Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Parson, Ruben L.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Earth Science


Land use--Illinois--Kane County--St. Charles Townshipages


The purpose of this research paper is to make available basic geographical data and information concerning the land use trends of St. Charles Township, Kane County, Illinois from 1939 through 1960. St. Charles Township is located approximately thirty-five miles west of Chicago in the northeastern part of Kane County and encompasses about thirty-six square miles of land. In order to compare and analyze the reasons for many of the changes in the land economy, physical elements such as the bedrock and glacial geology, climate, native vegetation, soil and drainage were studied. Along with the physical elements of the area the historical developments were also studied, for the pre-1939 land use economy of the area was largely formulated from the early historical developments and trends established by the early settlers. Until 1939 the township's economy was baaed largely on farming with only a few areas devoted to non-agricultural uses. During a subsequent period of twenty-one years (1939-1960) many changes in land use occurred. These concern many people, farmers, businessmen, manufacturers, economists, real estate developers, city planners and many governmental agencies are involved with land use. The plan formulated to study and compare the changes in the land economy was the comparison and analysis of 1939 aerial photographs with aerial photographs of 1960. Within certain limitations aerial photo interpretation provides basic data needed for the physical and economic analysis of the area, along with repeated reconnaissance through the area a definite pattern was established. Such land study methods have long been used by the United States Department of Agriculture. In order to describe and interpret the changes in the land economy, settlement, and special land uses from 1939 through 1960 eleven land use classifications were established. These eleven are as follows: (1) agriculture, (2) woodland, (3) undeveloped, (4) urban residential, (5) rural (non-farm) residential, (6) business, (7) industry, (8) extraction, (9) recreation, (10) institution, (11) cemetery. The land use trends of St. Charles Township resulted collectively through the interaction of agriculture, rural (non-farm) residence, urban residence, business and industry changes. During the past twenty-one years the greatest acreage change in the land use pattern was that of agriculture. Approximately 3,700 acres of land once farmed changed to some other land use. This is the only land classification that indicated a decrease. Rural (non-farm) residential land has multiplied nearly five times since 1939, with urban residential land tripling over the same period.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 108-109)


109 pages




Northern Illinois University

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