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Clinton, Illinois facts for kids

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Clinton city hall
Clinton city hall
"On the rise since 1835"
Location of Clinton in De Witt County, Illinois.
Location of Clinton in De Witt County, Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
Location of Illinois in the United States
Country United States
State Illinois
County DeWitt
Township Clintonia, Texas
 • Total 3.54 sq mi (9.18 km2)
 • Land 3.54 sq mi (9.18 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
726 ft (221 m)
 • Total 7,004
 • Density 1,976.30/sq mi (762.95/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code(s)
Area code(s) 217
FIPS code 17-15001
Wikimedia Commons Clinton, Illinois

Clinton is the largest city in DeWitt County, Illinois, United States. The population was 7,225 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of DeWitt County.

The city and the county are named for DeWitt Clinton, governor of New York, 1817–1823. Clinton Nuclear Generating Station is located six miles away on Clinton Lake.


Clinton is centrally located in the heart of Illinois, at 40°9′8″N 88°57′33″W / 40.15222°N 88.95917°W / 40.15222; -88.95917 (40.152240, -88.959214), accessible from Routes 51, 54, and 10.

According to the 2010 census, Clinton has a total area of 3.38 square miles (8.75 km2), all land.


The city was founded in 1835 by Jesse W. Fell of Bloomington, Illinois, a land speculator and lawyer, and James Allen, a representative in the Illinois State Legislature. The two men were on their way from Decatur, Illinois back to Bloomington after a business trip and stopped to rest their horses on the open prairie halfway between the two cities. It occurred to them that this was an ideal location for a settlement, as there was nothing else nearby. They named the town in honor of DeWitt Clinton.

Clinton is on the 8th Judicial Circuit, on which Abraham Lincoln traveled, along with Judge David Davis, for twenty years. Lincoln acted as lawyer because lawyers were scarce in the area at the time.

One of the two registered historical locations in DeWitt County, the C.H. Moore House, is located in Clinton. The house was purchased and improved by lawyer Clifton H. Moore in the 1880s, and is now the DeWitt County Museum. Moore's private library of more than 7,000 volumes was left to the city upon his death in 1901. These books would make up the first collection of the Vespasian Warner Public Library, founded by and named for Moore's son-in-law.

In 1858, Abraham Lincoln gave a speech in Clinton to which the following quotation has been attributed:

You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.

on Sept. 18, according to Carl Sandburg. However, there is no official transcript of the speech. Lincoln's collected papers has a version of the speech taken from a contemporary copy in the Bloomington Pantagraph which doesn't contain it. It has also been attributed to a speech by Lincoln in Bloomington, IL two years earlier, and there is controversy over whether or not Lincoln ever said it at all.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 367
1860 1,362 271.1%
1870 1,800 32.2%
1880 2,709 50.5%
1890 2,598 −4.1%
1900 4,452 71.4%
1910 5,165 16.0%
1920 5,898 14.2%
1930 5,920 0.4%
1940 6,331 6.9%
1950 5,945 −6.1%
1960 7,355 23.7%
1970 7,581 3.1%
1980 8,014 5.7%
1990 7,437 −7.2%
2000 7,485 0.6%
2010 7,225 −3.5%
2020 7,004 −3.1%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 7,485 people, 3,157 households, and 2,001 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,821.2 people per square mile (1,090.6/km2). There were 3,395 housing units at an average density of 1,279.6 per square mile (494.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.11% White, 0.84% African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.19% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.92% from other races, and 0.69% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.23% of the population.

There were 3,157 households, out of which 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.9% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.6% were non-families. 32.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 25.3% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 28.9% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 15.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $36,279, and the median income for a family was $48,024. Males had a median income of $34,777 versus $22,296 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,729. About 7.8% of families and 10.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.9% of those under age 18 and 8.4% of those age 65 or over.


Recreation and entertainment

  • The annual Apple and Pork Festival draws ten times or more of the population to the city to visit, partake, and purchase items typifying the town.
  • Terror on Washington Street is an annual haunted house run by Clinton's Chamber of Commerce.
  • May Days is an annual festival that has carnival rides as well as live music and various other entertainment events.

Nature and wildlife

Other attractions

  • The C. H. Moore House is the center of the Dewitt County Museum.
  • Mr. Lincoln's Square is one of the locations Abraham Lincoln delivered a campaign address.
  • Dewitt County Fairgrounds


The major employers in Clinton include the Clinton Nuclear Power Plant, Warner Hospital & Health Services, Miller Container, RR Donnelley, and HNC Products Inc., and Liberty Village of Clinton. The Clinton Illinois Walmart Store closed their doors in July 2018 after 35 years in business.

Notable people

  • Al Atkinson, pitcher with the Chicago Browns, Baltimore Monumentals and Philadelphia Athletics
  • Keith Brendley, business leader and expert in active protection systems
  • Charlie Irwin, third baseman with the Chicago Colts, Cincinnati Reds and Brooklyn Superbas
  • Mike Overy, relief pitcher for the California Angels; born in Clinton
  • Doc Marshall, catcher with the 1908 Chicago Cubs and physician; lived and died in Clinton
  • William Querfeld, Illinois state representative, farmer, grain dealer, and farm implement dealer
  • Gene Vance, a member of the 1942–43 University of Illinois basketball team known as the Whiz Kids
  • Vespasian Warner, member of Congress, and later United States Commissioner of Pensions

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See also

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