Centralia, Illinois

Centralia, Illinois

Overview
Centralia is a town located in Marion, Washington
Washington County, Illinois
Washington County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 14,716, which is a decrease of 2.9% from 15,148 in 2000. Its county seat is Nashville.-Geography:...

, Clinton
Clinton County, Illinois
-Demographics: As of the census of 2000, there were 35,535 people, 12,754 households, and 9,221 families residing in the county. The population density was 75 people per square mile . There were 13,805 housing units at an average density of 29 per square mile...

, and Jefferson
Jefferson County, Illinois
Jefferson County is a county located in the southern part of the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 38,827, which is a decrease of 3.0% from 40,045 in 2000...

 Counties in the U.S. state of Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

. The population was 13,032 at the 2010 census. The town was founded because it was the point where the two original branches of the Illinois Central Railroad
Illinois Central Railroad
The Illinois Central Railroad , sometimes called the Main Line of Mid-America, is a railroad in the central United States, with its primary routes connecting Chicago, Illinois with New Orleans, Louisiana and Birmingham, Alabama. A line also connected Chicago with Sioux City, Iowa...

, built in 1853, converged. The town is named for the railroad. The current mayor is Tom Ashby.

Because of its unique location within multiple counties, portions of Centralia are associated with different Core Based Statistical Area
Core based statistical area
A Core Based Statistical Area is a U.S. geographic area defined by the Office of Management and Budget based around an urban center of at least 10,000 people and adjacent areas that are socioeconomically tied to the urban center by commuting. Areas defined on the basis of these standards applied...

s (CBSAs).
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Encyclopedia
Centralia is a town located in Marion, Washington
Washington County, Illinois
Washington County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 14,716, which is a decrease of 2.9% from 15,148 in 2000. Its county seat is Nashville.-Geography:...

, Clinton
Clinton County, Illinois
-Demographics: As of the census of 2000, there were 35,535 people, 12,754 households, and 9,221 families residing in the county. The population density was 75 people per square mile . There were 13,805 housing units at an average density of 29 per square mile...

, and Jefferson
Jefferson County, Illinois
Jefferson County is a county located in the southern part of the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 38,827, which is a decrease of 3.0% from 40,045 in 2000...

 Counties in the U.S. state of Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

. The population was 13,032 at the 2010 census. The town was founded because it was the point where the two original branches of the Illinois Central Railroad
Illinois Central Railroad
The Illinois Central Railroad , sometimes called the Main Line of Mid-America, is a railroad in the central United States, with its primary routes connecting Chicago, Illinois with New Orleans, Louisiana and Birmingham, Alabama. A line also connected Chicago with Sioux City, Iowa...

, built in 1853, converged. The town is named for the railroad. The current mayor is Tom Ashby.

Because of its unique location within multiple counties, portions of Centralia are associated with different Core Based Statistical Area
Core based statistical area
A Core Based Statistical Area is a U.S. geographic area defined by the Office of Management and Budget based around an urban center of at least 10,000 people and adjacent areas that are socioeconomically tied to the urban center by commuting. Areas defined on the basis of these standards applied...

s (CBSAs). The Centralia Micropolitan Statistical Area includes all of Marion County. The Clinton County portion of the city is considered part of the St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

, MO
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

–IL Metropolitan Statistical Area, while the Jefferson County portion lies within the Mt. Vernon
Mount Vernon, Illinois
Mount Vernon is a city located near the center of Jefferson County, Illinois, in the United States. In the 2010 census, the city's reported population was 15,277 people....

 Micropolitan Statistical Area
Mount Vernon, Illinois micropolitan area
The Mount Vernon Micropolitan Statistical Area, as defined by the United States Census Bureau, is an area consisting of two counties in southern Illinois, anchored by the city of Mount Vernon....

. The portion of Centralia in Washington County is not considered part of any metropolitan or micropolitan area.

Geography


Centralia is located approximately 60 miles (100 km) east of St. Louis, Missouri. It is on the border of south-west Marion County with portions of the city located in Clinton, Washington and Jefferson counties, and is 10 miles (16 km) north of exit 61 of I-64 and 10 miles (16 km) west of exit 109 of I-57. Centralia is one of three Illinois cities with portions in four counties, the others being Barrington Hills
Barrington Hills, Illinois
Barrington Hills is a village located about northwest of Chicago in the U.S. state of Illinois. It straddles approximately over four counties, Cook, Kane, Lake, and McHenry. The population was 4,209 at the 2010 census...

 and Aurora
Aurora, Illinois
Aurora is the second most populous city in the U.S. state of Illinois, and the 112th largest city in the United States. A suburb of Chicago, located west of the Loop, its population in 2010 was 197,899. Originally founded within Kane County, Aurora's city limits have expanded greatly over the past...

.

According to the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, the city has a total area of 7.6 square miles (19.7 km²), of which, 7.5 square miles (19.4 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square mile (0.258998811 km²) of it (1.83%) is water.

Demographics


As of the census
Census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

of 2000, there were 14,136 people, 5,784 households, and 3,568 families residing in the city. The population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 was 1,884.4 people per square mile (727.7/km²). There were 6,276 housing units at an average density of 836.6 per square mile (323.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 86.50% White, 10.34% African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.73% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.41% from other races
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, and 1.71% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.20% of the population.

There were 5,784 households out of which 28.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.1% were married couples
Marriage
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

 living together, 14.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.3% were non-families. 34.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.3% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 25.9% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 19.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 85.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,905, and the median income for a family was $39,123. Males had a median income of $30,511 versus $21,967 for females. The per capita income
Per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...

 for the city was $17,174. About 11.2% of families and 14.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.1% of those under age 18 and 8.6% of those age 65 or over.

Mine incident



On March 25, 1947, the Centralia No. 5 coal mine explosion near the town killed 111 people. The Mine Safety and Health Administration
Mine Safety and Health Administration
The Mine Safety and Health Administration is an agency of the United States Department of Labor which administers the provisions of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 to enforce compliance with mandatory safety and health standards as a means to eliminate fatal accidents, to reduce...

 of the United States Department of Labor
United States Department of Labor
The United States Department of Labor is a Cabinet department of the United States government responsible for occupational safety, wage and hour standards, unemployment insurance benefits, re-employment services, and some economic statistics. Many U.S. states also have such departments. The...

 reported the explosion was caused when an underburdened shot or blown-out shot ignited coal dust
Coal dust
Coal dust is a fine powdered form of coal, which is created by the crushing, grinding, or pulverizing of coal. Because of the brittle nature of coal, coal dust can be created during mining, transportation, or by mechanically handling coal.-Explosions:...

. At the time of the explosion, 142 men were in the mine; 65 were killed by burns and other injuries and 45 were killed by afterdamp
Afterdamp
Afterdamp is the toxic mixture of gases left in a mine following an explosion caused by firedamp, which itself can initiate a much larger explosion of coal dust. It consists of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen. Hydrogen sulfide, another highly toxic gas, may also be present...

. Eight men were rescued, but one died from the effects of afterdamp.

The story of the 1947 disaster is memorialized in folksinger Woody Guthrie's song entitled "The Dying Miner." Guthrie's recording of the song can be heard on the Smithsonian-Folkways CD recording Struggle (Smithsonian Folkways, 1990). Songwriter and historian Bucky Halker recorded a very different arrangement of "Dying Miner" on his CD collection of Illinois labor songs Welcome to Labor Land (Revolting Records, 2002). In addition, Bucky Halker also recorded "New Made Graves of Centralia", a song he located on an obscure recording without the name of the author or recording artist. Halker's recording appears on his CD Don't Want Your Millions (Revolting Records, 2000).

Local features



Centralia's Foundation Park is a scenic 235 acre (0.9510121 km²) park that features hiking trails, an exercise trail, an ice skating pond and two fishing ponds both stocked with bass, bluegill and catfish. The park also sports a restored prairie, a Chapel in the Woods, the Hall Shelter, the Sentinel Shelter, The Bowl (an outdoor amphitheatre), Moose Oven and the Miner's Memorial.

Foundation Park is the site of the annual Balloon Fest, a hot air balloon festival. Recent events have had about forty balloons and drew 40000 visitors. The Annual Centralia Balloon festival was the event in which the second "Space Shuttle" hot air balloon was crashed due to a fuel line defect.

In addition to Foundation Park, the Centralia Foundation also supports the Centralia Carillon
Carillon
A carillon is a musical instrument that is typically housed in a free-standing bell tower, or the belfry of a church or other municipal building. The instrument consists of at least 23 cast bronze, cup-shaped bells, which are played serially to play a melody, or sounded together to play a chord...

, ranked as eighth-largest in the world with 65 bells, the greatest of which weights 5½ tons.

People that visit Centralia are sure to stop at the famous Centralia House Restaurant. For over 150 years, Centralia House has been a staple in Centralia.

Centralia is home to Kaskaskia College
Kaskaskia College
Kaskaskia College, located in Centralia, Illinois, is the oldest community colleges in the U.S. state of Illinois and serves 11,500 students. The college provides accredited degree programs in Arts, Science, General Studies, and 18 other vocational Associate degree programs. Currently presided by...

 and Centralia High School.

Centralia High School is home of the Orphans and Annies. The Centralia boys basketball team won its 2,000th game during the 2007-08 season. The Centralia Orphans were 1st runner up in the 2011 Class 3A.

The Orphans got their unique nickname during the early 1900s, when the boys basketball team made it to the state tournament. The school was low on funds at the time, and the team was forced to pick its uniforms from a pile of non-matching red uniforms. The team made it to the state tournament, where an announcer commented that the team looked like a bunch of orphans on the court. The name stuck. Previously, the team had gone by nicknames such as the Reds and Cardinals.

Over the past half century, Centralia has experienced many economic tragedies including many factories and industries either shutting down or moving away.

Centralia is the home of the Centralia Cultural Society. This community theatre has been providing the tri-county area with performances for over 50 years.

One of only two remaining 2500 class steam locomotives from the Illinois Central Railroad is preserved on static display at Centralia's Fairview Park. The locomotive is maintained by the Age of Steam Memorial non-profit organization.

The city of Centralia also provides a historical downtown area dating back to the 1800s of shops, restaurants and entertainment for the whole family. Tourists can enjoy the bell tower, called the Carillon, located downtown. Visitors can come to the Carillon to listen to the musical concerts or a stroll through the beautiful park surrounding the structure.

Rail transportation



Amtrak
Amtrak
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

, the national passenger rail system, provides service to Centralia. Amtrak Train 59, the southbound City of New Orleans
City of New Orleans
The City of New Orleans is a nightly passenger train operated by Amtrak which travels between Chicago, Illinois and New Orleans, Louisiana. Before Amtrak's formation in 1971, the train was operated by the Illinois Central Railroad along the same route . The train currently operates on a 19½ hour...

, is scheduled to depart Centralia at 12:25am daily with service to Carbondale
Carbondale, Illinois
Carbondale is a city in Jackson County, in the state of Illinois, within the Southern Illinois region. It is located at the junction of Illinois Route 13 and U.S. Route 51, southeast of St. Louis, Missouri, on the northern edge of the Shawnee National Forest...

, Fulton, Newbern-Dyersburg, Memphis
Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis is a city in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Tennessee, and the county seat of Shelby County. The city is located on the 4th Chickasaw Bluff, south of the confluence of the Wolf and Mississippi rivers....

, Greenwood, Yazoo City, Jackson
Jackson, Mississippi
Jackson is the capital and the most populous city of the US state of Mississippi. It is one of two county seats of Hinds County ,. The population of the city declined from 184,256 at the 2000 census to 173,514 at the 2010 census...

, Hazlehurst, Brookhaven, McComb, Hammond, and New Orleans. Amtrak Train 58, the northbound City of New Orleans, is scheduled to depart Centralia at 4:10am daily with service to Effingham, Mattoon, Champaign-Urbana
Champaign, Illinois
Champaign is a city in Champaign County, Illinois, in the United States. The city is located south of Chicago, west of Indianapolis, Indiana, and 178 miles northeast of St. Louis, Missouri. Though surrounded by farm communities, Champaign is notable for sharing the campus of the University of...

, Kankakee, Homewood, and Chicago
Union Station (Chicago)
Union Station is a major train station that opened in 1925 in Chicago, replacing an earlier 1881 station. It is now the only intercity rail terminal in Chicago, as well as being the city's primary terminal for commuter trains. The station stands on the west side of the Chicago River between Adams...

. Centralia is also served by Amtrak Train 390/391, the Saluki
Saluki (Amtrak)
The Saluki is a 310-mile passenger train line operated by Amtrak running between Chicago and Carbondale, Illinois. The train is a part of the Illinois Service rail network and is partially funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation...

, daily in the morning, and Amtrak Train 392/393, the Illini
Illini (Amtrak)
The Illini is a 310-mile passenger train operated by Amtrak that runs between Chicago and Carbondale, Illinois. The train is a part of the Illinois Service rail network and is partially funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation and by local governments along the route...

, daily in the afternoon/evening. Both the Saluki and the Illini operate between Chicago and Carbondale.

Notable people


  • David Blackwell
    David Blackwell
    -Honors and awards:*President, Institute of Mathematical Statistics, 1956*National Academy of Sciences, 1965*American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1968*Honorary Fellow, Royal Statistical Society, 1976*Vice President, American Statistical Association, 1978...

    , statistician and first black member of the National Academy of Sciences
    United States National Academy of Sciences
    The National Academy of Sciences is a corporation in the United States whose members serve pro bono as "advisers to the nation on science, engineering, and medicine." As a national academy, new members of the organization are elected annually by current members, based on their distinguished and...

    .
  • James Brady
    James Brady
    James Scott "Jim" Brady is a former Assistant to the President and White House Press Secretary under U.S. President Ronald Reagan...

    , press secretary to President Ronald Reagan
    Ronald Reagan
    Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

    .
  • Roland Burris
    Roland Burris
    Roland Wallace Burris is a former United States Senator from the state of Illinois and a member of the Democratic Party....

    , Former Illinois Attorney General
    Illinois Attorney General
    The Illinois Attorney General is the highest legal officer of the state of Illinois in the United States. Originally an appointed office, it is now an office filled by election through universal suffrage...

    , Illinois Comptroller
    Comptroller
    A comptroller is a management level position responsible for supervising the quality of accounting and financial reporting of an organization.In British government, the Comptroller General or Comptroller and Auditor General is in most countries the external auditor of the budget execution of the...

    , and US Senator
    United States Senate
    The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

    .
  • Dike Eddleman, Olympic athlete.
  • Gary Gaetti
    Gary Gaetti
    Gary Joseph Gaetti , nicknamed "G-Man", "Rat", or "Zorn" is an American former third baseman in Major League Baseball for the Minnesota Twins , California Angels , Kansas City Royals , St...

    , former Major League Baseball player.
  • Dick Garrett
    Dick Garrett
    Eldo "Dick" Garrett is a retired American professional basketball player.A 6'3" guard from Southern Illinois University, Garrett was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 27th overall pick of the 1969 NBA Draft...

    , former LA Lakers player.
  • Bobby Joe Mason, former Harlem Globetrotters
    Harlem Globetrotters
    The Harlem Globetrotters are an exhibition basketball team that combines athleticism, theater and comedy. The executive offices for the team are currently in downtown Phoenix, Arizona; the team is owned by Shamrock Holdings, which oversees the various investments of the Roy E. Disney family.Over...

     player 1962-1974.
  • Smiley Quick
    Smiley Quick
    Lyman Loren "Smiley" Quick was an American professional golfer who played on the PGA Tour in the 1940s and 1950s....

    , professional golfer, born in Centralia.
  • Nancy Scranton
    Nancy Scranton
    Nancy Scranton is an American professional golfer.Scranton was born in Centralia, Illinois. She attended Florida State University and the University of Kentucky. Her rookie season on the LPGA Tour was 1985. She has three tournament victories on the tour, including one major championship, the 1991...

    , LPGA professional golfer.
  • Tom Wargo
    Tom Wargo
    Amos Tom Wargo is an American professional golfer, best known for winning the 1993 PGA Seniors' Championship–one of the major championships on the men's Senior PGA Tour....

    , professional golfer.

External links