DeKalb County, Illinois

Summary

DeKalb County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. As of the 2020 United States Census, the population was 100,420.[1] Its county seat is Sycamore.[2]

DeKalb County
DeKalb County's Court House
DeKalb County's Court House
Official seal of DeKalb County
Map of Illinois highlighting DeKalb County
Location within the U.S. state of Illinois
Map of the United States highlighting Illinois
Illinois's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 41°53′N 88°46′W / 41.89°N 88.77°W / 41.89; -88.77
Country United States
State Illinois
Founded4 March 1837
Named forJohann de Kalb
SeatSycamore
Largest cityDeKalb
Area
 • Total635 sq mi (1,640 km2)
 • Land631 sq mi (1,630 km2)
 • Water3.4 sq mi (9 km2)  0.5%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total100,420
 • Density160/sq mi (61/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional districts14th, 16th
Websitewww.dekalbcounty.org

DeKalb County is part of the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI Metropolitan Statistical Area.

HistoryEdit

DeKalb County was formed on 4 March 1837,[3] out of Kane County, Illinois. The county was named for Johann de Kalb,[4] a German (Bavarian) hero of the American Revolutionary War. DeKalb County's area is approximately 632.7 square miles, and is located 63 miles west of Chicago. There are 19 townships in the county with the county seat at Sycamore.

Between 1834 and 1837, settlements were formed in DeKalb County along streams and wooded areas due to fertile soil, wild game, and food and water opportunities. Primary growth stemmed from the introduction of the railroad which brought easier methods of transportation and opportunities for industrial growth. Early industries based in DeKalb County included Sandwich Mfg. Co, Marsh Harvester Co, barbed wire, and Gurler Bros Pure Milk Co.

The county is noted for agriculture. In 1852, the DeKalb Agricultural Society produced the county's first Agricultural Fair, in Sycamore. Eventually farmers, businessmen, bankers and newspapermen organized to become the DeKalb County Soil Improvement Association, which later was split into DeKalb County Farm Bureau and DeKalb Agricultural Association (DEKALB AgResearch, Inc., Monsanto). DeKalb County is credited with being the birthplace of the Farm Bureau movement. DeKalb County is also the 2nd largest hog producing county in Illinois and the 66th largest in the nation.

Education has played an important role in the area with Northern Illinois University located in DeKalb and Kishwaukee College located in Malta. Except for 2020 (COVID-19), a major fair has been held each year since 1887 at the Sandwich Fairgrounds in Sandwich.

PronunciationEdit

Unlike similarly spelled locations, such as DeKalb County, Georgia, DeKalb denizens from Illinois pronounce the county name /dɪˈkælb/ di-KALB, with an L sound, as in German.

GeographyEdit

According to the US Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 635 square miles (1,640 km2), of which 631 square miles (1,630 km2) is land and 3.4 square miles (8.8 km2) (0.5%) is water.[5]

Climate and weatherEdit

Sycamore, Illinois
Climate chart (explanation)
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
 
 
1.5
 
 
27
10
 
 
1.4
 
 
32
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2.5
 
 
44
26
 
 
3.5
 
 
58
37
 
 
4.2
 
 
70
48
 
 
4.5
 
 
80
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4.2
 
 
84
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4.5
 
 
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3.5
 
 
74
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2.6
 
 
62
40
 
 
2.8
 
 
45
28
 
 
2.1
 
 
32
17
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: The Weather Channel[6]

In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Sycamore have ranged from a low of 10 °F (−12 °C) in January to a high of 84 °F (29 °C) in July, although a record low of −27 °F (−33 °C) was recorded in January 1985 and a record high of 103 °F (39 °C) was recorded in August 1988. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 1.40 inches (36 mm) in February to 4.49 inches (114 mm) in June.[6]

Adjacent countiesEdit

Major highwaysEdit

DemographicsEdit

Historical population
Census Pop.
18401,697
18507,540344.3%
186019,086153.1%
187023,26521.9%
188026,76815.1%
189027,0661.1%
190031,75617.3%
191033,4575.4%
192031,339−6.3%
193032,6444.2%
194034,3885.3%
195040,78118.6%
196051,71426.8%
197071,65438.6%
198074,6244.1%
199077,9324.4%
200088,96914.2%
2010105,16018.2%
2020100,420−4.5%
US Decennial Census[7]
1790-1960[8] 1900-1990[9]
1990-2000[10] 2010-2013[1]
 
2000 census age pyramid for DeKalb County with a marked spike in college-aged individuals due to Northern Illinois University

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 105,160 people, 38,484 households, and 23,781 families residing in the county.[11] The population density was 166.6 inhabitants per square mile (64.3/km2). There were 41,079 housing units at an average density of 65.1 per square mile (25.1/km2).[5] The racial makeup of the county was 85.1% white, 6.4% black or African American, 2.3% Asian, 0.3% American Indian, 3.9% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 10.1% of the population.[11] In terms of ancestry, 32.6% were German, 17.5% were Irish, 8.7% were English, 7.0% were Polish, 6.4% were Italian, 6.3% were Swedish, and 4.7% were Norwegian.[12]

Of the 38,484 households, 31.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.2% were married couples living together, 10.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 38.2% were non-families, and 25.8% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.11. The median age was 29.3 years.[11]

The median income for a household in the county was $54,002 and the median income for a family was $70,713. Males had a median income of $50,192 versus $35,246 for females. The per capita income for the county was $24,179. About 7.7% of families and 14.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.2% of those under age 18 and 4.5% of those age 65 or over.[13]

CommunitiesEdit

CitiesEdit

TownEdit

VillagesEdit

Unincorporated CommunitiesEdit

TownshipsEdit

PoliticsEdit

As part of Northern Illinois, DeKalb County was a stronghold for the Free Soil Party in its early elections – being among nine Illinois counties to support Martin Van Buren in 1848 – and became overwhelmingly Republican for the century following that party's formation. The only time it did not back the official GOP nominee between 1856 and 1988 was in 1912 when the Republican Party was mortally divided and Progressive Theodore Roosevelt won almost half the county's vote.

During this time, it rejected Democrats even in statewide and national landslides. In 1936, Republican candidate Alf Landon, won DeKalb County by double digits while losing 46 of 48 states. Landon held Franklin D. Roosevelt to only 43 percent of DeKalb County's vote, the most he would garner in the county during his four runs for president. Even Barry Goldwater – renowned for his antagonism towards the establishment – won by seven percent despite losing sixteen percent of the vote compared to Richard Nixon in 1960.

In 1992, with the third-party entrance of Ross Perot siphoning votes from Republican George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton became the first Democrat to carry the county in 140 years. Since then, DeKalb County has become more of a swing county in national elections, owing to the growth of the largely Democratic student population in DeKalb. However, it has bucked the Democratic trend seen in most counties dominated by college towns. Republicans still hold most county-level elected offices, and all municipalities outside of the city of DeKalb are still powerfully Republican.

In 2008, an Illinois son, Barack Obama, became the first Democrat to win an absolute majority since Van Buren in the county's first-ever Presidential election of 1840. Obama repeated this in 2012, but gains for third-party candidates caused both major-party candidates to underperform in 2016.

United States presidential election results for DeKalb County, Illinois[14]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 21,905 45.80% 24,643 51.53% 1,277 2.67%
2016 19,091 43.79% 20,466 46.94% 4,043 9.27%
2012 18,934 45.91% 21,207 51.42% 1,100 2.67%
2008 18,266 40.61% 25,784 57.33% 924 2.05%
2004 21,095 51.74% 19,263 47.25% 410 1.01%
2000 17,139 51.57% 14,798 44.53% 1,296 3.90%
1996 12,380 43.40% 12,715 44.57% 3,432 12.03%
1992 12,655 36.97% 13,744 40.15% 7,833 22.88%
1988 17,182 58.86% 11,811 40.46% 197 0.67%
1984 20,294 64.50% 10,942 34.78% 229 0.73%
1980 16,370 53.91% 8,913 29.35% 5,082 16.74%
1976 18,193 59.21% 11,535 37.54% 1,000 3.25%
1972 18,910 60.25% 12,375 39.43% 99 0.32%
1968 14,535 63.20% 6,974 30.32% 1,490 6.48%
1964 11,791 53.48% 10,257 46.52% 1 0.00%
1960 15,586 69.62% 6,783 30.30% 19 0.08%
1956 15,078 75.66% 4,826 24.22% 25 0.13%
1952 14,807 74.23% 5,110 25.62% 30 0.15%
1948 11,380 68.69% 5,082 30.68% 105 0.63%
1944 12,157 66.76% 6,004 32.97% 49 0.27%
1940 12,577 63.95% 6,989 35.53% 102 0.52%
1936 9,826 53.77% 7,899 43.22% 550 3.01%
1932 9,356 56.38% 6,923 41.72% 315 1.90%
1928 11,501 74.19% 3,940 25.41% 62 0.40%
1924 10,500 76.40% 1,540 11.20% 1,704 12.40%
1920 10,374 83.93% 1,700 13.75% 287 2.32%
1916 9,764 71.29% 3,386 24.72% 547 3.99%
1912 1,776 24.28% 1,568 21.44% 3,970 54.28%
1908 5,866 72.50% 1,732 21.41% 493 6.09%
1904 5,957 77.43% 1,137 14.78% 599 7.79%
1900 5,923 73.03% 1,881 23.19% 306 3.77%
1896 5,598 72.38% 1,881 24.32% 255 3.30%
1892 3,789 60.72% 1,926 30.87% 525 8.41%


See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Illinois Regional Archives Depository System. "Name Index to Illinois Local Governments". Illinois State Archives. Illinois Secretary of State. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
  4. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 103.
  5. ^ a b "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Sycamore IL". The Weather Channel. Retrieved January 27, 2011.
  7. ^ "US Decennial Census". US Census Bureau. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  8. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  9. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". US Census Bureau. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  10. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). US Census Bureau. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  11. ^ a b c "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  12. ^ "Selected Social Characteristics in the United States – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  13. ^ "Selected Economic Characteristics – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  14. ^ Leip, David. "Atlas of US Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved November 1, 2018.

ReferencesEdit

  • Forstall, Richard L. (editor) (1996). Population of states and counties of the United States: 1790 to 1990 : from the twenty-one decennial censuses. US Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Population Division. ISBN 0-934213-48-8. {{cite book}}: |first= has generic name (help)
  • US Census Bureau 2007 TIGER/Line Shapefiles
  • U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: DeKalb County, Illinois
  • US National Atlas

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

  • Official website
  • History pages for DeKalb County towns and cities[dead link]
  • De Kalb County at Curlie
  • DeKalb County Youth Service Bureau
  • Taming the Wild Prairie: A History of DeKalb County, Illinois, 1837-1900, Illinois Historical Digitization Projects at Northern Illinois University Libraries
  • DeKalb County Online Newspaper

Coordinates: 41°53′37″N 88°46′13″W / 41.89361°N 88.77028°W / 41.89361; -88.77028