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Will County, Illinois
[[File:
Flanders House (5978683004).jpg
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Flanders House in Plainfield (1840), Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie.
Map of Illinois highlighting Will County
Location in the state of Illinois
Map of the U.S. highlighting Illinois
Illinois's location in the U.S.
Founded January 12, 1836
Named for Dr. Conrad Will
Seat Joliet
Largest city Joliet
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

849 sq mi (2,199 km²)
837 sq mi (2,168 km²)
12 sq mi (31 km²), 1.5
Population
 -  Density


810/sq mi (313/km²)
Congressional districts 1st, 2nd, 3rd
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website www.willcountyillinois.com

Will County is a county in the northeastern part of the state of Illinois. According to the 2020 census, it had a population of 696,355, an increase of 2.8% from 677,560 in 2010, making it Illinois's fourth-most populous county.[1] The county seat is Joliet.[2] Will County is one of the five collar counties of the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI Metropolitan Statistical Area. The portion of Will County around Joliet uses the 815 and 779 area codes, 630 and 331 are for far northern Will County, and 708 is for central and eastern Will County.

History[]

Will County was formed in 1836 out of Cook and Iroquois. It was named after Dr. Conrad Will, a businessman involved in salt production in southern Illinois, and also a politician.[3] Will was a member of the first Illinois Constitutional Convention and a member of the Illinois Legislature until his death in 1835. On January 12, 1836, Will County was formed from Cook County and Iroquois County. Besides its present area, it included the part of Kankakee County, Illinois north of the Kankakee River. Will County lost that area when Kankakee County was organized in 1852. Since then its boundaries have been unchanged.

36 locations in Will County are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

"WILL, a county in the E. N. E. part of Illinois, bordering on Indiana, has an area of 1,236 square miles (3,200 km2). It is intersected by the Kankakee and Des Plaines Rivers, branches of the Illinois. The surface is generally level, and destitute of timber, excepting small groves. The soil is very fertile, and much of it is under cultivation. The soil of the prairies is a deep, sandy loam, adapted to Indian corn and grass. In 1850 the county produced 527,903 bushels of Indian corn; 230,885 of wheat; 334,360 of oats; 32,043 tons of hay, and 319,054 pounds of butter. It contained 14 churches, 3 newspaper offices; 3472 pupils attending public schools, and 200 attending other schools. Quarries of building stone are worked near the county seat. The Des Plaines river furnishes water-power. The county is intersected by the Illinois and Michigan canal, by the Chicago branch of the Central railroad, the Chicago and Mississippi, and by the Chicago and Rock Island railroad. Named in honor of Conrad Will, for many years a member of the Illinois legislature. Capital, Joliet. Population 16,703."

 –  1854 U.S. Gazetteer

Geography[]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has an area of 849 square miles (2,200 km2), of which 837 square miles (2,170 km2) is land and 12 square miles (31 km2) (1.5%) is water.[4]

The Kankakee River, Du Page River and the Des Plaines River run through the county and join on its western border. The Illinois and Michigan Canal and the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal run through Will County.

A number of areas are preserved as parks (over 20,000 acres (81 km2) total) under the Forest Preserve District of Will County. The 17,000 acres (69 km2) Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie is a U.S. Forest Service park in the county on the grounds of the former Joliet Arsenal. Other parks include Channahon State Park and the Des Plaines Fish and Wildlife Area.

Climate and weather[]

Climate chart for Joliet, Illinois
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
1.58
 
30
13
 
 
1.64
 
35
19
 
 
2.46
 
47
28
 
 
3.75
 
60
37
 
 
3.87
 
72
48
 
 
4.22
 
81
58
 
 
4.34
 
85
63
 
 
3.82
 
82
61
 
 
3.14
 
76
53
 
 
2.70
 
64
41
 
 
3.00
 
48
31
 
 
2.44
 
35
20
temperatures in °Cprecipitation totals in mm
source: The Weather Channel[5]

In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Joliet have ranged from a low of 13 °F (−11 °C) in January to a high of 85 °F (29 °C) in July, although a record low of −26 °F (−32.2 °C) was recorded in January 1985 and a record high of 104 °F (40 °C) was recorded in June 1988. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 1.58 inches (40 mm) in January to 4.34 inches (110 mm) in July.[5]

Adjacent counties[]

Demographics[]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1840 10,167
1850 16,703 64.3%
1860 29,321 75.5%
1870 43,013 46.7%
1880 53,422 24.2%
1890 62,007 16.1%
1900 74,764 20.6%
1910 84,371 12.8%
1920 92,911 10.1%
1930 110,732 19.2%
1940 114,210 3.1%
1950 134,336 17.6%
1960 191,617 42.6%
1970 249,498 30.2%
1980 324,460 30.0%
1990 357,313 10.1%
2000 502,266 40.6%
2010 677,560 34.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
1790–1960[7] 1900–1990[8]
1990–2000[9] 2010–2019[10]

As of the 2010 Census, there were 677,560 people, 225,256 households, and 174,062 families residing in the county.[11] The population density was 809.6 inhabitants per square mile (312.6 /km2). There were 237,501 housing units at an average density of 283.8 per square mile (109.6 /km2).[4] The racial makeup of the county was 76.0% white, 11.2% black or African American, 4.6% Asian, 0.3% American Indian, 5.8% from other races, and 2.3% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 15.6% of the population.[11] In terms of ancestry, 21.6% were German, 18.6% were Irish, 13.3% were Polish, 11.1% were Italian, 5.9% were English, and 2.1% were American.[12]

Of the 225,256 households, 44.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.9% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 22.7% were non-families, and 18.5% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.97 and the average family size was 3.41. The median age was 35.4 years.[11]

The median income for a household in the county was $75,906 and the median income for a family was $85,488. Males had a median income of $60,867 versus $40,643 for females. The per capita income for the county was $29,811. About 5.0% of families and 6.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.0% of those under age 18 and 5.6% of those age 65 or over.[13]

Government[]

Will County is governed via a 26-member county board who are elected from one of 13 districts. Each district elects 2 members. The County Executive, County Clerk, Coroner, Auditor, Treasurer, Recorder of Deeds, State's Attorney and Sheriff are all elected in a countywide vote.

Politics[]

Like most of the collar counties, Will County was once a Republican stronghold. It went Republican in all but three elections from 1892 to 1988. However, it has become a swing county since the 1990s. It voted for the national winner in every presidential election from 1992 to 2012, but Donald Trump's unpopularity in suburban counties of the largest metropolitan areas nationwide helped Chicago-born Hillary Clinton win it along with the rest of the "collar counties" aside from McHenry in 2016.

United States presidential election results for Will County, Illinois[14]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 155,116 44.80% 183,915 53.11% 7,235 2.09%
2016 132,720 43.63% 151,927 49.94% 19,579 6.44%
2012 128,969 46.36% 144,229 51.85% 4,967 1.79%
2008 122,597 42.69% 160,406 55.86% 4,178 1.45%
2004 130,728 52.37% 117,172 46.94% 1,709 0.68%
2000 95,828 50.00% 90,902 47.43% 4,940 2.58%
1996 62,506 42.15% 69,354 46.76% 16,444 11.09%
1992 58,337 38.35% 59,633 39.20% 34,153 22.45%
1988 73,129 59.10% 49,816 40.26% 786 0.64%
1984 78,684 63.25% 45,193 36.33% 520 0.42%
1980 69,310 57.44% 41,975 34.79% 9,373 7.77%
1976 61,784 53.85% 51,103 44.54% 1,840 1.60%
1972 65,155 65.67% 33,633 33.90% 430 0.43%
1968 43,630 49.32% 31,576 35.70% 13,254 14.98%
1964 38,619 43.75% 49,663 56.25% 0 0.00%
1960 42,575 50.86% 41,056 49.04% 81 0.10%
1956 45,628 64.34% 25,188 35.52% 100 0.14%
1952 38,533 56.34% 29,749 43.50% 110 0.16%
1948 28,601 51.41% 26,430 47.51% 597 1.07%
1944 30,058 52.32% 27,085 47.14% 310 0.54%
1940 32,291 52.13% 29,442 47.53% 213 0.34%
1936 25,028 45.25% 28,135 50.86% 2,151 3.89%
1932 25,173 48.16% 25,798 49.36% 1,295 2.48%
1928 26,081 55.02% 20,877 44.04% 447 0.94%
1924 22,780 64.16% 4,707 13.26% 8,018 22.58%
1920 21,746 76.37% 5,410 19.00% 1,318 4.63%
1916 19,881 62.59% 11,378 35.82% 506 1.59%
1912 3,331 19.87% 4,717 28.13% 8,719 52.00%
1908 10,358 61.29% 5,693 33.68% 850 5.03%
1904 10,001 66.39% 3,191 21.18% 1,873 12.43%
1900 10,056 59.22% 6,655 39.19% 269 1.58%
1896 9,249 56.94% 6,873 42.32% 120 0.74%
1892 6,720 49.51% 6,434 47.40% 420 3.09%



Education[]

  • Governors State University is a 6,000-student public university located in University Park, Illinois.
  • Lewis University is a 5,200-student four-year private university located in Romeoville, Illinois.
  • University of St. Francis is a 3,300-student four-year private university located in Joliet, Illinois.
  • The county is in Community College District 525 and is served by Joliet Junior College in Joliet.[15] Joliet Junior College was the first two-year higher education institution in the United States.

Transportation[]

Will County is served by 4 US Interstate Highways, 4 US Highways, and 12 Illinois Highways.

Major highways[]

  • I-55.svg Interstate 55
  • I-57.svg Interstate 57
  • I-80.svg Interstate 80
  • I-355.svg Interstate 355
  • US 6.svg U.S. Route 6
  • US 30.svg U.S. Highway 30
  • US 45.svg U.S. Highway 45
  • US 52.svg U.S. Highway 52
  • Illinois 1.svg Illinois Route 1
  • Illinois 7.svg Illinois Route 7
  • Illinois 43.svg Illinois Route 43
  • Illinois 50.svg Illinois Route 50
  • Illinois 53.svg Illinois Route 53
  • Illinois 59.svg Illinois Route 59
  • Illinois 102.svg Illinois Route 102
  • Illinois 113.svg Illinois Route 113
  • Illinois 126.svg Illinois Route 126
  • Illinois 129.svg Illinois Route 129
  • Illinois 171.svg Illinois Route 171
  • Illinois 394.svg Illinois Route 394

Rail[]

Four different Metra commuter rail lines (Metra Electric Main Line, Southwest Service, Rock Island District and Heritage Corridor) connect the parts of the county with the Chicago Loop.

Energy Infrastructure[]

Pipelines[]

The county is a major hub in the United States natural gas pipeline grid where pipelines from Canada and the Gulf of Mexico meet and then fan out to serve the Midwest. The following major energy companies own pipeline that run through Will County:

  • Alliance Pipeline
  • Enbridge
  • Integrys Energy Group
    • Peoples Gas
  • Kinder Morgan Interstate Gas Transmission
  • TransCanada
    • ANR Pipeline - Fully owned & operated
    • Northern Border Pipeline - Partially owned & fully operated
  • Vector Pipeline

Joliet Refinery[]

ExxonMobil owns and operated the Joliet Refinery which is located along the Des Plaines River just east of I-55. According to ExxonMobil, the refinery employs about 600 people and was constructed in 1972.[16]

Municipalities[]

The municipalities with their population within Will County and their total population as of the 2010 Census, are:[17]

Cities[]

  • Aurora – 11,471 (total 197,899; mostly in DuPage, Kane and Kendall counties)
  • Braidwood – 6,191
  • Crest Hill – 20,837
  • Joliet – 137,684 (total 147,433; partly in Kendall County)
  • Lockport – 24,839
  • Naperville – 47,320 (total 141,853; mostly in DuPage County)
  • Wilmington – 5,724

Villages[]

  • Beecher – 4,359
  • Bolingbrook – 71,795 (total 73,366; partly in DuPage County)
  • Braceville – 1 (total 793; mostly in Grundy County)
  • Channahon – 9,345 (total 12,560; partly in Grundy County)
  • Coal City – 2 (total 5,587; mostly in Grundy County)
  • Crete – 8,259
  • Diamond – 19 (total 2,527; mostly in Grundy County)
  • Elwood – 2,279
  • Frankfort – 17,782 (total 17,789; partly in Cook County)
  • Godley – 552 (total 601; partly in Grundy County)
  • Homer Glen – 24,220
  • Lemont – 3 (total 16,000; mostly in Cook and DuPage counties)
  • Manhattan – 7,051
  • Matteson – 0 (total 19,009; mostly in Cook County)
  • Minooka – 1,803 (total 10,924; mostly in Grundy and Kendall counties)
  • Mokena – 18,740
  • Monee – 5,148
  • New Lenox – 24,394
  • Orland Park – 184 (total 56,767; mostly in Cook County)
  • Park Forest – 3,303 (total 21,975; mostly in Cook County)
  • Peotone – 4,142
  • Plainfield – 37,502 (total 39,581; partly in Kendall County)
  • Rockdale – 1,976
  • Romeoville – 39,680
  • Sauk Village – 0 (total 10,506; mostly in Cook County)
  • Shorewood – 15,615
  • Steger – 5,467 (total 9,570; partly in Cook County)
  • Symerton – 87
  • Tinley Park – 7,467 (total 56,703; mostly in Cook County)
  • University Park – 6,856 (total 7,129; partly in Cook County)
  • Woodridge – 22 (total 32,971; mostly in DuPage County)

Census-designated places[]

  • Andres
  • Arbury Hills
  • Ballou
  • Bonnie Brae
  • Crystal Lawns – 1,872
  • Custer Park
  • Eagle Lake
  • Fairmont – 2,459
  • Frankfort Square – 9,276
  • Goodenow
  • Goodings Grove (former CDP)
  • Ingalls Park – 3,314
  • Lakewood Shores – 1,347
  • Lockport Heights
  • Lorenzo
  • Marley
  • Plum Valley
  • Polk
  • Preston Heights – 2,575
  • Rest Haven
  • Ridgewood
  • Ritchie
  • Sunnyland
  • Willowbrook – 2,076
  • Wilton
  • Wilton Center

Forts[]

  • Fort Beggs

Townships[]

The 24 townships of Will County, with their populations as of the 2010 Census, are:

  • Channahon – 10,322
  • Crete – 23,774
  • Custer – 1,430
  • DuPage – 87,793
  • Florence – 933
  • Frankfort – 57,055
  • Green Garden – 4,010
  • Homer – 39,059
  • Jackson – 4,100
  • Joliet – 87,398
  • Lockport – 60,010
  • Manhattan – 9,218
  • Monee – 15,669
  • New Lenox – 40,270
  • Peotone – 4,431
  • Plainfield – 80,318
  • Reed – 6,948
  • Troy – 45,991
  • Washington – 6,263
  • Wesley – 2,241
  • Wheatland – 81,472
  • Will – 1,821
  • Wilmington – 6,193
  • Wilton – 841

See also[]

  • Portal.svgChicago portal
  • Portal.svgIllinois portal

References[]

Specific
  1. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Will County, Illinois" (in en). https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/willcountyillinois/POP010220. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Counties/Pages/FindACounty.aspx. 
  3. ^ "Was Dr. Conrad Will really worth his salt?" Script error: No such module "webarchive"., Ledger-Sentinel, Roger Matile, June 22, 2006
  4. ^ a b "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/DEC/10_SF1/GCTPH1.CY10/0500000US17197. 
  5. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Joliet, Illinois". The Weather Channel. http://www.weather.com/weather/wxclimatology/monthly/graph/USIL0592. 
  6. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census.html. 
  7. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. http://mapserver.lib.virginia.edu. 
  8. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/cencounts/il190090.txt. 
  9. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/briefs/phc-t4/tables/tab02.pdf. 
  10. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/17/17101.html. 
  11. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/DEC/10_DP/DPDP1/0500000US17197. 
  12. ^ "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/10_5YR/DP02/0500000US17197. 
  13. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/10_5YR/DP03/0500000US17197. 
  14. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS. 
  15. ^ retrieved 2007-02-13 Script error: No such module "webarchive".
  16. ^ "Archived copy". http://www.exxonmobil.com/Corporate/Files/joliet_brochure.pdf. 
  17. ^ "GCT-PH1 Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County -- County Subdivision and Place". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov. 
General
  • Forstall, Richard L. (editor) (1996). Population of states and counties of the United States: 1790 to 1990: from the twenty-one decennial censuses. United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Population Division. ISBN 0-934213-48-8. 

External links[]

Coordinates: 41°26′N 87°59′W / 41.44, -87.98

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