Stark County, Illinois

From ArticleWorld

Stark County, Illinois is a county located in the North Western section of the state of Illinois in Mid Western America. The county seat of Stark County is Toulon. It has been named after John Stark, a Lieutenant in the French and Indian war.


Stark County has been established on the land granted to veterans of the War of 1812. By 1829, the County got its first settlers of European origin and by 1836 the towns of LaFayette, Osceola, and Wyoming had been set up, but it was only in 1839 that the County was established (formed from Knox and Putnam Counties on 2nd March 1839). Toulon was designated the County seat in 1841 and it got its first courthouse the following year. Toulon Courthouse has had the distinction of hosting both Abraham Lincoln & Stephen A. Douglas, who spoke there on two separate days. Initially the Presbyterian Church services in Elmira were conducted in Gaelic, only later they began to be held in English.


According to the last census, the population of Stark County is 6,332. The County has 2,725 houses and its land area is 287.9 sq. miles while its water area is 0.3 sq. miles. About 98.1 % of the population in the County is white (Non-Hispanic), 0.9 % is Hispanic and the rest 1% consists of other races including American Indians.

The approximate worker breakup is:

  1. Private wage or salary – 75%
  2. Government – 11%
  3. Self employed, not incorporated – 13%
  4. Unpaid family work – 1%

Other facts

The main towns of Stark County are Bradford, Elmira, La Fayette, Osceola, Speer, Toulon (County Seat), West Jersey and Wyoming. Among its many attractions, the County boasts the picturesque Rock Island Trail State Park, stretching for 26 miles from Alta, in Peoria County, to Toulon, in Stark County.