Neha Patil (Editor)

Bureau County, Illinois

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Founded  1837
Congressional district  16th
Population  34,056 (2013)
Unemployment rate  5.1% (Apr 2015)
Largest city  Princeton
Time zone  Central: UTC-6/-5
Area  2,264 km²
County seat  Princeton
Bureau County, Illinois wwwbureaucountyilcomimageshomeimagejpg
Cities  Princeton, Wyanet, DePue, Spring Valley, Buda, Dalzell
Rivers  Illinois River, Green River, Brush Creek
Points of interest  Princeton Park District, Hall Township Echo Bluf, Mautino State Fish and Wildli, First Congregational Church of

Bureau County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. As of the 2010 census, the population was 34,978. Its county seat is Princeton.


Map of Bureau County, IL, USA

Bureau County is part of the Ottawa–Peru, IL Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Chicago–Naperville, IL–IN–WI Combined Statistical Area. Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park is located partly in this county.


Bureau County was created out of Putnam County in 1837. It is named for either Michel or Pierre Bureau, French Canadian brothers who ran a trading post from 1776 until the 1780s near where Big Bureau Creek joins the Illinois River. Their actual surname most likely was Belleau, but the local American Indians had difficulty pronouncing the "l" sound, which was not found in some local languages.

An early settler of this area was Bulbona, a man of mixed French and Native American descent with a Native American wife. Unlike most of the other Native Americans in the area, Bulbona remained after the area was settled by Euro-Americans and ran a trading post where he sold whiskey.

The founders of Princeton, the oldest town in the county consisted entirely of settlers from New England. They were descendants of the English Puritans who settled New England in the 17th century. They were part of a wave of New England farmers who moved to the Northwest Territory in the early 19th century. Most of them came soon after of the completion of the Erie Canal. When they arrived in what is now Bureau County there was nothing but a virgin forest and wild prairie, the New Englanders laid out farms, constructed roads, erected government buildings and established post routes. They brought with them many of their Yankee New England values, such as a passion for education, establishing many schools as well as staunch support for abolitionism. They were mostly members of the Congregationalist Church though some were Episcopalian. Culturally Bureau County, like much of northern Illinois would be culturally very continuous with early New England culture, for most of its history.

Like so many other areas in the Midwest, this county was on a "line" of the Underground Railroad. There was a "station" at the home of Owen Lovejoy in Princeton, as well as several other locations throughout the county.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 874 square miles (2,260 km2), of which 869 square miles (2,250 km2) is land and 4.5 square miles (12 km2) (0.5%) is water. Big Bureau Creek is the main body of water.

Adjacent counties

  • Lee County - north
  • Putnam County - southeast
  • LaSalle County - east
  • Marshall County - south
  • Stark County - southwest
  • Henry County - west
  • Whiteside County - northwest
  • Climate and weather

    In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Princeton have ranged from a low of 14 °F (−10 °C) in January to a high of 85 °F (29 °C) in July, although a record low of −22 °F (−30 °C) was recorded in February 1996 and a record high of 102 °F (39 °C) was recorded in June 1988. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 1.48 inches (38 mm) in February to 4.76 inches (121 mm) in August.


    As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 34,978 people, 14,262 households, and 9,605 families residing in the county. The population density was 40.2 inhabitants per square mile (15.5/km2). There were 15,720 housing units at an average density of 18.1 per square mile (7.0/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 94.2% white, 0.7% Asian, 0.6% black or African American, 0.3% American Indian, 3.0% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 7.7% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 32.8% were German, 13.8% were Irish, 12.1% were English, 9.2% were American, 8.8% were Italian, 7.6% were Swedish, and 5.8% were Polish.

    Of the 14,262 households, 29.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.6% were married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 32.7% were non-families, and 28.0% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.94. The median age was 42.5 years.

    The median income for a household in the county was $45,692 and the median income for a family was $55,217. Males had a median income of $42,327 versus $29,210 for females. The per capita income for the county was $24,103. About 8.6% of families and 11.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.3% of those under age 18 and 7.5% of those age 65 or over.


  • Princeton
  • Spring Valley
  • Unincorporated community

  • Kasbeer
  • Love, Illinois
  • Townships

    Bureau County is divided into these twenty-five townships:

    Notable people

  • Warren Giles, executive in Baseball Hall of Fame
  • Virgil Fox, concert organist
  • Kathryn Hays, actress
  • Robert Petkoff, actor
  • Eliza Suggs, author and temperance activist
  • Richard Widmark, actor
  • References

    Bureau County, Illinois Wikipedia

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