Mason County, Illinois

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Mason County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. As of 2000, the population was 16,038. Its county seat is Havana, Illinois[1]. The County is named in honor of George Mason, a member of the Virginia legislature who campaigned for the adoption of the United States Bill of Rights.



According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 563 square miles (1,459 km²), of which 539 square miles (1,396 km²) is land and 24 square miles (63 km²) (4.34%) is water.

Mason County is bounded on the south by the Sangamon River, and on the west by the Illinois River. These rivers join at the southwest tip of the County.

The soil covering much of Mason County is very sandy in composition. This was formed during the melting of the Wisconsin Glacier about 10,000 years before present. Meltwater from the glacier deposited large amounts of sand in a delta region near at the junction of the Sangamon and Illinois Rivers.

The sandy soil does not hold water well, quickly exposing crops to drought conditions as the water table drops during periods of low precipitation. The soil is, however, very good for growing vegetables that are otherwise not common in Illinois. Modern irrigation has made this a highly productive agricultural area.

A sand wetland on the Illinois River is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as the Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge.

Major highways

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