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Jackson County, incorporated January 10, 1816, is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinoismarker. As of 2007, the population was 58,841. Its county seat is Murphysboromarker ; its most populous city is Carbondalemarker, home to the main campus of Southern Illinois Universitymarker.

The Carbondale Micropolitan Statistical Area includes all of Jackson County.

History

Human occupation of Jackson County began about 11,500 years ago. Extensive documentation of the areas indigenous peoples has been conducted and is ongoing. Exploration from the European explorers began with the Joliet-Marquette exploration along the Mississippi River. It was not until the 18th and 19th century when pioneer farmers began to settle in the area's inexpensive land along the Mississippi River and in the forested Shawnee hills with its one-hundred-foot trees.

As early as 1813, Conrad Will (namesake of Will Countymarker) conducted a large salt extraction operation, using slave labor, on the banks of the Big Muddy River, south of Murphysboro. As this area was in the "free" Northwest Territory, Will had to have legal exemptions to possess slaves.

Jackson County was organized in 1816, having been carved out of Randolph Countymarker. It was named for Andrew Jackson, who had just defeated the British at the Battle of New Orleansmarker.

Shortly after the American Civil War, General John A. Logan led a parade of veterans from Murphysboro to Carbondalemarker, Illinoismarker. General Logan, a Union veteran, invited the Confederate veterans, of which there were many in Jackson County, to march with him. Thus, what might have been another celebration of the Union victory became a memorial to the war dead on both sides. This is one version of the origin of the Memorial Day holiday.

In 1925 the great Tri-State Tornado ripped through Jackson County on March 18, leaving devastation in its path. The villages of Gorham and DeSoto and the city of Murphysboro were especially hit hard.

The county courthouse is located in downtown Murphysboro. The current reinforced concrete courthouse replaced earlier wooden structures and was built during 1927-28. The original county seat and courthouse were located along the Big Muddy River at Brownsville. To afford a more strategic location after the courthouse in Brownsville was destroyed by fire, County government was moved upstream a few miles to Murphysboro. There are few traces of Brownsville still visible. On February 27, 1843, the Illinois General Assembly created a commission to designate a new county seat for Jackson County.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 603 square miles (1,561 km²), of which 588 square miles (1,523 km²) is land and 14 square miles (37 km²) (2.39%) is water. The average elevation is around , except near the Mississippi River.

The first coal mine in Illinois was opened on the south bank of the Big Muddy River near the present-day Route 127 Bridge.

Major highways



Adjacent counties



National protected areas



Economic Development

Much of the county's economic situation is dependent upon Southern Illinois University Carbondalemarker and the city of Carbondalemarker.

Several major roadways run through the county:

Illinois Routes 3, 149, 13, 127

U.S. Route 51

Illinois Route 3 runs from St. Louis to Cairo, connecting to Interstate 57 and Cape Girardeau, Missouri in between.

Illinois Route 149 runs East-West through the county connecting Illinois Route 3 and Interstate 57 in West Frankfort.

Illinois Route 13 connects to Interstate 57 fourteen miles (21 km) East of the county line, in Marion.

Illinois Route 127 connects to Interstate 64 thirty miles North of the county line, in Nashville, Illinois.

U.S. Route 51 runs North-South through the county and the heart of Carbondale. It connects to Interstate 57 south of Jackson County, in Union County, and to Interstate 64 north of Jackson County, in Washington County.

Demographics

2000 census age pyramid for Jackson County, skewed by Southern Illinois University.


As of the census of 2000, there were 59,612 people, 24,215 households, and 12,664 families residing in the county. The population density was 101 people per square mile (39/km²). There were 26,844 housing units at an average density of 46 per square mile (18/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 80.79% White, 13.02% Black or African American, 0.31% Native American, 3.03% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 1.00% from other races, and 1.80% from two or more races. 2.42% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 22.0% were of German, 10.0% Irish, 9.4% Americanmarker and 8.6% English ancestry according to Census 2000. 92.6% spoke English and 2.7% Spanish as their first language.

There were 24,215 households out of which 24.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.30% were married couples living together, 9.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 47.70% were non-families. 34.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.89.

In the county the population was spread out with 19.30% under the age of 18, 26.00% from 18 to 24, 25.90% from 25 to 44, 17.90% from 45 to 64, and 11.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females there were 104.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $24,946, and the median income for a family was $40,950. Males had a median income of $31,910 versus $22,396 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,755. About 14.70% of families and 25.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.00% of those under age 18 and 10.50% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns



Townships

Jackson County is divided into sixteen townships:


References



External links




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