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Randolph County, Illinois
Map of Illinois highlighting Randolph County
Location in the state of Illinois
Map of the U.S. highlighting Illinois
Illinois's location in the U.S.
Founded 1795
Seat Chester
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

597 sq mi (1,546 km²)
578 sq mi (1,497 km²)
19 sq mi (49 km²), 3.15%
 - (2000)
 - Density

60/sq mi (23/km²)

Randolph County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. As of 2000, the population was 33,893. Its county seat is Chester6.

Owing to its role in the state's history, the county motto is "Where Illinois Began."


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,547 km² (597 sq mi). 1,498 km² (578 sq mi) of it is land and 49 km² (19 sq mi) of it (3.15%) is water.

The Kaskaskia River flows into the Mississippi River in Randolph County. At this point the Mississippi, which usually defines the border between Illinois and Missouri, is entirely in Illinois. The Mississippi changed its course in the late-nineteenth century, leaving Kaskaskia, the former state capitol, on the west side of the River. The boundary of the State, however, follows the old course of the River, leaving Illinois with an enclave on the western shore of the Mississippi River.

Adjacent Counties[]


Randolph County was organized in 1795 out of a part of St. Clair County. It was named in honor of Edmund Randolph, Governor of Virginia. The Northwest Territory was captured from the British near the end of the Revolutionary War by the army of Virginia. Illinois then became, for a brief time, Illinois County, Virginia. Edmund Randolph was Governor of Virginia at the time Virginia ceded the Northwest Territory to the United States. The county's boundaries were last changed in 1827, when land was taken to form Perry County.

The Mississippi River has played a prominent role in the county's history, altering its boundaries in 1881 when it severed the isthmus that connected Kaskaskia to the Illinois mainland, destroying the original village of Kaskaskia and forcing its historic cemetery to be relocated across the river to Fort Kaskaskia. Crains Island[1], southeast of Chester, is another enclave of Illinois west of the Mississippi that was created by a change in the river's course.


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1900 28,001
1910 29,120 4.0%
1920 29,109 0%
1930 29,313 0.7%
1940 33,608 14.7%
1950 31,673 −5.8%
1960 29,988 −5.3%
1970 31,379 4.6%
1980 35,652 13.6%
1990 34,583 −3.0%
2000 33,893 −2.0%
IL Counties 1900-1990

As of the census² of 2000, there were 33,893 people, 12,084 households, and 8,362 families residing in the county. The population density was 23/km² (59/sq mi). There were 13,328 housing units at an average density of 9/km² (23/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 88.71% White, 9.29% Black or African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.24% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.81% from other races, and 0.76% from two or more races. 1.54% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 12,084 households out of which 31.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.00% were married couples living together, 9.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.80% were non-families. 26.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the county the population was spread out with 22.10% under the age of 18, 9.60% from 18 to 24, 30.40% from 25 to 44, 22.30% from 45 to 64, and 15.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 116.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 119.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $37,013, and the median income for a family was $44,766. Males had a median income of $30,837 versus $21,501 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,696. About 7.10% of families and 10.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.10% of those under age 18 and 8.50% of those age 65 or over.


There are two AM radio stations licensed in the county, WHCO 1230AM in Sparta and KSGM 980AM in Chester.

There are several weekly newspapers in the county. They are The County Journal, which is based in Percy but also covers Perry and Jackson Counties, the North County News in Red Bud, the Randolph County Herald-Tribune in Chester and the Sparta News-Plaindealer.

Cities and towns[]

Census designated places[]

External links[]

Randolph County News

Coordinates: 38°03′N 89°49′W / 38.05, -89.82

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Randolph County, Illinois. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.