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DeKalb County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. As of the 2010 census, the population was 105,160.[1] Its county seat is Sycamore.[2]

DeKalb County, Illinois
Sycamore Dek cty gov leg center.jpg
DeKalb County's Legislative Center
Seal of DeKalb County, Illinois
Seal
Map of Illinois highlighting DeKalb County
Location in the U.S. state of Illinois
Map of the United States highlighting Illinois
Illinois's location in the U.S.
Founded March 4, 1837
Named for Johann de Kalb
Seat Sycamore
Largest city DeKalb
Area
 • Total 635 sq mi (1,645 km2)
 • Land 631 sq mi (1,634 km2)
 • Water 3.4 sq mi (9 km2), 0.5%
Population
 • (2010) 105,160
 • Density 167/sq mi (64/km²)
Congressional districts 14th, 16th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website www.dekalbcounty.org

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

Contents

HistoryEdit

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

Between 1834 and 1837, early white men began to settle in DeKalb County along the streams and wooded areas because of the fertile soil, wild game, and food and water opportunities. Major growth stemmed from the introduction of the railroad which brought easier methods of transportation and opportunities for industrial growth. Some of the notable industries based in DeKalb County were: Sandwich Manufacturing Company, Marsh Harvester Company, Barbed Wire, Gurler Brothers Pure Milk and many more.

The county has always been noted for agriculture. In 1852, the first Agricultural Fair was held in Sycamore, under the supervision of the DeKalb Agricultural Society. Eventually farmers, businessmen, bankers and newspapermen organized to become the DeKalb County Soil Improvement Association. In later years the DeKalb County Soil Improvement Association would split into two and become 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.

Education has played an important role in the area with Northern Illinois University located in DeKalb and Kishwaukee Community College located in Malta. 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 opposed to a silent "L."

GeographyEdit

According to the U.S. 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
16
 
 
2.5
 
 
44
26
 
 
3.5
 
 
58
37
 
 
4.2
 
 
70
48
 
 
4.5
 
 
80
58
 
 
4.2
 
 
84
63
 
 
4.5
 
 
81
61
 
 
3.5
 
 
74
51
 
 
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

Census Pop.
1840 1,697
1850 7,540 344.3%
1860 19,086 153.1%
1870 23,265 21.9%
1880 26,768 15.1%
1890 27,066 1.1%
1900 31,756 17.3%
1910 33,457 5.4%
1920 31,339 −6.3%
1930 32,644 4.2%
1940 34,388 5.3%
1950 40,781 18.6%
1960 51,714 26.8%
1970 71,654 38.6%
1980 74,624 4.1%
1990 77,932 4.4%
2000 88,969 14.2%
2010 105,160 18.2%
Est. 2016 104,528 [7] −0.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790-1960[9] 1900-1990[10]
1990-2000[11] 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.[12] 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.[12] 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 3.8% were American.[13]

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.[12]

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.[14]

CommunitiesEdit

PoliticsEdit

Presidential Elections Results[15]
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2016 43.8% 19,091 46.9% 20,466 9.3% 4,043
2012 45.9% 18,934 51.4% 21,207 2.7% 1,100
2008 40.6% 18,266 57.3% 25,784 2.1% 924
2004 51.7% 21,095 47.3% 19,263 1.0% 410
2000 51.6% 17,139 44.5% 14,798 3.9% 1,296
1996 43.4% 12,380 44.6% 12,715 12.0% 3,432
1992 37.0% 12,655 40.2% 13,744 22.9% 7,833
1988 58.9% 17,182 40.5% 11,811 0.7% 197
1984 64.5% 20,294 34.8% 10,942 0.7% 229
1980 53.9% 16,370 29.4% 8,913 16.7% 5,082
1976 59.2% 18,193 37.5% 11,535 3.3% 1,000
1972 60.3% 18,910 39.4% 12,375 0.3% 99
1968 63.2% 14,535 30.3% 6,974 6.5% 1,490
1964 53.5% 11,791 46.5% 10,257 0.0% 1
1960 69.6% 15,586 30.3% 6,783 0.1% 19
1956 75.7% 15,078 24.2% 4,826 0.1% 25
1952 74.2% 14,807 25.6% 5,110 0.2% 30
1948 68.7% 11,380 30.7% 5,082 0.6% 105
1944 66.8% 12,157 33.0% 6,004 0.3% 49
1940 64.0% 12,577 35.5% 6,989 0.5% 102
1936 53.8% 9,826 43.2% 7,899 3.0% 550
1932 56.4% 9,356 41.7% 6,923 1.9% 315
1928 74.2% 11,501 25.4% 3,940 0.4% 62
1924 76.4% 10,500 11.2% 1,540 12.4% 1,704
1920 83.9% 10,374 13.8% 1,700 2.3% 287
1916 71.3% 9,764 24.7% 3,386 4.0% 547
1912 24.3% 1,776 21.4% 1,568 54.3% 3,970
1908 72.5% 5,866 21.4% 1,732 6.1% 493
1904 77.4% 5,957 14.8% 1,137 7.8% 599
1900 73.0% 5,923 23.2% 1,881 3.8% 306
1896 72.4% 5,598 24.3% 1,881 3.3% 255
1892 60.7% 3,789 30.9% 1,926 8.4% 525

As part of Yankee-settled Northern Illinois, DeKalb County was a stronghold for the Free Soil Party in its early elections – being amongst 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. Alf Landon, who lost 46 of 48 states in 1936, won DeKalb County by double digits, whilst even Barry Goldwater – renowned for his antagonism towards the Yankee establishment – won by seven percent despite losing sixteen percent of the vote compared to Richard Nixon in 1960.

Beginning in 1972, DeKalb County has shown a strong trend towards the Democratic Party owing to the growth of its powerfully Democratic student population. In that year’s election George McGovern, who was to lose all but 130 counties nationwide, managed to exceed his nationwide vote percentage in this county that had not voted Democratic since giving a plurality to Franklin Pierce in 1852. In 1980, Illinois native John B. Anderson won over fifteen percent of the county’s vote and this was to shift towards the Democratic Party in subsequent elections. In 1992 and 1996, Bill Clinton became the first Democrat to carry the county in 140 years, and in 2008 another Illinoian, 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 economic concerns in the rust belt caused a sizeable swing away from Hillary Clinton in 2016.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 9, 2011. Retrieved July 4, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Illinois Regional Archives Depository System. "Name Index to Illinois Local Governments". Illinois State Archives. Illinois Secretary of State. Retrieved 30 August 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". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  6. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Sycamore, Illinois". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  7. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  8. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved July 4, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 4, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 4, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 4, 2014. 
  12. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  13. ^ "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  14. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  15. ^ http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS

ReferencesEdit

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit