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White County
White County Courthouse in Carmi
White County Courthouse in Carmi
Map of Illinois highlighting White 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°05′N 88°11′W / 38.09°N 88.18°W / 38.09; -88.18
Country United States
State Illinois
Founded1815
Named forIsaac White
SeatCarmi
Largest cityCarmi
Area
 • Total502 sq mi (1,300 km2)
 • Land495 sq mi (1,280 km2)
 • Water7.1 sq mi (18 km2)  1.4%
Population
 (2010)
 • Total14,665
 • Estimate 
(2018)
13,665
 • Density29/sq mi (11/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district15th
Websitewww.whitecounty-il.gov

White County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it had a population of 14,665.[1] Its county seat is Carmi.[2] It is located in the southern portion of Illinois known locally as "Little Egypt".

History

White County was organized from Gallatin County in 1815, and was named after Captain Isaac White, a Gallatin County legislator who is credited with the idea of extending the Illinois-Wisconsin border a few miles north of the southern tip of Lake Michigan and was also in charge of the salt works at Equality. He was killed in 1811 at the Battle of Tippecanoe. The county seat, Carmi, was founded in 1814, and incorporated in 1816. The first courthouse was in the log cabin of John Craw.

The first white settlers came to White County between 1807 and 1809. The first settlements were near the Little Wabash River and Big Prairie, one of the numerous prairies in the county. These families—Hanna, Land, Hay, Williams, Calvert, Ratcliff, Holderby, Robinson, Stewart, among others—typically had spent time in the Carolinas, Kentucky or Tennessee before moving into Illinois, and most were of Scots-Irish descent. Many came through the land office at Shawneetown, Illinois, which was a port for flatboats which traveled the Ohio River.

Other early settlements were Grayville, located at the mouth of Bonpas Creek and the Wabash River, settled by the Gray family around 1810; Phillipstown, on the bluffs above the Wabash and Fox River floodplain; and New Haven (mostly in Gallatin County), which was home to a brother of Daniel Boone around 1818. Old Sharon Church (Presbyterian), located near the later village of Sacramento, was organized around 1816, and the village of Seven Mile Prairie was established a few miles north of the church in the 1830s. The parents of longtime Abraham Lincoln girlfriend Ann Rutledge were part of this group, along with families named McArthy, Miller, McClellan, Pollard, Storey, Fields, and Johnson.

About 1839, a group of Irish immigrants began moving into the extreme western part of Enfield Township, led by Patrick Dolan, as well as members of the Mitchell and Dunn clans. Dolan was auctioneer in 1853 when the village of Enfield was platted, as Seven Mile moved west in anticipation of a railroad line, which was not built until 1872. German families moved into the middle portion of the county in the 1840s and onward, especially from the Baden region, and included the family names of Rebstock, Dartt, Brown, Sailer, Stanley, and Drone.

The second half of the 19th century saw the establishment of the towns of Norris City, Springerton, Mill Shoals (once the home of a thriving barrel-making industry which depleted the nearby virgin forests), Epworth, Herald, Burnt Prairie (previously known as "Liberty"), Crossville, Phillipstown, Concord (also known as Emma), Maunie and Rising Sun (commonly called Dogtown)--the latter two villages are located on the Wabash and attracted several African-American families. A number of villages which no longer exist were also formed: Trumbull, Roland, Middle Point, Stokes Station, Gossett, Bungay, Calvin, Iron, and Dolan Settlement.

In 1925, White County was the last of five Illinois counties affected by the infamous Tri State Tornado. Although the storm spared the towns of Carmi, Enfield and Crossville, significant damage was done to the surrounding rural areas, where 28 people were killed, dozens were injured and scores of homes and farms were destroyed.

Agriculture was the primary industry of White County until the summer of 1939, when oil was discovered in the Storms and Stinson fields in the Wabash River Bottoms. The population of Carmi doubled within two years, from 2,700 to 5,400, with corresponding increases at Crossville and Grayville—in 1940 it was said one could walk between these two towns by simply walking from rig to rig. Many of these workers migrated from previous oil booms in Texas and Oklahoma. As of 2013, fracking is underway near Carmi.[3]

The current population of White County is a little over 17,000, with 6,500 in the county seat of Carmi. There is a high number of retired people, and many citizens work in the factories of Evansville or Mount Vernon, Indiana, located 45 and 25 miles to the east, respectively. Besides oil and agriculture, industries include auto parts manufacturing, plastics, a convenience store distribution center and underground coal mining.

Due to legal actions enforced by Indiana courts, White County, Illinois was also the site of the ill-fated Erie Canal Soda Pop Festival also known as the Bull Island Fest in 1972. Three county sheriffs were the only police force present at the festival.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 502 square miles (1,300 km2), of which 495 square miles (1,280 km2) is land and 7.1 square miles (18 km2) (1.4%) is water.[4]

Climate and weather

Carmi, Illinois
Climate chart (explanation)
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
 
 
3.1
 
 
40
22
 
 
3
 
 
46
26
 
 
4.4
 
 
57
35
 
 
4.2
 
 
68
44
 
 
5
 
 
77
53
 
 
4.6
 
 
86
63
 
 
4.6
 
 
89
67
 
 
3.6
 
 
88
64
 
 
3.1
 
 
81
57
 
 
2.6
 
 
70
44
 
 
4.2
 
 
56
36
 
 
4
 
 
44
26
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 Carmi have ranged from a low of 22 °F (−6 °C) in January to a high of 89 °F (32 °C) in July, although a record low of −20 °F (−29 °C) was recorded in January 1994 and a record high of 103 °F (39 °C) was recorded in August 2007. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.61 inches (66 mm) in October to 5.00 inches (127 mm) in May.[5]

Major highways

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
18204,828
18306,09126.2%
18407,91930.0%
18508,92512.7%
186012,40339.0%
187016,84635.8%
188023,08737.0%
189025,0058.3%
190025,3861.5%
191023,052−9.2%
192020,081−12.9%
193018,149−9.6%
194020,02710.3%
195020,9354.5%
196019,373−7.5%
197017,312−10.6%
198017,8643.2%
199016,522−7.5%
200015,371−7.0%
201014,665−4.6%
2018 (est.)13,665[6]−6.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790-1960[8] 1900-1990[9]
1990-2000[10] 2010-2013[1]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 14,665 people, 6,313 households, and 4,142 families residing in the county.[11] The population density was 29.6 inhabitants per square mile (11.4/km2). There were 7,181 housing units at an average density of 14.5 per square mile (5.6/km2).[4] The racial makeup of the county was 98.1% white, 0.4% black or African American, 0.3% American Indian, 0.2% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 0.7% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 1.1% of the population.[11] In terms of ancestry, 25.5% were German, 15.8% were Irish, 14.0% were American, and 11.8% were English.[12]

Of the 6,313 households, 27.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.1% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 34.4% were non-families, and 30.5% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.78. The median age was 45.2 years.[11]

The median income for a household in the county was $39,728 and the median income for a family was $48,666. Males had a median income of $41,712 versus $26,168 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,081. About 10.1% of families and 14.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.7% of those under age 18 and 6.3% of those age 65 or over.[13]

Communities

Cities

Villages

Unincorporated towns

Townships

White County is divided into ten townships:

Politics

United States presidential election results for White County, Illinois[14]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 5,791 77.93% 1,517 20.41% 123 1.66%
2016 5,640 76.89% 1,412 19.25% 283 3.86%
2012 4,731 66.80% 2,188 30.90% 163 2.30%
2008 3,987 53.50% 3,315 44.48% 151 2.03%
2004 5,180 62.40% 3,071 37.00% 50 0.60%
2000 4,521 59.20% 2,958 38.73% 158 2.07%
1996 2,878 39.15% 3,553 48.33% 921 12.53%
1992 3,057 34.70% 4,308 48.89% 1,446 16.41%
1988 4,354 51.04% 4,144 48.58% 33 0.39%
1984 5,500 61.23% 3,457 38.48% 26 0.29%
1980 5,279 58.19% 3,463 38.17% 330 3.64%
1976 4,600 46.31% 5,306 53.42% 27 0.27%
1972 6,052 62.10% 3,678 37.74% 16 0.16%
1968 5,351 53.77% 3,837 38.56% 764 7.68%
1964 4,000 40.15% 5,963 59.85% 0 0.00%
1960 5,810 54.93% 4,756 44.97% 11 0.10%
1956 6,128 56.13% 4,778 43.77% 11 0.10%
1952 6,141 58.87% 4,284 41.07% 6 0.06%
1948 4,498 48.17% 4,761 50.99% 79 0.85%
1944 5,139 51.12% 4,822 47.97% 91 0.91%
1940 5,459 47.50% 5,909 51.41% 125 1.09%
1936 4,322 39.62% 6,511 59.68% 76 0.70%
1932 3,320 35.71% 5,909 63.55% 69 0.74%
1928 4,177 53.01% 3,666 46.53% 36 0.46%
1924 3,780 44.71% 4,377 51.77% 297 3.51%
1920 4,494 51.23% 4,148 47.29% 130 1.48%
1916 4,137 43.76% 5,066 53.59% 250 2.64%
1912 591 11.16% 2,708 51.11% 1,999 37.73%
1908 2,436 43.50% 2,934 52.39% 230 4.11%
1904 2,515 45.19% 2,774 49.84% 277 4.98%
1900 2,658 44.94% 3,170 53.59% 87 1.47%
1896 2,771 44.44% 3,421 54.87% 43 0.69%
1892 2,215 40.40% 2,954 53.88% 314 5.73%


See also

References

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Webber, Tammy. "Illinois high-volume 'fracking' underway". The Associated Press. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  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 12, 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Carmi, Illinois". The Weather Channel. Retrieved January 27, 2011.
  6. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved November 2, 2019.
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  8. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  9. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  10. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 9, 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. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved November 13, 2018.

Coordinates: 38°05′N 88°11′W / 38.09°N 88.18°W / 38.09; -88.18