Jim Forte Postal History

(800) 594-3837 or (702) 791-6828 Fax (702) 369-9139
P.O. Box 371541 Las Vegas, NV 89137




c postal history is not nearly as well represented in philatelic literature as other states of similar size. These works will form a basis:

A List Of Illinois Place Names by Illinois State Library

Listing Of Illinois Post Offices by Illinois Postal History Society

Illinois Post Office A Listing and Guide to Postmark Scarcity by Jim Mehrer

Illinois 19th Century Cancels by Richard Russell

You can access my online guide of Illinois Post Offices here.


The market for Illinois is the weakest for any large state. They are several reasons for this. First, these is a true paucity of philatelic literature. None of the works available contain much post office information after 1931. Distribution of material is feast or famine. There are several populous counties which dominate any group of random Illinois covers. Most of the smaller rural counties are quite hard to find. The demand for Illinois is by county. Historically, Cook county has been in the most demand. The independent 19th century post offices that became consolidated into Chicago have always been the most fiercely fought over. The most active collectors are now more advanced, and a cover with five eager buyers 6 years ago will now go unsold. There are many opportunities for an Illinois collector.

Among the 50 states, the District of Columbia, R.P.O.'s and Streetcars, Illinois rates as the 25th state in terms of percentage of cover sold at 53.76%. It ranks 7th in terms of the value of covers sold as percentage of all town cancels sold at 2.74%. The overall rank is 8th. This is a ten year running average. The most recent trends are about the same. I thought it might be interesting to quantify the level of interest for all the counties in Illinois. I figured the percentage of covers I have sold as compared to the total of the covers sold and the covers available. Since some of the Illinois covers I sell are not sold to Illinois collectors, I decided to eliminate flags and doanes from the total of covers sold. While not perfect, this should provide more accurate results. Another caveat is that for many counties, the total number of covers in stock and covers sold is very small. Revised county ratings are as follows:

Adams 92.21%
Alexander 57.89%
Bond 41.18%
Boone 40.54%
Brown 20.00%
Bureau 100.00%
Calhoun 80.00%
Carroll 33.33%
Cass 33.33%
Champaign 44.29%
Christian 30.00%
Clinton 35.71%
Clay 46.15%
Coles 29.63%
Cook 63.05%
Crawford 26.67%
Cumberland 0.00%
DeKalb 78.85%
De Witt 22.22%
Douglas 33.33%
DuPage 60.00%
Edgar 40.74%
Edwards 42.86%
Effingham 33.33%
Fayette 31.25%
Ford 18.18%
Franklin 40.00%
Fulton 38.89%
Gallatin 22.22%
Greene 18.75%
Grundy 78.57%
Hamilton 35.71%
Hancock 26.92%
Hardin 66.67%
Henderson 19.05%
Henry 64.06%
Iroquois 51.28%
Jackson 75.00%
Jasper 25.00%
Jefferson 91.67%
Jersey 30.43%
Jo Daviess 65.71%
Johnson 58.33%
Kendall 28.57%
Kane 50.00%
Kankakee 67.44%
Knox 31.25%
La Salle 36.46%
Lake 64.52%
Lawrence 11.11%
Lee 75.68%
Livingston 31.43%
Logan 25.00%
Madison 42.86%
McDonough 36.36%
McHenry 26.98%
McLean 48.61%
Macon 35.48%
Macoupin 33.33%
Menard 28.57%
Mercer 21.05%
Monroe 78.95%
Montgomery 17.86%
Morgan 43.18%
Moultrie 53.33%
Marion 54.55%
Marshall 64.29%
Massac 16.67%
Mason 23.81%
Ogle 45.00%
Peoria 63.16%
Perry 73.33%
Piatt 36.67%
Pike 37.14%
Pope 23.08%
Pulaski 33.33%
Putnam 91.67%
Randolph 90.00%
Richland 42.86%
Rock Island 35.56%
Saint Clair 30.51%
Saline 44.44%
Sangamon 45.74%
Schuyler 50.00%
Scott 5.88%
Shelby 33.33%
Stark 76.47%
Stephenson 23.81%
Tazewell 55.26%
Union 35.71%
Vermilion 51.11%
Wabash 46.67%
Warren 16.67%
Washington 50.00%
Wayne 57.14%
White 47.06%
Winnebago 34.62%
Will 70.31%
Williamson 46.67%
Woodford 23.33%
Whiteside 94.44%

Covers For Sale

All Illinois Covers

Illinois By County

19th Century







World War One

Picture Postcards

Machine Cancels

Auxiliary Markings

Fancy Cancels

Non Standard Postmarks

Registered Covers

Special Delivery Covers

Foreign Destinations



Search for a specific Illinois town. Type in the name below and press enter or click on search. 


If you'd like printable version of these covers, please e-mail me.