About Clinton County
Clinton County Illinois is located in the South Central part of the Prairie State, about 40 miles west by road to the east of St. Louis and about 295 miles south of Chicago, again by road. The County Seat is Carlyle, Illinois. The county’s landscape is dominated by vast farmlands which support it as the state’s leading producer of livestock (UofI Urbana/Champagne) most likely due to it’s high ranking in the areas of dairy and hogs. This high livestock output makes Clinton County one of the highest ranking counties when it comes to generating state transportation revenue. (Fed Highway Admin 2004, IL Dept of Rev 2004, IMPLAN, 2004) So typically you find pretty nice roads leading to and in Clinton County.
Little know fact: In 1960 The US Census Department determined the mean population center of the United States to be Clinton County. That designation has since moved about 150 miles to the south and west most likely due to reasons Clinton County enjoys a quiet country style of living.
Clinton County, Illinois is located in the heartlands of the USA, was organized on December 27, 1824 and the first county-wide census was taken the following year showed 184 families comprised of 1,106 souls. There were 220 registered voters, 19 free citizens of Black ancestry and 5 slaves. Most residents hailed from Pennsylvania and various southern states. Most initial European ancestry can be traced to English and Irish settlers who set down around Carlyle.
Prior to becoming a County, many land grants were given in the Kaskaskia river area to militia men enrolled and doing duty in Illinois (Indiana Territory) on 1Aug 1790. Many claims went to French settlers under this act.
Clinton county was created by combining lands formerly part of Washington, Bond and Fayette Counties. Clinton County is one of six counties and twelve towns named after DeWitt Clinton who served as a United States Senator and later as a Governor of New York. Senator Clinton is also credited as the reason we have the Erie Canal, so his impact on the growth of the United States is significant. Dewitt Clinton is not related to Bill Clinton whose family name was actually “Blythe” his stepfather’s name.
Although the first settlers credited were of English and Irish ancestry, it doesn’t take one long to realize the most influential settlers were German, that is if you take notice of the names on the map. Germans initially settled in and around Germantown in 1834.
Did you know?
Breese was named after Judge Sidney Breese – Supreme Court of Illinois
Albers was once called Damiansville Station before being renamed to Albers Station – First settled by immigrants from Hanover and Westphalia.
Aviston was first established as a school district, Mount Pleasant School District which was changed to District #2, Township #2. First village was called “Hull” and was settled by farmers of German descent.
More from the 1913 Commercial History of Clinton County!