Calhoun County, Illinois facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Calhoun County Courthouse in Hardin
Location within the U.S. state of Illinois
Illinois's location within the U.S.
|Named for||John C. Calhoun|
|• Total||284 sq mi (740 km2)|
|• Land||254 sq mi (660 km2)|
|• Water||30 sq mi (80 km2) 10.5%|
| • Estimate
|• Density||17.92/sq mi (6.919/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
Calhoun County is a county in the U.S. state of Illinois. As of the 2010 census, the population was 5,089, making it Illinois’ third-least populous county. Its county seat and biggest community is Hardin, with a population of 801. Its smallest incorporated community is Hamburg, with a population of 99. Calhoun County is at the tip of the peninsula formed by the courses of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers above their confluence and is almost completely surrounded by water. Calhoun County is sparsely populated; it has just five municipalities, all of them villages.
Calhoun County is part of the Metro-East portion of the St. Louis, MO-IL Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The territory was originally settled by indigenous people who occupied the resource-rich river valleys near waterways. The remains of their occupation have provided some of the most valuable archaeological information in the country. The county's archaeological record chronicles more than 10,000 years of continuous human settlement by Native Americans.
Calhoun County was settled by European Americans during the 19th century, and officially organized in 1825. It was named for Vice President John C. Calhoun. The southern side of the county, covered in thick forest, was untouched until the population began to expand in the late 1840s with the arrival of German immigrants. Land was cleared for farming, exporting lumber, and constructing spacious log barns, typically 200 square feet (19 m2) in size, which were a "trademark of successful German farmers."
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 284 square miles (740 km2), of which 254 square miles (660 km2) is land and 30 square miles (78 km2) (10.5%) is water.
Calhoun County is a narrow 37-mile (60 km)-long peninsula of mostly high, rolling ground located between the Mississippi River and the Illinois River. The rolling hills escaped the leveling of glaciers.
County transportation is served by two state-operated, free ferries crossing the Illinois River (the Brussels Ferry in the south and the Kampsville ferry in the north). The Golden Eagle ferry, which is privately operated and charges a toll, crosses the Mississippi River to St. Charles County, Missouri. A bridge spans the Illinois River at Hardin. Land routes connect to the north to bordering Pike County.
When transportation was mainly by river, the county had many prosperous farms and orchards. It still produces a major portion of the peach crop of Illinois, and farmers raise corn and other commodities. The hotel in Brussels dates from 1847, when it was a stagecoach stop.
The county is popular with tourists due to the natural beauty of the Illinois River valley and its proximity to the Great River Road on the Illinois side. It includes part of the Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge and attracts thousands of birds in migration seasons as part of the Mississippi Flyway. The county has several designated historic districts in the villages and properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Calhoun County was added to the St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area in 2003, along with Bond and Macoupin counties in Illinois, and Washington County, Missouri.
The Center for American Archeology is located in Kampsville in the northern part of the county. It has been the center for study of prehistoric indigenous culture in the area. It has created educational opportunities for children and adults to participate in its archaeological digs.
- Greene County – northeast
- Jersey County – east
- St. Charles County, Missouri – south
- Lincoln County, Missouri – west
- Pike County, Illinois – north
- Pike County, Missouri – northwest
National protected area
Climate and weather
|Weather chart for Hardin, Illinois|
|temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches
source: The Weather Channel
In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Hardin have ranged from a low of 19 °F (−7 °C) in January to a high of 90 °F (32 °C) in July, although a record low of −24 °F (−31 °C) was recorded in January 1979 and a record high of 116 °F (47 °C) was recorded in July 1954. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.01 inches (51 mm) in January to 4.10 inches (104 mm) in May.
|U.S. Decennial Census
As of the 2010 census, there were 5,089 people, 2,085 households, and 1,447 families residing in the county. The population density was 20.0 inhabitants per square mile (7.7/km2). There were 2,835 housing units at an average density of 11.2 per square mile (4.3/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 98.9% white, 0.2% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 0.1% black or African American, 0.2% from other races, and 0.4% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 0.8% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 46.2% were German, 14.7% were American, 12.4% were Irish, and 9.5% were English.
Of the 2,085 households, 28.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.2% were married couples living together, 7.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 30.6% were non-families, and 27.3% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.90. The median age was 44.6 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $44,891 and the median income for a family was $57,627. Males had a median income of $42,917 versus $34,514 for females. The per capita income for the county was $23,109. About 7.2% of families and 11.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.3% of those under age 18 and 13.2% of those age 65 or over.
- Brussels Community Unit School District 42
- Calhoun Community Unit School District 40