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Vermilion County, Illinois
Seal of Vermilion County, Illinois
Map of Illinois highlighting Vermilion County
Location in the state of Illinois
Map of the U.S. highlighting Illinois
Illinois's location in the U.S.
Founded 1826
Seat Danville
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

902 sq mi (2,336 km²)
899 sq mi (2,328 km²)
3 sq mi (8 km²), 0.34%
 - (2000)
 - Density

93/sq mi (36/km²)

Vermilion County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. It is part of the 'Danville, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area' which encompasses all of Vermilion County. As of 2000, the population was 83,919. Its county seat is Danville.6


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,337 km² (902 sq mi). 2,329 km² (899 sq mi) of it is land and 8 km² (3 sq mi) of it (0.34%) is water.

Major highways[]

Adjacent counties[]

Vermilion County is one of few counties in the United States that borders a county with the same name in another state: Vermillion County, Indiana. Despite their slightly different spellings, the names have the same source.


Map of townships and other areas of Vermilion County, Illinois.

Vermilion County is named after the Vermilion River, which courses through it. The river was named “Vermilion” after the bluffs above it, which are a red color of earth.[1]

The county has been under the flags of France, as part of New France, from 1682 to 1763, then transferred to Great Britain after the French and Indian War for 15 years until it changed hands again, this time to the colonies after the Revolutionary War when the area was ceded to Virginia and was known for a time as “the Illinois County of Virginia.”[2]

The existence of saline springs in the county proved to be a strong attraction to early white men, and were mentioned as early as 1801, when Joseph Barron, an interpreter fluent in a number of Native American languages, stated in an affidavit that he was present at the “Vermilion Salines” that year. The production required 100 gallons of water for one bushel of salt and proved to be profitable from the first run 1822 to 1829, when salt became less expensive and the venture was no longer economical.[3]

The saline springs were also the site of the first settlement, made by Seymour Treat in 1819, along with the Beckwith and Whitcomb families. James Butler, from Ohio, followed in 1820 and settled in the Catlin area; within a few years, the settlement grew to encompass several families and became known as “Butler’s Point”. About the same time, the southern area of the county also attracted an early settler named Henry Johnson, who built a cabin approximately two miles west of Georgetown; this area later became known as “Johnson's Point.” The southern portion of the county soon became populated with a number of cabins and small settlements. The majority of those coming to Vermilion County originated in the American South and left because of their opposition to slavery.[4]

Perhaps not surprisingly, a number of early settlers were of the Society of Friends, or Quakers, many of whom founded the settlement of Vermilion Grove, which is not only one of the oldest settlements in the county but also the site of the second school in the county.

The county has strong ties to Abraham Lincoln. He practiced law in Danville from 1841 to 1859 with Ward Hill Lamon, who later served as his bodyguard . Lincoln also gave a speech in Danville in 1858 while campaigning for U.S. Senate against Stephen A. Douglas. Lincoln gave the speech in his stocking feet while standing on the balcony of Dr. William Fithian’s home, a prominent local physician. Today, Fithian’s home[1] is the Vermilion County Museum (as well as listed on the National Register of Historic Places) and visitors can see the bed Lincoln slept in, along with other Lincoln memorabilia.[5]

Registered historical places[]

Buildings and Sites on National Register of Historic Places:

  1. Adams Building, 139-141 N. Vermilion St., Danville (added in 2000, Building #00001337)
  2. Building at 210-212 West North Street (added in 2000, Building #00001334)
  3. Collins Archaeological District, address restricted, Danville (added in 1979, Site #79000872)
  4. Dale Building, 101-103 N. Vermilion St., Danville (added in 2000, Building #99001711)
  5. Danville Branch, National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers Historic District, also known as Dept. of Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Danville Area Community College, 1900 and 2000 E. Main St., Danville (added in 1992, District #91001973)
  6. Danville Public Library, also known as Vermilion County War Museum (, 307 N. Vermilion St., Danville (added in 1978, Building #78003064)
  7. First National Bank Building, also known as Bresee Tower, 2-4 N. Vermilion St., Danville (added in 2000, Building - #00001335)
  8. Fischer Theater, also known as Grand Opera House, 158-164 N. Vermilion St., Danville (added in 2001, Building #01000978)
  9. Fithian House, also known as Vermilion County Museum, 116 N. Gilbert St., Danville (added in 1975, Building #75002060)
  10. Holland Apartments, also known as Dodge Flats, 324--326 N. Vermilion St., Danville (added in 1988, Building #88002232)
  11. Hoopes-Cunningham Mansion, 424 E. Penn St., Hoopeston (added in 1985, Building #85002307)
  12. Hoopeston Carnegie Public Library 110 N. Fourth St., Hoopeston (added in 2002, Building #02000458)
  13. Temple Building 102-106 N. Vermilion St., Danville (added in 2002, Building - #00001457). Note: now demolished / removed, March 14, 2002.[2][3]

Source: National Register of Historic Places



Historical populations
Census Pop.
1900 65,635
1910 77,996 18.8%
1920 86,162 10.5%
1930 89,339 3.7%
1940 86,791 −2.9%
1950 87,079 0.3%
1960 96,176 10.4%
1970 97,047 0.9%
1980 95,222 −1.9%
1990 88,257 −7.3%
2000 83,919 −4.9%
IL Counties 1900-1990

As of the census² of 2000, there were 83,919 people, 33,406 households, and 22,315 families residing in the county. The population density was 36/km² (93/sq mi). There were 36,349 housing units at an average density of 16/km² (40/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 85.84% White, 10.58% Black or African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.59% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.44% from other races, and 1.30% from two or more races. 2.98% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 33,406 households out of which 30.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.60% were married couples living together, 12.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.20% were non-families. 28.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the county the population was spread out with 25.00% under the age of 18, 8.40% from 18 to 24, 27.20% from 25 to 44, 23.40% from 45 to 64, and 16.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 96.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $34,071, and the median income for a family was $41,553. Males had a median income of $32,305 versus $22,210 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,787. About 9.70% of families and 13.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.90% of those under age 18 and 9.20% of those age 65 or over.


Nineteen townships make up Vermilion County. They are:

Cities and towns[]



Unincorporated towns[]

Extinct towns[]

  • Archie (south of Sidell)[6]
  • Blue Grass City[6]
  • Conkeytown
  • Denmark
  • Ellis[6] (Middlefork Township)
  • Franklin (see Bismarck)
  • Gilbert (see Alvin)
  • Johnsonville (Blount Township)
  • Munroe
  • Myersville (see Bismarck)
  • Pellsville
  • Prospect City[6]
  • Reilly (Butler Township)
  • Shepherd's Town
  • Watkins Grove (sometimes called Watkins Glen)
  • Weaver City (see Ambia)

See also[]


  1. ^ Full Text of History of Vermilion County Illinois, Ch. 3
  2. ^ Full Text of History of Vermilion County Illinois, Ch. 4
  3. ^ Full Text of History of Vermilion County Illinois, Ch. 6
  4. ^ Full Text of History of Vermilion County Illinois, Ch. 9
  5. ^ Village Profile
  6. ^ a b c d Stapp, Katherine; W. I. Bowman (1968). History Under Our Feet: The Story of Vermilion County, Illinois. Danville, Illinois: Interstate Printers and Publishers, Inc.. pp. pp. 21, 38-39, 45. 

External links[]

Coordinates: 40°11′N 87°44′W / 40.18, -87.74

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Vermilion 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.