Coles County, Illinois

Coles County, Illinois

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Encyclopedia
Coles County is a county located in the U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 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,...

. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 53,873, which is an increase of 1.3% from 53,196 in 2000. Its county seat
County seat
A county seat is an administrative center, or seat of government, for a county or civil parish. The term is primarily used in the United States....

 is Charleston
Charleston, Illinois
Charleston is a city in and the county seat of Coles County, Illinois, United States. The population was 21,838 as of the 2010 census. The city is home to Eastern Illinois University and has close ties with its neighbor Mattoon, Illinois...

, which is also the home of Eastern Illinois University
Eastern Illinois University
Eastern Illinois University is a state university located in Charleston, Illinois, United States. Established in 1895 as the Eastern Illinois State Normal School, a teacher's college offering a two-year degree, Eastern Illinois University gradually expanded into a comprehensive university with a...

.. The county is part of the Charleston–Mattoon
Mattoon, Illinois
Mattoon is a city in Coles County, Illinois, United States. The population was 18,555 as of the 2010 census. It is a principal city of the Charleston–Mattoon Micropolitan Statistical Area.Mattoon was the site of the "Mad Gasser" attacks of the 1940s....

 Micropolitan Statistical Area
Charleston-Mattoon micropolitan area
The Charleston–Mattoon Micropolitan Statistical Area, as defined by the United States Census Bureau, is an area consisting of two counties in central Illinois, anchored by the cities of Charleston and Mattoon....

.

History


Coles County was organized in December 1830 out of Clark and Edgar
Edgar County, Illinois
Edgar County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 18,576, which is a decrease of 5.7% from 19,704 in 2000...

 counties. It was named after Edward Coles
Edward Coles
Edward Coles manumitted his slaves in 1819, was secretary to James Madison , neighbor and anti-slavery associate of Thomas Jefferson and was the second Governor of Illinois, serving from 1822 to 1826...

, the second governor of Illinois from 1822 to 1826.

Folklore


Coles County is home to several well-known legends and folktales, including the Mad Gasser of Mattoon and the ghost of Mary Hawkins at Pemberton Hall. Michael Kleen
Michael Kleen
-Early Life and Education:Michael A. Kleen is an American folklorist, publisher, and social commentator. He was born in Chicago and grew up in the northwest suburb of Des Plaines, Illinois. He received a B.A. in Philosophy in 2006 and M.A. in History in 2008 from Eastern Illinois University in...

 has documented many of these tales, including the "witch's grave" of St. Omer Cemetery and story of "Rag Doll Cemetery," in his book Tales of Coles County, Illinois. The legend of "Rag Doll Cemetery" formed the basis of the independent film "Rag Doll," which was filmed primarily in and around Mattoon, Illinois
Mattoon, Illinois
Mattoon is a city in Coles County, Illinois, United States. The population was 18,555 as of the 2010 census. It is a principal city of the Charleston–Mattoon Micropolitan Statistical Area.Mattoon was the site of the "Mad Gasser" attacks of the 1940s....

 in 2010. Additionally, the novel "A Family Possessed" by L. W. Stevenson is based on poltergeist activity experienced by a rural family living in Coles County in the 1980s. Ashmore Estates
Ashmore Estates
Ashmore Estates is a historic building outside of Ashmore, Illinois, United States.This former almshouse, once part of the Coles County Poor Farm, was built in 1916 and operated until 1959, when it was purchased by Ashmore Estates, Inc. for use as a private psychiatric care facility...

 has long been a part of local folklore. Originally the almshouse at the Coles County Poor Farm, it is now a haunted attraction and a place of interest for paranormal investigators
Ghost hunting
Ghost Hunting is the process of investigating locations that are reported to be haunted by ghosts.Typically, a ghost hunting team will attempt to collect evidence claimed to be supportive of paranormal activity...

.

Geography


According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 510.08 square miles (1,321.1 km²), of which 508.29 square miles (1,316.5 km²) (or 99.65%) is land and 1.79 square miles (4.6 km²) (or 0.35%) is water.

Adjacent counties



Major highways

  • Interstate 57
    Interstate 57
    Interstate 57 is an Interstate Highway in Missouri and Illinois that parallels the old Illinois Central rail line for much of its route. It goes from Miner, Missouri, at Interstate 55 to Chicago, Illinois, at Interstate 94. I-57 essentially serves as a shortcut route for travelers headed between...

  • US Route 45
  • Illinois Route 16
    Illinois Route 16
    Illinois Route 16 is an arterial east–west highway in central Illinois. Its western terminus is at the Joe Page Bridge over the Illinois River in Hardin, while its eastern terminus is at Paris at Illinois Route 1 and U.S. Route 150, with Illinois Route 133. This is a distance of .- Route...

  • Illinois Route 49
    Illinois Route 49
    Illinois Route 49 is a north–south state highway in east-central Illinois. It runs from Willow Hill at Illinois Route 33 north to the beginning of the U.S. Route 45/52 concurrency near Ashkum. This is a distance of .- Route description :...

  • Illinois Route 121
    Illinois Route 121
    Illinois Route 121 is a major state road in central Illinois. Although it runs from northwest to southeast, it is marked as a north–south road. It runs from Illinois Route 130 in Greenup to Interstate 55 in Lincoln at the intersection of I-55 and Illinois Route 10...

  • Illinois Route 130
    Illinois Route 130
    Illinois Route 130 is a north–south state road in eastern Illinois. It runs from Illinois Route 1 in Grayville north to Interstate 74 in Urbana. This is a distance of . Illinois 130 is the main north–south road through Charleston, the home of Eastern Illinois University.- Route...

  • Illinois Route 133
    Illinois Route 133
    Illinois Route 133 is an east–west state road in east-central Illinois. It runs from Illinois Route 32 in Lovington to U.S. Route 150 and Illinois Route 1 in Paris. Illinois Route 16 terminates with Illinois 133 at this point. This is a distance of...


Townships


Coles County is divided into these twelve townships
Civil township
A civil township is a widely used unit of local government in the United States, subordinate to, and geographic divisions of, a county. Specific responsibilities and the degree of autonomy vary based on each state. Civil townships are distinct from survey townships, but in states that have both,...

:
  • Ashmore
    Ashmore Township, Coles County, Illinois
    Ashmore Township is one of twelve townships in Coles County, Illinois, USA. As of the 2000 census, its population was 1,447.-Geography:According to the United States Census Bureau, Ashmore Township covers an area of ; of this, or 0.19 percent is water....

  • Charleston
    Charleston Township, Coles County, Illinois
    Charleston Township is one of twelve townships in Coles County, Illinois, USA. As of the 2000 census, its population was 22,901. Eastern Illinois University is located in this township.-Geography:...

  • East Oakland
    East Oakland Township, Coles County, Illinois
    East Oakland Township is one of twelve townships in Coles County, Illinois, USA. As of the 2000 census, its population was 1,710. The township changed its name from Oakland Township on May 7, 1860.-Geography:...

  • Humboldt
    Humboldt Township, Coles County, Illinois
    Humboldt Township is one of twelve townships in Coles County, Illinois, USA. As of the 2000 census, its population was 1,341. The township changed its name from Milton Township on May 7, 1860.-Geography:...

  • Hutton
    Hutton Township, Coles County, Illinois
    Hutton Township is one of twelve townships in Coles County, Illinois, USA. As of the 2000 census, its population was 841.-Geography:According to the United States Census Bureau, Hutton Township covers an area of ; of this, or 0.86 percent is water....

  • Lafayette
    Lafayette Township, Coles County, Illinois
    Lafayette Township is one of twelve townships in Coles County, Illinois, USA. As of the 2000 census, its population was 4,448. The Coles County Memorial Airport is located in this township.-Geography:...

  • Mattoon
    Mattoon Township, Coles County, Illinois
    Mattoon Township is one of twelve townships in Coles County, Illinois, USA. As of the 2000 census, its population was 16,184.-Geography:According to the United States Census Bureau, Mattoon Township covers an area of .-Major highways:* Interstate 57...

  • Morgan
    Morgan Township, Coles County, Illinois
    Morgan Township is one of twelve townships in Coles County, Illinois, USA. As of the 2000 census, its population was 367.-Geography:According to the United States Census Bureau, Morgan Township covers an area of ; of this, or 0.12 percent is water....

  • North Okaw
    North Okaw Township, Coles County, Illinois
    North Okaw Township is one of twelve townships in Coles County, Illinois, USA. As of the 2000 census, its population was 918. The Kaskaskia River flows through the township. The Cook Mills Consolidated oil field is within this township...

  • Paradise
    Paradise Township, Coles County, Illinois
    Paradise Township is one of twelve townships in Coles County, Illinois, USA. As of the 2000 census, its population was 1,324.-Geography:According to the United States Census Bureau, Paradise Township covers an area of ; of this, or 2.24 percent is water....

  • Pleasant Grove
    Pleasant Grove Township, Coles County, Illinois
    Pleasant Grove Township is one of twelve townships in Coles County, Illinois, USA. As of the 2000 census, its population was 1,403.-Geography:According to the United States Census Bureau, Pleasant Grove Township covers an area of .-Cemeteries:...

  • Seven Hickory
    Seven Hickory Township, Coles County, Illinois
    Seven Hickory Township is one of twelve townships in Coles County, Illinois, USA. As of the 2000 census, its population was 312. The township's name changed from Hickory Township on May 7, 1860.-Geography:...


  • Villages

    • Ashmore
      Ashmore, Illinois
      Ashmore is a village in Coles County, Illinois, United States. The population was 785 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Charleston–Mattoon Micropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:Ashmore is located at ....

    • Humboldt
      Humboldt, Illinois
      Humboldt is an incorporated town in Coles County, Illinois, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the town population was 437. It is part of the Charleston–Mattoon Micropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:...

    • Lerna
      Lerna, Illinois
      Lerna is a village in Coles County, Illinois, United States. The population was 286 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Charleston–Mattoon Micropolitan Statistical Area....

    • Oakland
      Oakland, Illinois
      Oakland is a city in Coles County, Illinois, United States. The population was 880 at the 2010 census.-Geography:Oakland is located at .According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of , of which, of it is land and of it is water.-Demographics:As of the census of 2000,...


    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 53,196 people, 21,043 households, and 12,078 families residing in the county. 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 105 people per square mile (40/km²). There were 22,768 housing units at an average density of 45 per square mile (17/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 95.37% White
    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...

    , 2.28% Black
    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...

     or African American
    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...

    , 0.20% Native American
    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...

    , 0.79% Asian
    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...

    , 0.05% Pacific Islander
    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...

    , 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 0.90% from two or more races. 1.39% of the population were Hispanic
    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...

     or Latino
    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...

     of any race. 25.4% were of German
    Germans
    The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

    , 17.8% American
    United States
    The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

    , 12.6% English
    English people
    The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

     and 12.3% Irish
    Irish people
    The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

     ancestry according to Census 2000. 96.8% spoke English
    English language
    English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

     and 1.8% Spanish
    Spanish language
    Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

     as their first language.

    There were 21,043 households out of which 26.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.20% 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, 8.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.60% were non-families. 31.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.91.

    In the county the population was spread out with 19.70% under the age of 18, 23.50% from 18 to 24, 23.80% from 25 to 44, 19.70% from 45 to 64, and 13.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 91.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.10 males.

    The median income for a household in the county was $32,286, and the median income for a family was $45,708. Males had a median income of $32,831 versus $21,923 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 county was $17,370. About 7.50% of families and 17.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.40% of those under age 18 and 9.30% of those age 65 or over.

    Climate and weather



    In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Charleston have ranged from a low of 19 °F (-7.2 °C) in January to a high of 88 °F (31.1 °C) in July, although a record low of -27 °F was recorded in January 1994 and a record high of 110 °F (43.3 °C) was recorded in July 1936. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.2 inches (5.6 cm) in January to 4.65 inches (11.8 cm) in July.

    External links