Mercer County, Illinois

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Mercer County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. As of 2000, the population was 16,957. A 2008 estimate shows a slight decrease to 16,481.[1] Its county seat is Aledo.[2] It is one of the four counties that make up the Davenport-Moline-Rock Island Metropolitan Statistical Area.[3]

Contents

History

Mercer County is named for Hugh Mercer (1726-1777), a physician and general during the American Revolution who died from wounds suffered at the Battle of Princeton.

In May 1812, Congress passed an act which set aside lands in Arkansas, Michigan, and Illinois as payment to volunteer soldiers in the War of 1812. Mercer County was part of this "Military Tract."

Seven years after Illinois became a state, Mercer County was founded. It was formed from unorganized territory near Pike County on January 13, 1825. Although the county had been created, its government was not organized for several years; for administration purposes it was attached first to Schuyler County (until 1826), then to Peoria (until 1831), and finally to Warren County. The organization of the county government was finally completed in 1835, after a large influx of settlers following the Black Hawk War.[4]

Mercer County before 1827, when it was reduced to its present borders

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 569 square miles (1,473 km²), of which 561 square miles (1,453 km²) is land and 8 square miles (20 km²) (1.38%) is water.

Major highways

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