Alexander County, Illinois Article

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Alexander County, Illinois
Alexander County Courthouse, Cairo.jpg
Map of Illinois highlighting Alexander County
Location in the U.S. state of Illinois
Map of the United States highlighting Illinois
Illinois's location in the U.S.
Founded1819
Seat Cairo
Largest cityCairo
Area
 • Total253 sq mi (655 km2)
 • Land236 sq mi (611 km2)
 • Water17 sq mi (44 km2), 6.8%
Population
 • ( 2010)8,238
 • Density35/sq mi (14/km2)
Congressional district 12th
Time zone Central: UTC−6/ −5

Alexander County is the southernmost county of the U.S. state of Illinois. As of the 2010 census, the population was 8,238. [1] Its county seat is Cairo [2] and its western boundary is formed by the Mississippi River.

Alexander County is part of the Cape Girardeau, MO-IL Metropolitan Statistical Area that is made up of jurisdictions on both sides of the Mississippi River.

History

Alexander County was organized from part of Union County in 1819. It was named for William M. Alexander, a physician who practiced in the town of America (the first county seat). [3] Alexander was elected as a representative to the state House, where he became Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives in 1822.

The county was initially developed for agriculture and settled by numerous migrants from the Upper South. The county seat was moved to Unity in 1833, then to Thebes in 1843, and finally to Cairo in 1860. America, the first county seat, is now within Pulaski County, which was formed from Alexander and Johnson counties in 1843. [4]

Settled largely by white migrants from the Upland South, southern Illinois had many racial attitudes of the South. As African Americans settled in Cairo to seek jobs on steamboats, ferries, in shipping and railroads, there were tensions between the racial groups. White residents sometimes used violence and terrorism, as well as discrimination, to keep black residents in second-class positions. They excluded them from the city government and the police and fire departments, and relatively few African Americans were hired to work in the local stores.

There were three lynchings of blacks in Alexander County in the years between Reconstruction and the early 20th century. The county had the second-highest number of lynchings of African Americans in all of Illinois. [5] The most notorious of these was the lynching of Will James before a crowd of white spectators estimated at 10,000, in the county seat of Cairo, Illinois on November 11, 1909. James was accused of murdering a young white woman. Later that same evening, the mob lynched a white man named Henry Salzner, hanging him in the courthouse square for allegedly killing his wife. Neither man had had a trial, nor was anyone ever prosecuted for the lynchings, even Illinois had had passed an anti-lynching law four years earlier. [6]

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 253 square miles (660 km2), of which 236 square miles (610 km2) is land and 17 square miles (44 km2) (6.8%) is water. [7] Its borders are partly defined by the Mississippi River and the Ohio River. The lowest point in the state of Illinois is located on the Mississippi River in Cairo in Alexander County, where it flows out of Illinois and into Kentucky.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

Major highways

Climate and weather

Cairo, Illinois
Climate chart ( explanation)
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
3.2
 
 
41
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3.6
 
 
48
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4.4
 
 
58
39
 
 
4.7
 
 
69
50
 
 
4.8
 
 
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4.2
 
 
86
67
 
 
4.4
 
 
90
71
 
 
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87
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3
 
 
81
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3.4
 
 
71
49
 
 
4.4
 
 
57
39
 
 
4.2
 
 
46
30
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: The Weather Channel [8]

In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Cairo have ranged from a low of 26 °F (−3 °C) in January to a high of 90 °F (32 °C) in July, although a record low of −12 °F (−24 °C) was recorded in January 1985 and a record high of 104 °F (40 °C) was recorded in June 1954. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 3.04 inches (77 mm) in September to 4.76 inches (121 mm) in May. [8]

Law enforcement

The Tamms Correctional Center, a now shuttered super-maximum correctional facility operated by the Illinois Department of Corrections, was located in Tamms, [9] [10] as was the State of Illinois execution chamber. [11] Prior to the January 11, 2003 commutation of death row sentences, male death row inmates were housed in Tamms, Menard, and Pontiac correctional centers. After that date, only Pontiac continued to host the male death row. [12] On January 4, 2013, after years of controversy over inmate conditions, the prison officially closed, negatively impacting the county's economy. [13] [14] [15]

In late September 2009, press reports indicated that the Alexander County Sheriff's office had five of its seven squad cars repossessed as payments had not been made. The sheriff once had 29 deputies, but was reduced to just five at the time of the reports. The Illinois State Police have provided assistance to the county with additional patrols. [16]

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1820626
18301,390122.0%
18403,313138.3%
18502,484−25.0%
18604,70789.5%
187010,564124.4%
188014,80840.2%
189016,56311.9%
190019,38417.0%
191022,74117.3%
192023,9805.4%
193022,542−6.0%
194025,49613.1%
195020,316−20.3%
196016,061−20.9%
197012,015−25.2%
198012,2642.1%
199010,626−13.4%
20009,590−9.7%
20108,238−14.1%
Est. 20176,315 [17]−23.3%
U.S. Decennial Census [18]
1790-1960 [19] 1900-1990 [20]
1990-2000 [21] 2010-2013 [1]
2000 census age pyramid for Alexander County.

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 8,238 people, 3,329 households, and 2,093 families residing in the county. [22] The population density was 35.0 inhabitants per square mile (13.5/km2). There were 4,006 housing units at an average density of 17.0 per square mile (6.6/km2). [7] The racial makeup of the county was 60.9% white, 35.4% black or African American, 0.3% American Indian, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific islander, 1.4% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 1.9% of the population. [22] In terms of ancestry, 13.9% were German, 6.8% were Irish, 5.3% were English, and 4.7% were American. [23]

Of the 3,329 households, 29.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.6% were married couples living together, 18.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 37.1% were non-families, and 33.6% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.94. The median age was 41.1 years. [22]

The median income for a household in the county was $28,833 and the median income for a family was $44,699. Males had a median income of $35,880 versus $25,743 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,858. About 11.8% of families and 20.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 33.1% of those under age 18 and 14.7% of those age 65 or over. [24]

Education

Communities

City

Villages

Census-designated place

Unincorporated communities

Politics

April 15, 2004, Barack Obama speaks at a luncheon in the city of Cairo, during his US Senate campaign

Alexander County is unique among antebellum free state rural counties in having a postbellum political history largely determined by a previously disfranchised black electorate. It is most similar in this respect to – though still substantially different from – some counties of the south and the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The county was thus solidly Republican until the New Deal, and gradually turned solidly Democratic until the presidency of Bill Clinton. In the twenty-first century, the county has become a swing county due to large-scale black emigration and a rapid swing of its white population toward Republican candidates.

Presidential elections results
Presidential elections results [25]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2016 53.1% 1,496 44.8% 1,262 2.2% 62
2012 42.5% 1,487 56.1% 1,965 1.4% 49
2008 42.9% 1,692 55.5% 2,189 1.7% 66
2004 47.3% 1,831 52.1% 2,016 0.7% 26
2000 39.5% 1,588 58.6% 2,357 1.9% 77
1996 28.2% 1,212 64.0% 2,753 7.9% 339
1992 29.8% 1,301 58.8% 2,566 11.4% 495
1988 41.9% 1,954 57.8% 2,693 0.3% 16
1984 47.1% 2,574 52.5% 2,872 0.4% 21
1980 46.7% 2,650 51.5% 2,925 1.8% 103
1976 41.5% 2,349 57.4% 3,246 1.1% 63
1972 59.1% 3,669 40.0% 2,482 0.9% 58
1968 36.6% 2,540 42.2% 2,929 21.1% 1,465
1964 37.8% 2,895 62.2% 4,763
1960 48.0% 4,143 51.8% 4,477 0.2% 18
1956 51.4% 4,425 48.4% 4,167 0.2% 21
1952 54.6% 5,219 45.1% 4,305 0.3% 29
1948 49.1% 4,561 49.9% 4,641 1.0% 96
1944 49.7% 4,792 49.5% 4,767 0.8% 78
1940 48.2% 6,260 50.8% 6,591 1.1% 137
1936 43.9% 5,553 55.1% 6,972 1.0% 128
1932 44.9% 4,729 53.7% 5,653 1.4% 151
1928 61.2% 5,666 38.5% 3,558 0.3% 28
1924 58.1% 4,465 34.3% 2,639 7.6% 581
1920 61.9% 5,287 37.1% 3,167 1.0% 85
1916 56.8% 5,395 41.5% 3,940 1.8% 170
1912 41.7% 2,003 40.4% 1,936 17.8% 854
1908 63.9% 3,790 34.2% 2,027 2.0% 119
1904 63.1% 3,203 33.2% 1,686 3.7% 186
1900 60.8% 2,790 38.3% 1,760 0.9% 42
1896 60.4% 2,802 39.1% 1,813 0.6% 28
1892 53.9% 2,053 44.0% 1,674 2.1% 80

See also

References

Specific
  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  3. ^ Perrin 1883, p. 455.
  4. ^ Callary, Edward (2009). Place Names of Illinois. Urbana and Chicago, Illinois: University of Illinois Press. p. 4.
  5. ^ Lynching in America/"Supplement: Lynchings by County", 3rd edition, 2017; Montgomery, Alabama: Equal Justice Institute, 2015/2017, p. 4
  6. ^ " 'An Outrageous Proceeding': A Northern Lynching and Enforcement of Anti-Lynching Legislation in Illinois, 1905-1910", Journal of Negro History, 1999, via JSTOR
  7. ^ a b "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-07-11.
  8. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Cairo, Illinois". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2011-01-27.
  9. ^ " Tamms village, Illinois Archived 2011-06-08 at the Wayback Machine.." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on August 15, 2010.
  10. ^ " Tamms Correctional Center." Illinois Department of Corrections. Retrieved on September 1, 2010.
  11. ^ " Tamms Closed Maximum Security Unit: Ten-Point Plan Brief Archived 2010-08-21 at the Wayback Machine.." Illinois Department of Corrections. 3 (9/51). September 3, 2009. Retrieved on September 1, 2010.
  12. ^ " DOC Report Online Archived 2011-07-18 at the Wayback Machine.." Illinois Department of Corrections. Retrieved on September 1, 2010.
  13. ^ "Tamms "Supermax" Prison, with its Inhumane and Ridiculously Expensive Solitary Confinement Practices, is Officially a Thing of the Past!". American Civil Liberties Union. Retrieved 2018-10-29.
  14. ^ Ruch, Amber. "Tamms closure impact on town months later". KFVS12. Retrieved 2018-10-29.
  15. ^ Moser, Whet (February 27, 2013). "Why Labor Is Fighting the Tamms Prison Closure". Chicago magazine. Retrieved 2018-10-29.
  16. ^ Reynolds, Dean (September 28, 2009). "Repo Man Visits an Illinois Police Dept". CBS. Retrieved 2018-10-29.
  17. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  18. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
  19. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
  20. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
  21. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
  22. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-07-11.
  23. ^ "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-07-11.
  24. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-07-11.
  25. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 2018-10-29.
General

External links


ALEXANDER COUNTY ILLINOIS Latitude and Longitude:

37°11′N 89°20′W / 37.19°N 89.34°W / 37.19; -89.34