Stark County is a county located in the U.S.
state of Illinois.
of 2000, the population is 6,332. Its county seat
is Toulon, Illinois
County is part of the Peoria, Illinois, Metropolitan Statistical
According to the U.S. Census Bureau
, the county has a total
area of 288 square miles
), of which 288 square
miles (746 km²) is land and 0 square miles (1 km²)
(0.10%) is water.
Elmira, Essex, Goshen, Osceola, Penn, Toulon, Valley, West
County was formed in 1839 out of Knox and Putnam Counties.
It was named for General Colonel John Stark
,(August 28, 1728 – May 8, 1822) who
served in the American Continental
during the American
. He became widely known as the "Hero of
Bennington" for his exemplary service at the Battle of
Bennington in 1777.
Stark County and Its Pioneers by Mrs. E. H.
---In the latter part of April, 1829 a
solitary, heavily laden wagon was wending its way from the
hospitable home of Mr. French, at Prince's Grove, about a half mile
north-west of the present town of Princeville, towards Spoon River,
probably crossing that stream at a point since known as Boardman's
Ford, or, as others think, near the seat of Cox's Mill, and moving
on towards section fifteen in what has since been known as Essex
The weather was warm and balmy considering the season. The prairie
burnt over by the Indians in the fall was already green with
sprouting grass. Accompanying this vehicle were as it might seem a
guard of good men, and true; "neighbors" they called themselves,
although they must have lived many miles apart, some of them thirty
or forty from the scene of their present friendly labors, having
come from LaSalle Prairie, from Chillicothe and Peoria. They were
neither hunters or warriors, they feared no enemy, and sought not
the "spoils of war".
It was a peaceable expedition and its leader was the occupant of
the wagon, Isaac B. Essex, then in the strength of his manhood, and
with him came his young wife and infant child to found a home in
the wilderness. The "neighbors" were Daniel Prince, Stephen French,
Simon Reed, Frank Thomas and two Baptist ministers, Elders Silliman
and Allen. The former of these two was the father of the much
respected Toulon townsman Minott Silliman, the first treasurer of
Stark county. And these men had came so far to raise a cabin!
Mr. Essex had been out and made a claim in 1828, and in the fall of
that year cut the logs and split the clap-boards for his house,
probably all of which were on the northeast quarter of section
fifteen. They now proceeded to haul them together and get them in
shape on the proposed building site. They all camped in the woods
the first night, but towards sundown of the second day, the cabin
was raised, the roof on, and as Mr. Essex graphically said "we cut
a log out and moved in."
This was emphatically the first pioneer cabin, the first home of
non-native American settlers within the present limits of Stark
As of the census
of 2000, there were 6,332
people, 2,525 households, and 1,764 families residing in the
county. The population density
was 22 people per square mile (8/km²). There were 2,725 housing
units at an average density of 10 per square mile (4/km²). The
racial makeup of the county was 98.63% White
, 0.06% Black
or African American
, 0.19% Native American
, 0.19% Asian
, 0.14% from other races
, and 0.79% from two
or more races. 0.85% of the population were Hispanic
of any race. 27.7% were of
German, 15.3% English, 12.1% American, 11.1% Irish and 6.6%
Swedish ancestry according to
There were 2,525 households out of which 30.30% had children under
the age of 18 living with them, 60.00% were married couples
living together, 7.00% had a female
householder with no husband present, and 30.10% were non-families.
27.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.00% had
someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average
household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.00.
In the county the population was spread out with 25.10% under the
age of 18, 6.80% from 18 to 24, 25.20% from 25 to 44, 23.70% from
45 to 64, and 19.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median
age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 93.20 males. For
every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.10 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $35,826, and
the median income for a family was $43,410. Males had a median
income of $30,774 versus $22,146 for females. The per capita income
for the county was
$16,767. About 6.30% of families and 8.60% of the population were
below the poverty line
11.20% of those under age 18 and 8.00% of those age 65 or
Cities and towns
Stark County is divided into these townships