Clinton, Illinois

Clinton is the largest city in DeWitt County, Illinois, United States. The population was 7,225 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of DeWitt County.[3]

Clinton city hall
"On the rise since 1835"
Location of Clinton in De Witt County, Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
Coordinates: 40°9′8″N 88°57′33″W
CountryUnited States
TownshipClintonia, Texas
  MayorRoger Cyrulik
  Total3.61 sq mi (9.34 km2)
  Land3.60 sq mi (9.33 km2)
  Water0.00 sq mi (0.01 km2)
726 ft (221 m)
  Density1,983.07/sq mi (765.62/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
  Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code(s)
Area code(s)217
FIPS code17-15001
Wikimedia CommonsClinton, Illinois

The city and the county are named for DeWitt Clinton, governor of New York, 1817–1823. Clinton Nuclear Generating Station is located six miles away on Clinton Lake.


Clinton is centrally located in the heart of Illinois, at 40°9′8″N 88°57′33″W (40.152240, -88.959214),[4] accessible from Routes 51, 54, and 10.

According to the 2010 census, Clinton has a total area of 3.38 square miles (8.75 km2), all land.[5]


The city was founded in 1835 by Jesse W. Fell of Bloomington, Illinois, a land speculator and lawyer, and James Allen, a representative in the Illinois State Legislature. The two men were on their way from Decatur, Illinois back to Bloomington after a business trip and stopped to rest their horses on the open prairie halfway between the two cities. It occurred to them that this was an ideal location for a settlement, as there was nothing else nearby. They named the town in honor of DeWitt Clinton.[6]

Clinton is on the 8th Judicial Circuit, on which Abraham Lincoln traveled, along with Judge David Davis, for twenty years. Lincoln acted as lawyer because lawyers were scarce in the area at the time.

One of the two registered historical locations in DeWitt County, the C.H. Moore House, is located in Clinton. The house was purchased and improved by lawyer Clifton H. Moore in the 1880s, and is now the DeWitt County Museum. Moore's private library of more than 7,000 volumes was left to the city upon his death in 1901. These books would make up the first collection of the Vespasian Warner Public Library, founded by and named for Moore's son-in-law.

In 1858, Abraham Lincoln gave a speech in Clinton to which the following quotation has been attributed:[7]

on Sept. 18, according to Carl Sandburg. However, there is no official transcript of the speech. Lincoln's collected papers has a version of the speech taken from a contemporary copy in the Bloomington Pantagraph which doesn't contain it. It has also been attributed to a speech by Lincoln in Bloomington, IL two years earlier, and there is controversy over whether or not Lincoln ever said it at all.


Historical population
Est. 20186,927[2]−4.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]

As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 7,485 people, 3,157 households, and 2,001 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,821.2 people per square mile (1,090.6/km²). There were 3,395 housing units at an average density of 1,279.6 per square mile (494.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.11% White, 0.84% African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.19% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.92% from other races, and 0.69% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.23% of the population.

There were 3,157 households out of which 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.9% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.6% were non-families. 32.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the city, the population was spread out with 25.3% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 28.9% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 15.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $36,279, and the median income for a family was $48,024. Males had a median income of $34,777 versus $22,296 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,729. About 7.8% of families and 10.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.9% of those under age 18 and 8.4% of those age 65 or over.


The major employers in Clinton include the Clinton Nuclear Power Plant, Warner Hospital & Health Services, Miller Container, RR Donnelley, and HNC Products Inc., and Liberty Village of Clinton. The Clinton Illinois Walmart Store closed their doors in July 2018 after 35 years in business.


Recreation and entertainment

  • The annual Apple and Pork Festival draws ten times or more of the population to the city to visit, partake, and purchase items typifying the town.[10]
  • Terror on Washington Street is an annual haunted house run by Clinton's Chamber of Commerce.[11]
  • May Days is an annual festival that has carnival rides as well as live music and various other entertainment events.[12]

Nature and wildlife

Other attractions

Notable people


  1. "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jun 29, 2017.
  2. "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved September 1, 2019.
  3. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  4. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  5. "G001 - Geographic Identifiers - 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-12-27.
  6. Illinois Central Magazine. Illinois Central Railroad Company. 1922. p. 44.
  7. Lincoln Legends: Myths, Hoaxes, and Confabulations associated with our greatest President. Edward Steers, Jr.
  8. "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  9. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  10. "City of Clinton Visitors Page". Retrieved 2009-06-17.
  11. "Clinton Haunted House Site". Retrieved 2009-06-17.
  12. "Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau Events and Attractions". Retrieved 2015-06-09.
  13. "City of Clinton Parks Page". Retrieved 2009-06-17.
  14. "CH Moore Homestead Site". Retrieved 2009-06-17.
  15. "SEPTEMBER 2, 1858: ABRAHAM LINCOLN SPEAKS IN CLINTON, IL". Retrieved 27 May 2017.
  16. "Abraham Lincoln Quotes". but you can't fool all of the people all of the time
  17. "Al Atkinson". Retrieved April 1, 2012.
  18. 'Illinois Blue Book 1941-1942,' Biographical Sketch of William Querfeld, pg. 206
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