Ford County is a county in the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 United States Census, it had a population of 14,081. Its county seat is Paxton. Ford County is part of the ChampaignUrbana, IL Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Ford County was formed February 17, 1859. It was the last of Illinois's 102 counties to be formed, and was created at the behest of some residents of Vermilion County, who complained to the General Assembly that they lived too far from the county seat. Ford County was named after Thomas Ford, the Governor of Illinois from 1842 to 1846. File:Ford County Illinois 1859.png|The creation of Douglas and Ford Counties in 1859 resulted in Illinois's current county map.


According to the US Census Bureau, the county has a total area of , of which is land and (0.1%) is water.

Climate and weather

In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Paxton have ranged from a low of in January to a high of in July, although a record low of was recorded in January 1999 and a record high of was recorded in June 1988. Average monthly precipitation ranged from in February to in May.

Adjacent counties

* Kankakee County – north * Iroquois County – east * Vermilion County – southeast * Champaign County – south * McLean County – southwest * Livingston County – west

Major highways

* Interstate 57 * US Route 24 * US Route 45 * Illinois Route 9 * Illinois Route 47 * Illinois Route 54 * Illinois Route 115 * Illinois Route 116


As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 14,081 people, 5,676 households, and 3,798 families living in the county. The population density was . There were 6,282 housing units at an average density of . The racial makeup of the county was 97.1% white, 0.6% black or African American, 0.3% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 0.6% from other races, and 1.1% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 2.1% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 35.7% were German, 15.5% were Irish, 13.6% were American, and 10.4% were English. Of the 5,676 households, 30.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.8% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 33.1% were non-families, and 29.2% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.95. The median age was 42.4 years. The median income for a household in the county was $48,667 and the median income for a family was $62,819. Males had a median income of $43,849 versus $30,136 for females. The per capita income for the county was $23,401. About 5.4% of families and 8.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.3% of those under age 18 and 8.8% of those age 65 or over.


200px|Map of Ford County


* Gibson City * Paxton


* Cabery * Elliott * Kempton * Melvin * Piper City * Roberts * Sibley

Unincorporated communities

* Clarence * Guthrie * Perdueville * Stelle

Extinct settlements

* Ten Mile Grove


* Brenton * Button * Dix * Drummer * Lyman * Mona * Patton * Peach Orchard * Pella * Rogers * Sullivant * Wall


Ford County is one of the state's most consistently Republican counties; since its 1859 organization it has voted for Republican presidential candidates in all but two elections. In 1912, the GOP was mortally divided and Progressive Theodore Roosevelt carried the county over the more conservative official nominee William Howard Taft; in 1932, at the height of the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt in the first of his four campaigns became and has remained the only Democrat to carry Ford County. Since 1968 no Democratic presidential candidate has topped 36% of the county's vote, and since the county first formed only three Democrats – all in landslide national victories – have managed 40% of Ford County's votes. The Libertarian Party has performed well enough in recent elections to gain "established party" status, making it easier for Libertarian candidates to appear on the ballot. Ford is the only county in Illinois where this is the case. President Gerald Ford visited Ford County on October 24, 1974, to mark the retirement of Congressman Leslie C. Arends of Melvin who served in Congress for 40 years, including over 30 years as Republican Minority Whip.Welcome to Paxton
, accessed February 15, 2011.

See also

* National Register of Historic Places listings in Ford County, Illinois


United States Census Bureau 2007 TIGER/Line Shapefiles

United States Board on Geographic Names (GNIS)

United States National Atlas

External links

- Information from ''Centurama Celebrating The First 100 Years of Ford County, Illinois 1859-1959'' {{Coord|40.59|-88.22|display=title|type:adm2nd_region:US-IL_source:UScensus1990 Category:Illinois counties Category:1859 establishments in Illinois Category:Populated places established in 1859