Stark County, Illinois facts for kids

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Stark County, Illinois
Map

Location in the state of Illinois
Map of the USA highlighting Illinois
Illinois's location in the U.S.
Statistics
Founded 1839
Seat Toulon
Largest City Wyoming
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

288 sq mi (746 km²)
288 sq mi (746 km²)
0.3 sq mi (1 km²), 0.1%
Population
 - (2010)
 - Density

5,994
21/sq mi (8/km²)
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website: http://www.starkcountyillinois.com/
Named for: John Stark

Stark County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it had a population of 5,994. Its county seat is Toulon.

Stark County is part of the Peoria, IL Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History

Stark County was formed in 1839 out of Knox and Putnam counties. It was named for General Colonel John Stark,(August 28, 1728 – May 8, 1822) who served in the American Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. He became widely known as the "Hero of Bennington" for his exemplary service at the Battle of Bennington in 1777.

In the latter part of April, 1829 a solitary, heavily laden wagon was wending its way from the hospitable home of Mr. French, at Prince's Grove, about a half mile north-west of the present town of Princeville, towards Spoon River, probably crossing that stream at a point since known as Boardman's Ford, or, as others think, near the seat of Cox's Mill, and moving on towards section fifteen in what has since been known as Essex Township.

The weather was warm and balmy considering the season. The prairie burnt over by the Indians in the fall was already green with sprouting grass. Accompanying this vehicle were as it might seem a guard of good men, and true; "neighbors" they called themselves, although they must have lived many miles apart, some of them thirty or forty from the scene of their present friendly labors, having come from LaSalle Prairie, from Chillicothe and Peoria. They were neither hunters or warriors, they feared no enemy, and sought not the "spoils of war".

It was a peaceable expedition and its leader was the occupant of the wagon, Isaac B. Essex, then in the strength of his manhood, and with him came his young wife and infant child to found a home in the wilderness. The "neighbors" were Daniel Prince, Stephen French, Simon Reed, Frank Thomas and two Baptist ministers, Elders Silliman and Allen. The former of these two was the father of the much respected Toulon townsman Minott Silliman, the first treasurer of Stark county. And these men had come so far to raise a cabin!

Mr. Essex had been out and made a claim in 1828, and in the fall of that year cut the logs and split the clap-boards for his house, probably all of which were on the northeast quarter of section fifteen. They now proceeded to haul them together and get them in shape on the proposed building site. They all camped in the woods the first night, but towards sundown of the second day, the cabin was raised, the roof on, and as Mr. Essex graphically said "we cut a log out and moved in."

This was emphatically the first pioneer cabin, the first home of non-Native American settlers within the present limits of Stark County.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 288 square miles (750 km2), of which 288 square miles (750 km2) is land and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2) (0.1%) is water.

Climate and weather

Weather chart for Toulon, Illinois
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
1.6
 
28
10
 
 
1.4
 
34
16
 
 
2.5
 
46
26
 
 
3.5
 
60
37
 
 
3.5
 
71
48
 
 
4.5
 
80
59
 
 
4
 
84
62
 
 
4.1
 
82
60
 
 
3
 
75
51
 
 
2.6
 
63
39
 
 
2.7
 
47
29
 
 
2.4
 
33
17
temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches
source: The Weather Channel

In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Toulon have ranged from a low of 10 °F (−12 °C) in January to a high of 84 °F (29 °C) in July, although a record low of −26 °F (−32 °C) was recorded in January 1999 and a record high of 104 °F (40 °C) was recorded in July 1983. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 1.41 inches (36 mm) in February to 4.46 inches (113 mm) in June.

Major highways

  • Illinois 17.svg Illinois Route 17
  • Illinois 91.svg Illinois Route 91
  • Illinois 40.svg Illinois Route 40
  • Illinois 93.svg Illinois Route 93

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 1,573
1850 3,710 135.9%
1860 9,004 142.7%
1870 10,751 19.4%
1880 11,207 4.2%
1890 9,982 −10.9%
1900 10,186 2.0%
1910 10,098 −0.9%
1920 9,693 −4.0%
1930 9,184 −5.3%
1940 8,881 −3.3%
1950 8,721 −1.8%
1960 8,152 −6.5%
1970 7,510 −7.9%
1980 7,389 −1.6%
1990 6,534 −11.6%
2000 6,332 −3.1%
2010 5,994 −5.3%
Est. 2015 5,788 −3.4%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 5,994 people, 2,425 households, and 1,673 families residing in the county. The population density was 20.8 inhabitants per square mile (8.0/km2). There were 2,674 housing units at an average density of 9.3 per square mile (3.6/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.7% white, 0.5% black or African American, 0.3% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 0.3% from other races, and 1.0% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 1.0% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 33.5% were German, 15.5% were Irish, 13.8% were English, 10.8% were American, and 9.8% were Swedish.

Of the 2,425 households, 28.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.6% were married couples living together, 8.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 31.0% were non-families, and 26.8% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.93. The median age was 43.8 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $49,195 and the median income for a family was $62,681. Males had a median income of $44,931 versus $29,621 for females. The per capita income for the county was $25,311. About 7.6% of families and 11.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.0% of those under age 18 and 4.8% of those age 65 or over.

Communities

Cities

Villages

Unincorporated communities

Townships

Stark County is divided into these townships:

  • Elmira
  • Essex
  • Goshen
  • Osceola
  • Penn
  • Toulon
  • Valley
  • West Jersey

Stark County, Illinois Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.