Hancock County, Illinois

Hancock County, Illinois

Infobox U.S. County
county = Hancock County
state = Illinois

seallink =

map size = 150
founded = 1825
seat = Carthage
largest city = Hamilton
area_total_sq_mi = 815
area_total_km2 = 2110
area_land_sq_mi = 795
area_land_km2 = 2058
area_water_sq_mi = 20
area_water_km2 = 52
area percentage = 2.45%
census yr = 2000
pop = 20121
density_sq_mi = 25
density_km2 = 10
time zone = Central
UTC offset = -6
DST offset= -5
footnotes =
web = |

Hancock County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. As of 2000, the population was 20,121. Its county seat is Carthage, IllinoisGR|6. Hamilton is the largest city in Hancock County, with Carthage being the second largest. The county is made up of rural towns with many farmers.


Hancock County was part of the "Military Tract" set aside by Congress to reward veterans of the War of 1812. Actual settlement of the interior of the County was delayed by concerns about hostile American Indians. After their defeat in the Blackhawk War in 1832, settlement proceeded quickly.

Hancock County was formed, on January 13 1825, out of Pike County. It was named in honor of John Hancock, who clearly signed the Declaration of Independence.

For a brief period in the 1840s Hancock had one of Illinois' most populous cities: Nauvoo, which was then headquarters for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The LDS leader Joseph Smith, Jr. was assassinated in the county seat of Carthage in 1844. Most Mormons left Hancock county in the 1840s. Today followers of the LDS movement come, in increasing numbers, to important LDS sites in Hancock county, partly for vacation and partly for religious pilgrimage.

The original courthouse was located at Montebello. Montebello no longer exists but was between Nauvoo and Hamilton. In 1833 the state commissioned the formation of the county seat at Carthage IL which was centrally located but not well delevoped at the time. A log cabin was built to serve as the courthouse and continued to serve that purpose until 1839 when the second Carthage Courthouse was built. The original log cabin continued to serve as a school and other purposes until 1945 when it was removed.

The second courthouse cost $3,700 dollars to build and served from 1839 until 1906. It served as a location for both Stephan A. Douglas (October 11, 1858) and Abraham Lincoln (October 22, 1858) to speak to residents of the area as they were running against each other for the US Senate. In 1906 it was removed to make room for the current courthouse.

The current courthouse was dedicated October 21, 1908.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,110 km² (815 mi²). 2,058 km² (795 mi²) of it is land and 52 km² (20 mi²) of it (2.45%) is water.


Appanoose, Augusta, Bear Creek, Cathage, Chili, Dallas City, Durham, Ft. Green, Hancock, Harmony, LaHarpe, Montebello, Nauvoo, Pilot Grove, Pontoosuc, Prairie, Rock Creek, Rocky Run, Saint Albans, Saint Marys, Walker, Warsaw, Wilcox, Wythe

Adjacent Counties

*Henderson County - northeast
*McDonough County - east
*Schuyler County - southeast
*Adams County - south
*Lewis County, Missouri - southwest
*Clark County, Missouri - west
*Lee County, Iowa - northwest


1900= 32215
1910= 30638
1920= 28523
1930= 26420
1940= 26297
1950= 25790
1960= 24574
1970= 23645
1980= 23877
1990= 21373
2000= 20121
footnote= [http://www.census.gov/population/cencounts/il190090.txt IL Counties 1900-1990]
As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 20,121 people, 8,069 households, and 5,607 families residing in the county. The population density was 25 people per square mile (10/km²). There were 8,909 housing units at an average density of 11 per square mile (4/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 98.68% White, 0.20% Black or African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.23% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.13% from other races, and 0.56% from two or more races. 0.52% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 35.5% were of German, 20.7% American, 12.0% English and 10.0% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000. 98.8% spoke English and 1.0% Spanish as their first language.

There were 8,069 households out of which 30.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.90% were married couples living together, 7.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.50% were non-families. 26.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.60% under the age of 18, 7.10% from 18 to 24, 25.50% from 25 to 44, 24.50% from 45 to 64, and 18.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 94.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $36,654, and the median income for a family was $44,457. Males had a median income of $31,095 versus $20,680 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,478. About 5.40% of families and 8.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.90% of those under age 18 and 8.20% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns

*Dallas City (partly in Henderson County)
*Fountain Green
*La Harpe
*West Point

Census designated places

*La Crosse

External links

* [http://www.wiu.edu/library/units/archives/archives_web.sphp?id=102 Center for Hancock County History]
* [http://www.outfitters.com/illinois/hancock/ Hancock County, Illinois, USA]
*Accommodations Links
** [http://www.nauvoovillas.com Nightly Accommodations at Nauvoo Villas]

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