McLean County (Illinois, USA)

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McLean County, IL U.S. Census TIGER/Line map

McLean County, Illinois is the largest county in the state and in 1956 ranked as one of the four leading agricultural counties in the United States. It is located in the north-central part of Illinois. Bloomington is the county seat. Most of the land is of the rich prairie type, broken only here and there by the more rolling wooded sections along the streams. Leading agricultural products are corn and soybeans as cash crops, besides dairying. The first Mennonite (Amish from Ohio, Alsace, etc.) immigrations to this section began about 1829, but did not reach sizable proportions until about 1850. Mennonites settled entirely in the northern and western parts of the county, except for one small settlement in the eastern part near Anchor, which has largely disintegrated. The northern and western settlements extended also into Livingston, Woodford, and Tazewell counties. The total Mennonite population of the county in 1956 was approximately 900, almost all of whom belonged to the Central Conference, later a district of the General Conference Mennonite Church. Mennonite congregations in the county were Meadows, Carlock, Normal, and North Danvers, with about 800 members. Mennonite institutions were the Mennonite Hospital in Bloomington, and the Meadows Mennonite Home (for the Aged) at Meadows.

Peter Maurer, the first Mennonite settler in Illinois, located in McLean County in 1829, near Rock Creek, five miles north of Danvers. The major migration to the area came in 1832-1850. However, the first two congregations, organized in 1833 and 1836, were both located across the border in Woodford County. The first congregation organizing in McLean County was the Rock Creek or Yoder Mennonite Church, organized in 1851 (meetinghouse 1853). From this church, later called North Danvers, three other congregations developed—South Danvers (1859), East White Oak (1892), and Carlock (1914). The Meadows Mennonite Church (1892) and the Anchor Mennonite Church (1894, dissolved 1953) on the far north and far east borders of the county had other origins. A mission congregation and also a bookstore were established in Bloomington in 1956 by the Mennonite Church (MC).


Weaver, W. B. History of the Central Conference Mennonite Church. Danvers, IL, 1926.

Author(s) Raymond L Hartzler
Date Published 1957

Cite This Article

MLA style

Hartzler, Raymond L. "McLean County (Illinois, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 6 Aug 2021.,_USA)&oldid=170525.

APA style

Hartzler, Raymond L. (1957). McLean County (Illinois, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 6 August 2021, from,_USA)&oldid=170525.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 433. All rights reserved.

©1996-2021 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.