in the county are The Randolph County Herald Tribune located in Chester, The County Journal, which is based in Percy and also covers Perry and Jackson Counties, the North County News in Red Bud, and the Sparta News-Plaindealer.

The area is also served by the on-line newspaper based in Chester which is SunTimesNews.com

Communities

Cities

Villages

Unincorporated communities

Forts[edit]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Explore Census Data".
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ White, Jesse. Origin and Evolution of Illinois Counties. State of Illinois, March 2010. [1]
  4. ^ a b "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Chester, Illinois". The Weather Channel. Retrieved January 27, 2011.
  6. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 8, 2014.
  7. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 8, 2014.
  8. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 8, 2014.
  9. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 8, 2014.
  10. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved July 8, 2014.
  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 12, 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 12, 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 12, 2015.
  14. ^ "Menard Correctional Center." Illinois Department of Corrections. Retrieved on September 1, 2010.
  15. ^ "Chester city, Illinois Archived 2011-07-28 at the Wayback Machine." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on September 1, 2010.
  16. ^ "DOC Report Online." Illinois Department of Corrections. Retrieved on September 1, 2010.
  17. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved April 7, 2018.

Coordinates: 38°03′N 89°49′W / 38.05°N 89.82°W / 38.05; -89.82