Calhoun County, Illinois

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Calhoun County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. The population was 5,167 at the 2007 official US Census estimate. The county seat is Hardin. It is part of the Metro-East portion of the St. Louis metropolitan area.



The territory was originally settled by indigenous people along the river fronts. The remains of their, and later Native American, settlements have provided some of the most valuable archaeological excavations in the country.

Calhoun County was settled by European Americans during the 19th century, and organized in 1825. It was named for Vice President John C. Calhoun. The southern side of the county, covered in thick forest, was untouched until the population began to expand in the 1840s with the arrival of German immigrants. Land was cleared for farming, exporting lumber and constructing spacious log barns, typically 200 square feet (19 m2) in size, which were a "trademark of successful German farmers."[1]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 284 square miles (735.6 km2), of which 254 square miles (657.9 km2) is land and 30 square miles (77.7 km2) (10.53%) is water.

Calhoun County is a narrow 37-mile (60 km)-long peninsula of mostly high, rolling ground located between the Mississippi River and the Illinois River. The rolling hills escaped the leveling of glaciers.

County transportation is served by two state-operated, free ferries crossing the Illinois River (the Brussels Ferry in the south and the Kampsville ferry in the north). The Golden Eagle ferry, which is privately operated and charges a toll, crosses the Mississippi River to St. Charles County, Missouri. A bridge spans the Illinois River at Hardin. Land routes connect to the north to bordering Pike County.

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