McHenry County, Illinois facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts


McHenry County, Illinois
Seal of McHenry County, Illinois
Map
Map of Illinois highlighting McHenry County
Location in the state of Illinois
Map of the USA highlighting Illinois
Illinois's location in the U.S.
Statistics
Founded 1836
Seat Woodstock
Largest City Crystal Lake
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

611 sq mi (1,582 km²)
603 sq mi (1,562 km²)
7.6 sq mi (20 km²), 1.3%
PopulationEst.
 - (2015)
 - Density

307,343
512/sq mi (198/km²)
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website: www.co.mchenry.il.us
Named for: William McHenry

McHenry County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it had a population of 308,760, making it the sixth-most populous county in Illinois. Its county seat is Woodstock.

McHenry County is one of the five collar counties of the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI Metropolitan Statistical Area. Long known as a center of agriculture and recreation, it has more recently experienced rapid rates of suburbanization and urbanization, but remains primarily agricultural and rural.

History

McHenry County was formed in 1836 out of Cook and LaSalle counties. The county was named for Major William McHenry, an Indian fighter who died in Vandalia in 1835.

McHenry County originally stretched all the way east to Lake Michigan, with the county seat centrally in McHenry, but in 1839, the eastern townships of the county were carved out to form Lake County.

Historical sites

  • The Count's House, 3803 Waukegan Rd, McHenry
  • Charles H. Hibbard House, 413 W Grant Hwy, Marengo
  • Orson Rogers House, 19621 E Grant Hwy, Marengo
  • Lucein Boneparte Covell House, 5805 Broadway, Richmond
  • Memorial Hall, 10308 Main St, Richmond
  • Old McHenry County Courthouse, Woodstock City Square, Woodstock
  • Woodstock Opera House, 110 Van Buren St, Woodstock
  • Woodstock Square Historic District, Woodstock
  • George Stickney House, 1904 Cherry Valley Rd, Bull Valley
  • Terwilliger House, Mason Hill Rd & Cherry Valley Rd, Bull Valley

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 611 square miles (1,580 km2), of which 603 square miles (1,560 km2) is land and 7.6 square miles (20 km2) (1.3%) is water.

Adjacent counties

Climate and weather

Weather chart for Woodstock, Illinois
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
1.5
 
28
11
 
 
1.3
 
33
16
 
 
2.4
 
45
26
 
 
3.7
 
59
37
 
 
4.1
 
71
47
 
 
4.6
 
81
57
 
 
3.9
 
85
62
 
 
4.5
 
82
60
 
 
3.3
 
75
51
 
 
2.6
 
63
39
 
 
2.7
 
47
29
 
 
2
 
33
17
temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches
source: The Weather Channel

In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Woodstock have ranged from a low of 11 °F (−12 °C) in January to a high of 85 °F (29 °C) in July, although a record low of −29 °F (−34 °C) was recorded in January 1979 and a record high of 109 °F (43 °C) was recorded in July 1936. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 1.29 inches (33 mm) in February to 4.56 inches (116 mm) in June.

McHenry County is like much of the Upper Midwest, as it usually sees hot, humid summers, and cold, snowy winters. The county is notably susceptible to high wind events, blizzards, severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, and flooding.

Some of the most notable weather events in the county include the 1965 Palm Sunday tornado outbreak, the Blizzard of 1967, the 1967 Belvidere - Oak Lawn tornado outbreak, the Blizzard of 1979, the Flood of 1996, the Blizzard of 1999, the Early Winter 2006 North American Storm Complex, the 2007 Midwest flooding event, the January 2008 tornado outbreak sequence, and the Blizzard of 2011.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 2,578
1850 14,978 481.0%
1860 22,089 47.5%
1870 23,762 7.6%
1880 24,908 4.8%
1890 26,114 4.8%
1900 29,759 14.0%
1910 32,509 9.2%
1920 33,164 2.0%
1930 35,079 5.8%
1940 37,311 6.4%
1950 50,656 35.8%
1960 84,210 66.2%
1970 111,555 32.5%
1980 147,897 32.6%
1990 183,241 23.9%
2000 260,077 41.9%
2010 308,760 18.7%
Est. 2015 307,343 −0.5%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 308,760 people, 109,199 households, and 82,288 families residing in the county. The population density was 511.9 inhabitants per square mile (197.6/km2). There were 116,040 housing units at an average density of 192.4 per square mile (74.3/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 90.1% white, 2.5% Asian, 1.1% black or African American, 0.3% American Indian, 4.3% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 11.4% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 34.4% were German, 18.7% were Irish, 14.2% were Polish, 10.8% were Italian, 7.8% were English, and 3.7% were American.

Of the 109,199 households, 40.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.3% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 24.6% were non-families, and 19.8% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.81 and the average family size was 3.25. The median age was 38.0 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $76,482 and the median income for a family was $86,698. Males had a median income of $61,971 versus $42,125 for females. The per capita income for the county was $31,838. About 4.9% of families and 6.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.3% of those under age 18 and 4.6% of those age 65 or over.

Recreation

The entire county is served by the McHenry County Conservation District, which preserves sensitive land throughout the county and provides recreational opportunities for residents. The District also operates the McHenry County Prairie Path, a regional bike path that extends from the Wisconsin State Line in Richmond southward to Algonquin, where the path connects with the Fox River Bike Trail, which continues south to Aurora.

In addition, the Fox River, Kishwaukee River and Chain O'Lakes provide immense opportunities for boating, fishing, swimming, and other water activities. Moraine Hills State Park and Chain O' Lakes State Park are both located in the county, adjacent to the waterway. Other major lakes in the county include Crystal Lake, Wonder Lake, and McCullom Lake.

There are also dozens of parks, golf courses, and country clubs throughout the county.

Major skiing areas include Nordic Ski Jump in Fox River Grove and Buffalo Snowboarding Park in Algonquin. In addition, the Windy City Balloon Port in Fox River Grove offers hot air balloon rides over the Fox River Valley.

Culture

McHenry County has an active art and theater scene. The historic Woodstock Opera House and Crystal Lake's Raue Center for the Arts both provide exceptional programs. In addition, Algonquin is noted for its Public Art Program, which showcases artwork year-round throughout the community. The county is also ideal for photography and filming. Much of the filming for the 1993 movie Groundhog Day took place in Woodstock.

There are also several important points of interest in the county including the Illinois Railway Museum and McHenry County Historical Museum in Union, the Old McHenry County Courthouse in Woodstock, and a variety of historical homes including the Orson Rogers House, George Stickney House, Charles H. Hibbard House, the Terwilliger House, the Count's House, and the Dole Mansion.

Throughout the year are a variety of festivals throughout the county, the centerpiece of which is the McHenry County Fair, occurring during a week in August in Woodstock. Many towns also have their own festivals throughout the year. Some of the most notable ones are the Ground Hog Days in Woodstock, Fall Fest in Huntley, the Summer Sunset Festival in Lake in the Hills, the Gala Festival in Crystal Lake, Milk Days in Harvard, Settler's Days in Marengo, Cary Days in Cary, Founders Days in Algonquin, and Fiesta Days in McHenry.

Transportation

Major highways

  • I-90.svg Interstate 90
  • US 12.svg U.S. Highway 12
  • US 14.svg U.S. Highway 14
  • US 20.svg U.S. Highway 20
  • Illinois 23.svg Illinois Route 23
  • Illinois 31.svg Illinois Route 31
  • Illinois 47.svg Illinois Route 47
  • Illinois 62.svg Illinois Route 62
  • Illinois 120.svg Illinois Route 120
  • Illinois 173.svg Illinois Route 173
  • Illinois 176.svg Illinois Route 176

Several Federal and state highways run through McHenry County, including U.S. Highway 20, U.S. Highway 14, U.S. Highway 12, Illinois Route 23, Illinois Route 173, Illinois Route 120, Illinois Route 176, Illinois Route 47, Illinois Route 31, and Illinois Route 62. Highly traveled county highways include Randall Road, Algonquin Road, Rakow Road, and Walkup Road. Interstate 90 passes through McHenry County but there is no interchange in McHenry County (there is an interchange between Interstate 90 and Route 47 in Huntley, but it is in Kane County). Interstate 94 lies to the east of McHenry County in Lake County, Illinois.

McHenry County is also the most populous county in the United States without direct access to an Interstate Highway within its borders. As a result, residents usually use the nearby Interstate 90 (the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway), via an interchange two miles south of the county in Kane County, to access the interstate highway system.

Mass transportation

McHenry County is also served by Metra Rail, which provides daily commuter service to and from downtown Chicago. There are seven stations in the county, all of them located along the Union Pacific/Northwest Line. The county is also served by Pace, which provides five fixed bus routes (550, 806, 807, 808, and 809), and MCRide Dial-A-Ride transit service operated by Pace and First Transit.

Airports

Lake in the Hills Airport offers general aviation service, as do Dacy Airport and Galt Airport, in the northern part of the county. Chicago-O'Hare International Airport is approximately 30 to 40 miles from the county, while Milwaukee's General Mitchell International Airport is approximately 50 to 60 miles away. Chicago Rockford International Airport, a busy cargo airport with limited, scheduled passenger service is located approximately 42 miles west of the central part of the county (Woodstock).

Communities

Cities

Villages

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

Townships

  • Alden
  • Algonquin
  • Burton
  • Chemung
  • Coral
  • Dorr
  • Dunham
  • Grafton
  • Greenwood
  • Hartland
  • Hebron
  • Marengo
  • McHenry
  • Nunda
  • Richmond
  • Riley
  • Seneca

McHenry County, Illinois Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.