Fulton County, Illinois
The old courthouse columns at Oak Hill Cemetery
Location within the U.S. state of Illinois
Illinois's location within the U.S.
|Coordinates: 40°29′N 90°13′W|
|Named for||Robert Fulton|
|• Total||883 sq mi (2,290 km2)|
|• Land||866 sq mi (2,240 km2)|
|• Water||17 sq mi (40 km2) 1.9%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||42/sq mi (16/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
Patrick O'Bryan is the Chairman of the Fulton County Board. Mike Hays was the County Administrator until the position was eliminated.
The current Miss Fulton County (2019) is Alexandra Chamberlin of Canton, IL.
Fulton County was organized in 1823 from Pike County. It is named for Robert Fulton, developer of the first commercially successful steamboat. American poet/writer Edgar Lee Masters lived in Fulton County during the 1890s; he later became famous for the Spoon River Anthology, written in 1915. Fulton County was home to Camp Ellis during World War II.
The county is known for the annual Spoon River Scenic Drive which occurs the first 2 weekends in October. This has been a tradition since 1968 and attracts thousands of participants from all over the country.
Fulton County is home to the Ogden-Fettie Site, a significant site for Havana Hopewell Native culture. It is the largest collection of Woodland Mounds in Illinois, with 35 Mounds, dating from 400 BCE, arranged in a crescent.
According to the US Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 883 square miles (2,290 km2), of which 866 square miles (2,240 km2) is land and 17 square miles (44 km2) (1.9%) is water.
Climate and weather
|Climate chart (explanation)|
In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Lewistown have ranged from a low of 14 °F (−10 °C) in January to a high of 88 °F (31 °C) in July, although a record low of −30 °F (−34 °C) was recorded in January 1999 and a record high of 106 °F (41 °C) was recorded in July 1983. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 1.85 inches (47 mm) in January to 4.43 inches (113 mm) in May.
National protected area
The county contains one public-use airport: Ingersoll Airport (CTK), located in Canton.
|US Decennial Census|
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 37,069 people, 14,536 households, and 9,744 families residing in the county. The population density was 42.8 inhabitants per square mile (16.5/km2). There were 16,195 housing units at an average density of 18.7 per square mile (7.2/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 93.4% white, 3.4% black or African American, 0.4% American Indian, 0.3% Asian, 1.6% from other races, and 0.9% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 2.4% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 23.7% were German, 19.1% were American, 14.0% were English, and 13.2% were Irish.
Of the 14,536 households, 29.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.0% were married couples living together, 10.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 33.0% were non-families, and 28.1% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.86. The median age was 41.9 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $41,268 and the median income for a family was $50,596. Males had a median income of $41,376 versus $28,596 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,309. About 9.9% of families and 13.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.2% of those under age 18 and 8.0% of those age 65 or over.
In its early years, Fulton County favored the Democratic Party, being one of the northernmost Democratic counties and the nearest to Yankee, then solidly Republican Northern Illinois. It was never won by a Republican until the Democratic Party moved towards the Populist Party’s policies under William Jennings Bryan, a change which resulted in the county voting Republican except in landslide victories between 1896 and 1960. In that period, Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932 and 1936 was the solitary Democratic presidential candidate to gain a majority of the county’s vote.
However, the 1964 election saw the county trend Democratic – so much so that Hubert Humphrey gained a narrow plurality in his 1968 election loss. Despite not going Democratic again until 1988, the party would always remain competitive in the county, and between 1988 and 2012 every Democratic presidential candidate gained a majority in Fulton County. However, concern over economic decline in the “Rust Belt” saw Donald Trump produce a dramatic swing in the 2016 election, winning Fulton County by fifteen percentage points and gaining the best GOP record in the county since 1980.
In popular culture
The fictional town of Lanford, Illinois in the sitcom Roseanne is set in Fulton County. Even though Fulton County is near Peoria in real life, Lanford on the show is described as a suburb of Chicago near Elgin and Aurora.
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