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Illinois Counties
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Illinois Counties

There are one hundred and two counties in Illinois. St. Clair County was the first county established in what is today Illinois. Most counties in Illinois were named after early American leaders, especially of the American Revolutionary War, as well as soldiers from the Battle of Tippecanoe and the War of 1812.

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Randolph County, Illinois

Randolph County Education, Geography, and HistoryRandolph County, Illinois Courthouse

Randolph County is a county located in the state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it had a population of 33,476.  Randolph County was created on October 5, 1795. The county seat is Chester. The county is named for Edmund Randolph (1753-1813), first Attorney General of the United States, and briefly United States Secretary of State.

Etymology - Origin of Randolph County Name

The county is named for Edmund Randolph, revolutionary soldier, Secretary of State and US Attorney General under President George Washington.


County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

Randolph County History

Randolph County was created on October 5, 1795 (By proclamation of Arthur St. Clair, St. Clair Papers, Vol. 2, p. 345.) and was formed from St. Clair County and Northwest Territory. Present area, or parts of it, formerly included in: St. Clair County - Northern section of Randolph County (1790-1803) and St. Clair County (1790-1795).

The County was named for Edmund Randolph, a soldier of the Revolution, a lawyer and statesman, member of the Continental Congress, Attorney General and Governor of Virginia, Secretary of State of the United States and Attorney General under Washington. The County Seat is Chester . Prior County Seats was Kaskaskia (1795-1847) and Chester (1847-Present).

Owing to its role in the state's history, the county motto is "Where Illinois Began." It contains the historically important village of Kaskaskia, Illinois's first capital.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 597 square miles (1,547 km2), of which, 578 square miles (1,498 km2) of it is land and 19 square miles (49 km2) of it (3.15%) is water.

Randolph county is located in south Illinois. The county includes fertile river flats, part of the American Bottom; it is near the Greater St. Louis area.    The Kaskaskia River flows into the Mississippi River in Randolph County. At this point the Mississippi, which usually defines the border between Illinois and Missouri, is entirely in Illinois. The Mississippi changed its course in the late-nineteenth century, leaving Kaskaskia, the former state capitol, on the west side of the River. The boundary of the State, however, follows the old course of the River, leaving Illinois with an enclave on the western shore of the Mississippi River.

 Baldwin Lake State Fish & Wildlife Area, Peabody River State Fish and Wildlife Area, Randolph County State Recreation Area, part of Piney Creek Ravine State Natural Area and part of Kaskaskia River State Fish & Wildlife Area are located in this county.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • North: St. Clair County
  • Northeast: Washington County
  • East: Perry County
  • Southeast: Jackson County
  • South: Perry County, Mo.
  • Southwest: Ste. Genevieve County, Mo.
  • Northwest: Monroe County


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