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Coles County, Illinois
Coles County, IL, USA courthouse.JPG
Coles County Courthouse
Map of Illinois highlighting Coles County
Location in the state of Illinois
Map of the U.S. highlighting Illinois
Illinois's location in the U.S.
Founded December 25, 1830
Named for Edward Coles
Seat Charleston
Largest city Charleston
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

510 sq mi (1,321 km²)
508 sq mi (1,316 km²)
1.8 sq mi (5 km²), 0.4
Population
 - (2020)
 - Density

46,863
Congressional district 15th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website www.co.coles.il.us

Coles County is a county in Illinois. As of the 2020 census, the population was 46,863.[1] Its county seat is Charleston,[2] which is also the home of Eastern Illinois University.

Coles County is part of the Charleston-Mattoon, IL Micropolitan Statistical Area.

History[]

Coles County was organized by European Americans on December 25, 1830, from Clark and Edgar counties. It was named after Edward Coles,[3] the second governor of Illinois, from 1822 to 1826. The majority of the American settlers who founded Coles County, Illinois were either from the six New England states, or were born in upstate New York to parents who had moved to that region from New England shortly after the American Revolution. This population was referred to as "Yankee" settlers, descendants of the English Puritans who settled New England in the 1600s and developed generations there. They were part of a wave of New England farmers who headed west into the frontier of the Northwest Territory during the early 1800s. The completion of the Erie Canal led to an increase in New England migrants heading west into what were then the wilds of the old Northwest Territory. When the "Yankee" settlers originally reached what is today Coles County, Illinois, they found dense virgin forest and prairie.

The New England settlers laid out farms, constructed roads, erected government buildings and established post routes. They brought with them many of their "Yankee" values, such as staunch support for abolitionism as well as a passion for education. They quickly established schools in their communities. They were mostly members of the Congregationalist Church, though some were Episcopalian. As a result of the second Great Awakening, many had become Baptists or switched to Protestant denominations such as Methodism or Presbyterianism before moving to what is now Coles county. The prevalence of settlers from New England or born in upstate New York to parents who were from New England resulted in their establishing a culture that was continuous with that of New England for the first several decades of its history. As a result of this Coles county residents largely supported abolitionism in the antebellum period, and also the Republican Party as of the 1850s and 1860s.

Beginning in 1849, numerous German immigrants arrived in Coles County, refugees from the rebellions the year before in various principalities. This population overwhelmingly supported the abolition of slavery.

Irish Catholic immigrants who had fled the famine in their country also settled here. Illinois Democratic Senator Stephen Douglas was extremely popular amongst Irish Catholics immigrants in Coles County at this time. During the Civil War the Irish Catholic community of Coles County would overwhelmingly be copperheads.[4][5][6][7]

Folklore representation in other media[]

Coles County has generated several well-known legends and folktales, including the Mad Gasser of Mattoon and accounts of the ghost of Mary Hawkins at Pemberton Hall. Michael Kleen has compiled many of these tales, including the "witch's grave" of St. Omer Cemetery and the story of "Rag Doll Cemetery," in his book Tales of Coles County, Illinois (2010).[8][9]

The legend of "Rag Doll Cemetery" was adapted for the screenplay of the independent film Rag Doll, filmed in 2010 primarily in and around Mattoon, Illinois.[10] The novel A Family Possessed (2000) by L. W. Stevenson, is based on a rural family's account of poltergeist activity at their home in the 1980s.[11]

Ashmore Estates has long been a part of local folklore. Originally serving as the almshouse at the Coles County Poor Farm, it is considered a haunted attraction and a place of interest for paranormal investigators.[12]

Geography[]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 510 square miles (1,300 km2), of which 508 square miles (1,320 km2) is land and 1.8 square miles (4.7 km2) (0.4%) is water.[13]

Climate and weather[]

Climate chart for Charleston, Illinois
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
2.20
 
35
19
 
 
2.40
 
41
24
 
 
3.35
 
53
33
 
 
3.98
 
65
43
 
 
4.23
 
75
52
 
 
3.94
 
85
61
 
 
4.65
 
88
65
 
 
3.46
 
86
63
 
 
3.17
 
79
56
 
 
3.25
 
68
45
 
 
3.87
 
53
34
 
 
3.23
 
40
24
temperatures in °Cprecipitation totals in mm
source: The Weather Channel[14]

In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Charleston have ranged from a low of 19 °F (−7 °C) in January to a high of 88 °F (31 °C) in July, although a record low of −27 °F (−32.8 °C) was recorded in January 1994 and a record high of 110 °F (43 °C) was recorded in July 1936. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.20 inches (56 mm) in January to 4.65 inches (118 mm) in July.[14]

Adjacent counties[]

Major highways[]

  • I-57.svg Interstate 57
  • US 45.svg US Route 45
  • Illinois 16.svg Illinois Route 16
  • Illinois 49.svg Illinois Route 49
  • Illinois 121.svg Illinois Route 121
  • Illinois 130.svg Illinois Route 130
  • Illinois 133.svg Illinois Route 133

Demographics[]

2000 census age pyramid for Coles County, skewed by Eastern Illinois University

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1840 9,616
1850 9,335 −2.9%
1860 14,203 52.1%
1870 25,235 77.7%
1880 27,042 7.2%
1890 30,093 11.3%
1900 34,146 13.5%
1910 34,517 1.1%
1920 35,108 1.7%
1930 37,315 6.3%
1940 38,470 3.1%
1950 40,328 4.8%
1960 42,860 6.3%
1970 47,815 11.6%
1980 52,260 9.3%
1990 51,644 −1.2%
2000 53,196 3.0%
2010 53,873 1.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[15]
1790-1960[16] 1900-1990[17]
1990-2000[18] 2010-2020[1]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 53,873 people, 21,463 households, and 11,963 families residing in the county.[19] The population density was 106.0 inhabitants per square mile (40.9 /km2). There were 23,425 housing units at an average density of 46.1 per square mile (17.8 /km2).[13] The racial makeup of the county was 92.9% white, 3.8% black or African American, 1.0% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 0.6% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 2.1% of the population.[19] In terms of ancestry, 25.6% were German, 16.4% were Irish, 11.1% were American, 10.0% were English, 3.4% were Polish, 2.9% were Italian, 2.5% were French, 2.1% were Dutch and 1.9% were Scots-Irish.[20]

Of the 21,463 households, 25.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.8% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 44.3% were non-families, and 31.4% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.87. The median age was 31.6 years.[19]

The median income for a household in the county was $36,457 and the median income for a family was $54,170. Males had a median income of $38,915 versus $28,781 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,601. About 10.6% of families and 20.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.6% of those under age 18 and 5.9% of those age 65 or over.[21]

Communities[]

Township and municipality map of Coles County.

Cities[]

Villages[]

  • Ashmore
  • Humboldt
  • Lerna
  • Oakland

Unincorporated Communities[]

  • Bushton
  • Campbell
  • Coles
  • Cooks Mills
  • Diona
  • Dorans
  • Embarrass
  • Etna
  • Fairgrange
  • Fuller
  • Hutton
  • Janesville
  • Jones
  • Kings
  • Lipsey
  • Loxa
  • Magnet
  • Newby
  • Paradise
  • Rardin
  • Trilla
  • Wabash Point

Townships[]

Coles County is divided into these twelve townships:

  • Ashmore
  • Charleston
  • East Oakland
  • Humboldt
  • Hutton
  • Lafayette
  • Mattoon
  • Morgan
  • North Okaw
  • Paradise
  • Pleasant Grove
  • Seven Hickory

Education[]

  • Eastern Illinois University
  • Lake Land College
  • Lakeview College of Nursing (Charleston)
  • Charleston Community Unit School District 1
  • Mattoon Community Unit School District 2
  • Oakland Community Unit School District 5

Politics[]

Coles County leans strongly towards the Republican Party in Presidential elections. Although it was carried by Illinoisian Barack Obama in 2008, the GOP regained the county in 2012 and the next presidential elections.

United States presidential election results for Coles County, Illinois[22]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 14,037 61.92% 8,067 35.59% 564 2.49%
2016 13,003 59.33% 7,309 33.35% 1,606 7.33%
2012 11,631 54.26% 9,262 43.21% 544 2.54%
2008 10,978 47.42% 11,716 50.60% 459 1.98%
2004 13,015 57.13% 9,566 41.99% 199 0.87%
2000 10,495 52.23% 8,904 44.31% 694 3.45%
1996 8,038 41.65% 8,950 46.38% 2,310 11.97%
1992 8,098 36.31% 9,402 42.16% 4,800 21.52%
1988 11,043 56.62% 8,327 42.69% 134 0.69%
1984 14,044 65.95% 7,156 33.60% 95 0.45%
1980 11,994 58.02% 6,743 32.62% 1,934 9.36%
1976 11,021 54.66% 8,639 42.85% 502 2.49%
1972 13,681 62.90% 7,988 36.72% 82 0.38%
1968 10,449 52.86% 7,337 37.12% 1,980 10.02%
1964 8,878 43.83% 11,377 56.17% 0 0.00%
1960 12,166 58.45% 8,629 41.46% 19 0.09%
1956 12,436 62.13% 7,569 37.82% 10 0.05%
1952 12,660 61.59% 7,876 38.31% 20 0.10%
1948 8,638 50.56% 8,393 49.13% 53 0.31%
1944 9,473 51.31% 8,936 48.40% 54 0.29%
1940 10,528 47.82% 11,409 51.83% 77 0.35%
1936 8,800 42.17% 11,931 57.17% 137 0.66%
1932 7,313 39.40% 11,081 59.71% 165 0.89%
1928 11,479 69.12% 5,071 30.54% 57 0.34%
1924 8,342 54.90% 5,544 36.49% 1,308 8.61%
1920 8,563 58.76% 5,811 39.87% 200 1.37%
1916 8,314 50.83% 7,772 47.51% 271 1.66%
1912 2,263 26.86% 3,453 40.98% 2,710 32.16%
1908 4,388 50.83% 3,957 45.84% 287 3.32%
1904 4,901 55.52% 3,435 38.91% 492 5.57%
1900 4,706 53.61% 3,921 44.66% 152 1.73%
1896 4,534 52.52% 3,982 46.13% 117 1.36%
1892 3,693 48.57% 3,611 47.49% 300 3.95%



Notable people[]

Lincoln cabin circa 1891 in Coles County

  • Thomas Lincoln, father of President Abraham Lincoln, moved to Coles County in 1831 and died there in 1851.

See also[]

  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Coles County, Illinois
  • List of school districts in Illinois

References[]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/17/17029.html. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Counties/Pages/FindACounty.aspx. 
  3. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off.. pp. 87. https://archive.org/details/bub_gb_9V1IAAAAMAAJ. 
  4. ^ The Yankee Exodus: An Account of Migration from New England (1968) by Stewart H. Holbrook
  5. ^ The Yankee West: Community Life on the Michigan Frontier (1996) by Susan E. Gray
  6. ^ Yankee Colonies across America: Cities upon the Hills (2015) by Chaim M. Rosenberg
  7. ^ Bonds of Loyalty: German-American and World War I by Frederick C. Luebke, Northern Illinois University Press, 1974 - ISBN 9780875800455
  8. ^ Tales of Coles County, Illinois. Black Oak Press, Illinois. 2010. http://colescountytales.us/. 
  9. ^ "Student author gets creative with Coles history". Daily Eastern News. 28 October 2005. http://www.thedailyeasternnews.com/media/paper309/news/2005/10/28/TheVerge/Student.Author.Gets.Creative.With.Coles.History-1037276.shtml. 
  10. ^ "Mattoon-based thriller gets a name". Journal Gazette/Times-Courier. 14 May 2010. http://jg-tc.com/news/article_b6bfdb2c-5f05-11df-bf17-001cc4c03286.html. 
  11. ^ "A Ghost Story of local proportions". Journal Gazette/Times-Courier. 28 October 2000. http://jg-tc.com/news/article_307eb745-1ff3-5981-a2f7-35cbd24ea576.html. 
  12. ^ "TV team uses technology to root out spirits at Ashmore Estates". Times-Courier. 20 July 2008. http://jg-tc.com/news/article_c0e6c9a9-f45c-50d9-8b4a-cc4a63074e61.html. 
  13. ^ a b "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/DEC/10_SF1/GCTPH1.CY10/0500000US17029. 
  14. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Charleston, Illinois". The Weather Channel. http://www.weather.com/weather/wxclimatology/monthly/graph/USIL0214. 
  15. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census.html. 
  16. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. http://mapserver.lib.virginia.edu. 
  17. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/cencounts/il190090.txt. 
  18. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/briefs/phc-t4/tables/tab02.pdf. 
  19. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/DEC/10_DP/DPDP1/0500000US17029. 
  20. ^ "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/10_5YR/DP02/0500000US17029. 
  21. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/10_5YR/DP03/0500000US17029. 
  22. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS. 

External links[]

Coordinates: 39°31′13″N 88°13′18″W / 39.52028, -88.22167


This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Coles County, Illinois. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
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