Macoupin County, Illinois

Macoupin County, Illinois

Infobox U.S. County
county = Macoupin County
state = Illinois

seallink =

map size = 150
founded = 1829
seat = Carlinville
largest city = Carlinville
area_total_sq_mi = 868
area_total_km2 = 2247
area_land_sq_mi = 864
area_land_km2 = 2237
area_water_sq_mi = 4
area_water_km2 = 10
area percentage = 0.47%
census yr = 2000
pop = 49019
density_sq_mi = 56.5
density_km2 = 21.8
time zone = Central
UTC offset = -6
DST offset= -5
footnotes =
web =|

Macoupin County is a county located in the southwestern portion of the U.S. state of Illinois. The population was 49,019 at the 2000 census, and the population was 48,235 in the 2007 official US Census estimate. The county seat is Carlinville. Macoupin County is part of the St. Louis Metropolitan Area.

The primary industry is agriculture, consisting of crops of corn (maize), soybeans, and some wheat.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 868 square miles (2,247 km²), of which, 864 square miles (2,237 km²) of it is land and 4 square miles (10 km²) of it (0.47%) is water.

Adjacent counties

*Sangamon County - northeast
*Montgomery County - east
*Madison County - south
*Greene County - west
*Jersey County - west
*Morgan County - northwest


estimate= 48235
estyear= 2007
footnote=UVa Census Browser 1830-1840 [Citation
title = Historial Census Browser, University of Virginia, Geospacial and Statistical Data Center
year = 2004
url =
Illinois Hist. and Stat. 1850-1890Citation
last =Moses
first =John
publication-date =1892
volume = II
title =Illinois, Historical and Statistical
publication-place =Chicago
publisher =Fergus Printing Company
pages =1137
url =
Illinois Counties 1900-1990 [Citation
publication-date =
contribution =
title =Illinois Counties 1900-1990
publisher =U.S. Census Bureau
url =
The region was previously inhabited by Illinoisan Indians when the first white settlers arrived. None of them remain, although some descendants of the earliest European settlers claim partial ancestry. The first European contact was by French explorers in the seventeenth century, travelling southward down the major rivers. The main European settlement was from the southwest, as people moved inland from the established transportation route of the Mississippi River.

Macoupin County was established on January 17, 1829. [Citation
last =Adams
first =James N. (compiler)
year =
date =
publication-date =1989
editor-last =Keller
editor-first =William E.
title =Illinois Place Names
edition =
series =
place =
publication-place =Springfield
publisher =Illinois State Historical Society
volume =
pages =592
isbn =0912226242
] It was formed out of Greene and Madison Counties and was named after Macoupin Creek, which runs near Carlinville and meanders southwest to the Illinois River. The economy was based on subsistence agriculture, and communication was to the southwest.

In the middle 19th century, Illinois developed and changed rapidly. The greatest change was in the building of railroads, and Macoupin County was on the rail and road transportation link between St. Louis and the still-young metropolis of Chicago. The county lies midway between St. Louis and the relocated state capital of Springfield. The economy was still based entirely on agriculture, but there was now easier access to markets. Towns were small, sparsely distributed, and any new communities were founded along the railroad lines that provided transportation. Culturally, the county remained closer to its historical ties with St. Louis than to more northerly areas within the state.

Agriculture remained a mainstay of the economy, but this was joined by coal mining, an industry that partially changed the complexion of the county. With coal underlying the entire region, the most economical development was to place mines alongside the railroad tracks (for transportation of coal), and located in or near already-existing towns. By the twentieth century, there were mines in every town of any size, all of them with substantial populations of foreign-born miners from everywhere in Europe.

During the twentieth century, agriculture and coal mining remained the mainstays of the county's economy, and the county's fortunes rose and fell with them. Farming was still family based. Macoupin County was often at the center of major labor disputes between mine owners and miners, and was a hotbed of union activity. The county had previously played a major role in violent 1890's disputes that brought unwanted national attention, was at center stage when the United Mine Workers rose to power, and was again prominent during the internecine war between the UMW and the Progressive Mine Workers of the 1930's.

Agriculture remained as the county's prime economic activity, but farming became a large-scale corporate enterprise, with small family farms rapidly disappearing. Coal mining decreased, and has almost disappeared entirely. Buildings and structures related to coal mining were torn down as they wasted away, so that there is now little to see of this once-major industry.

Towns were (and still are) characterized either by a midwestern town square layout, or by a main street layout. In the former, a central city block may be a small park with a gazebo, and with the small businesses of the town surrounding it. In the latter, a single street will have the small businesses of the town lining either side of it. Carlinville has a city square layout, with the main county building occupying the central city block. This building houses all the offices of the county. Typically, churches of the various denominations will lie within two or three blocks of the town square, or sometimes will lie mainly along a single street near the town's center.

With modern roads easily accessible, some towns in the northern part of the county became virtual bedroom communities as people commuted to Springfield to work and shop, hastening the decline of small businesses in the towns. The same effect was felt in the southernmost part of the county, and in 2005, the U.S. Census Bureau included the county in the St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area due to increased commuting patterns and employment in St. Louis and the Metro-East.


As of the U.S. Census of 2000,GR|2 there were 49,019 people, 19,253 households, and 13,631 families residing in the county. The population density was 57 people per square mile (22/km²). There were 21,097 housing units at an average density of 24 per square mile (9/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.99% White, 0.82% Black or African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.18% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.15% from other races, and 0.61% from two or more races. 0.62% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 32.9% were of German, 12.8% American, 12.0% English, 10.5% Irish and 8.6% Italian ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 19,253 households out of which 31.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.10% were married couples living together, 8.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.20% were non-families. 25.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.60% under the age of 18, 8.30% from 18 to 24, 26.70% from 25 to 44, 22.90% from 45 to 64, and 17.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 94.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $36,190, and the median income for a family was $43,021. Males had a median income of $34,369 versus $22,293 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,298. About 7.10% of families and 9.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.50% of those under age 18 and 7.90% of those age 65 or over.



*Bunker Hill
*Mount Olive




*East Gillespie|
*Lake Ka-ho
*Mount Clare|
*Royal Lakes
*Standard City|
*White City

Unincorporated communities

*Miles Station|
*South Standard


Macoupin County is divided into twenty-six townships:
* Barr
* Bird
* Brighton
* Brushy Mound
* Bunker Hill
* Cahokia
* Carlinville
* Chesterfield
* Dorchester
* Gillespie
* Girard
* Hillyard
* Honey Point|
* Mt. Olive
* Nilwood
* North Otter
* North Palmyra
* Polk
* Scottville
* Shaws Point
* Shipman
* South Otter
* South Palmyra
* Staunton
* Virden
* Western Mound


External links

* [ Macoupin County web site]
* [ Macoupin County fact sheet]

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