St. Clair County, Illinois is situated to the southeast of St. Louis Missouri, on the Eastern shore line of the Mississippi River. With a total landmass of more than 670 square miles, it maintains a population of just over 270,000 residents. Belleville is the county seat and largest city.
Originally, St. Clair County contained only a portion of the landmass of the current county borders. However, in 1809, the western border extended along the Mississippi River, and eastward to the Indiana state line, traveling north above Wisconsin along Lake Superior. By 1818, the borders were reestablished to their existing lines today.
The county was named after the Northwest Territory’s first governor Arthur St. Clair, through a self-proclamation. Counties that border St. Clair County include those in both Missouri and Illinois. Bordering Illinois counties include Madison (north), Clinton (northeast), Washington (East), Randolph (south) and Monroe (southwest). St. Louis County in Missouri borders St. Clair County to the west across the Mississippi River.
Travel and Transportation
St. Clair County has access to inner county locations and out of county destinations using the Madison County transit system and the Metro bus system. There are variety of Metrolink stations located across St. Clair County at Scott Air Force Base, Belleville, Washington Park, East Riverfront and others. There are also transit options in the county through the St. Louis Metro bus fleet.
There is a complex highway transportation system all across southwestern Illinois, including St. Clair and Madison counties. This includes I 70 running east and west, along with I 55 and I 64. The St. Louis metropolitan area also has two circumference loops including I-55 and I-70, making it for commuters.
In addition, State Route 15 travels northwest to southeast from St. Louis along Bellevue heading toward Mount Vernon, Illinois. State Highway 50 travels out of southern St. Louis at Melville, and travels northeast towards Collinsville in Madison County.
St. Clair County is home to various public and private airports including MidAmerica St. Louis airport in Mascoutah, and the St. Louis downtown airport in East St. Louis. Additionally, pilots have access to the St. Louis Metro-East/Shafer Field Airport in St. Jacob (Madison County) and the Herschel Hunter Airport in Marissa. The private Aero Estates Airport is located in Belleville.
Universities and Colleges
St. Clair County, Illinois is home to Southwestern Illinois College at 2500 Carlisle Ave. in Bellevue. It also has campuses in Red Bud and Granite City along with distance learning. Students also attend McKendree University at 701 College Rd. in Lebanon, and Lindenwood University at 2600 West Main St. in Bellevue. Associate degrees are also available at East St. Louis Community College at its Bellevue and Centralia campuses.
Area Health Care
St. Clair County offers the latest advancements in medical care and health services to the community for every resident in visitor. Local area hospitals and medical health centers include:
- St. Elizabeth’s Hospital (O’Fallon)
- Memorial Hospital (O’Fallon)
- Memorial Hospital (Belleville)
- Anderson Hospital (Marysville)
- Family Care Health Centers (St. Louis, Missouri)
In addition to family health care, County residents and visitors also have access to quality pet care at the Deer Gardens pet Hospital (Belleville), and the Mon-Claire Animal Hospital (Millstadt).
St. Clair County Court System
As the 20th judicial circuit in the Illinois fifth Appellate District, the County courthouse resides at 10 Public Square in Bellevue. The local government offers a variety of services including county assessor, auditing, circuit clerk, emergency management and recorder of deeds along with probation and court services.
Local Economic Development
With its close proximity to the Metropolitan St. Louis area, St. Clair County provides a skilled workforce opportunity for many new and existing businesses. Because of that, the local county economic development department offers a variety of business incentives in specific enterprise zones throughout the county. This includes tax exemptions and credits, and TIF (tax increment financing) incentives.
Fun Things to Do
Visitors and residents interested in taking a glimpse into the past can visit the French colonial country located south of St. Louis, Missouri. Visitors can be transported back in time through reenactments of events happening year-round. These reenactments happen in St. Genevieve County, Randolph County and Jefferson County in Missouri, along with Monroe and St. Clair counties in Illinois.
Belleville is also home to records Belleville farm, Lincoln Theater, the St. Clair County historical Society and the Labor & Industrial Museum. In addition, the Lewis & Clark Center (St. Charles) offers a look back to these famous, historic explorers in its nature preserve and boathouse. In addition, there are a number of attractions in St. Louis County, across the Mississippi River to the west. They include:
- Six Flags St. Louis
- Grants Farm (original home of Ulysses S Grant)
- St. Louis Galleria Mall with premier shopping and dining
- Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis at 4431 Lindell Blvd. in St. Louis
- Anheuser-Busch Brewery at 1200 Lynch St. in St. Louis
- Missouri Botanical Gardens – Butterfly House at 15193 Olive Boulevard in Chesterfield, MO
- Museum of Transportation at 2967 Barrett Station Rd. in St. Louis
- Pulitzer Arts foundation at 3716 Washington Blvd. in St. Louis
National Register of Historic Places
Twenty four places in St. Louis County have made the list of the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Some of these include:
- Belleville Historic District (Belleville)
- Cahokia Mounds (Collinsville)
- Church of the Holy Family (Cahokia)
- George Draser, Jr. Houses (Mascoutah)
- Eads Bridge (East St. Louis)
- Emerald Mound (Lebanon)
- Nicholas Jarrot Mansion (Cahokia)
- Lebanon Historic District (Lebanon)
- Mermaid House Hotel (Lebanon)
- Old Cahokia Courthouse (Cahokia)
- Rutter Store (St. Libory)
With the rich population that has lived and died along the Mississippi River surrounding the St. Louis area, many families are searching for genealogy records of their lost loved ones. Sadly, family historical records were lost due to fires when many courthouses were burned to the ground over the last couple of centuries. Fortunately, no such fire occurred in St. Clair County since its establishment. Some online searches are available for births, marriages, divorces, and death records of residents of St. Clair County.
For information on cities in and around St. Clair County, please look at the pages below: