Bone Gap, Illinois

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Coordinates: 38°26′49″N 87°59′47″W / 38.44694°N 87.99639°W / 38.44694; -87.99639
Bone Gap
Country United States
State Illinois
County Edwards
Coordinates 38°26′49″N 87°59′47″W / 38.44694°N 87.99639°W / 38.44694; -87.99639
Area 0.60 sq mi (1.55 km2)
 - land 0.60 sq mi (2 km2)
 - water 0.00 sq mi (0 km2), 0%
Population 272 (2000)
Density 450.5 / sq mi (173.9 / km2)
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 62815
Area code 618
Location of Bone Gap within Illinois
Location of Illinois in the United States

Bone Gap is a village in Edwards County, Illinois, United States. The population was 272 at the 2000 census.


Bone Gap is located at 38°26′49″N 87°59′47″W / 38.44694°N 87.99639°W / 38.44694; -87.99639 (38.447053, -87.996288).[1]

According to the 2010 census, the village has a total area of 0.60 square miles (1.6 km2), all land.[2]


French trappers knew this area before it was permanently settled. The French referred to this place as "Bon Pas," which translates literally to "good step," Kentuckians modified the name to "Bone Pass," as though it were a "pass" through a mountain range. This was then changed to "Bone Gap," as in the Cumberland Gap.Bon Pas is actually the name of a nearby creek not the town.

An alternative story about the origin of Bone Gap's name involves a small band of Piankashaw Indians who established a village in a gap in the trees a short distance east of present day Bone Gap. Several years later early American settlers found a pile of bones discarded by the Indians near their encampment-hence the name Bone Gap as given to the white man's village established about the 1830s.

Early settlers in the area included the five Rude brothers who came from West Virginia in 1830. other families included the Morgans, Knowltons, Philips, Leachs, Gibsons, and Rices. In 1835-36 Ebenezer Gould and Elizabeth Gould went west with their twin sons, Philander and Ansel and with Daniel Bassett Leach, who later became the Bone Gap Methodist minister. Due to several members of the farming community coming from Northeastern states, they were referred to as "Yankees," and the community was referred to as "Yankeetown."

Old Bone Gap, as it was usually called, was situated a little more than one-fourth mile east of the present village limits. It was never incorporated as a village and consisted of a store and post office, the office of Dr. Fildes, a blacksmith shop, a Baptist church, a Methodist parsonage, and a few log dwellings.

On March 9, 1892 a petition was circulated for an election to incorporate as a village. On March 29 of that year thirty-eight votes were cast for incorporation and seven against.


As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 272 people, 99 households, and 80 families residing in the village. The population density was 450.5 people per square mile (175.0/km²). There were 110 housing units at an average density of 182.2 per square mile (70.8/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 99.26% White, 0.37% Native American and 0.37% Asian.

There were 99 households out of which 38.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 67.7% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 18.2% were non-families. 18.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.75 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the village the population was spread out with 27.9% under the age of 18, 12.9% from 18 to 24, 24.6% from 25 to 44, 23.2% from 45 to 64, and 11.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 95.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.9 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $27,813, and the median income for a family was $33,214. Males had a median income of $21,354 versus $17,500 for females. The per capita income for the village was $10,804. About 15.8% of families and 25.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 45.9% of those under the age of eighteen and 15.4% of those sixty five or over.

Notable people[edit]

John Charles Stone was born in Bone Gap on January 11, 1867,the oldest child of James Scott Stone and Elizabeth Sarah Hocking. His father traced his roots back to Somerset County, England and his mother to Cornwall County, England. He became an eminent author of mathematics textbooks which were adopted for exclusive use in many states and cities. He authored or co-authored some seventy textbooks in all forms of arithmetic and geometry and was recognized for his ability to make students enjoy and like mathematics. He wrote many of his math books in Greensboro, Vermont on Caspian Lake. He retired in 1934 after fifteen years as Chairman of the Mathematics Department at the State Teachers' College in Montclair, NJ. He died in 1940 in St. Petersburg, Florida. He was listed in Who's Who in America in every edition from 1912 to 1942 and in Who Was Who Volume 1. An excerpt from Who's Who in America can be found here. More about John Charles Stone can be found at the website[4]


  1. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  2. ^ "Places: Illinois". 2010 Census Gazetteer Files. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-10-13. 
  3. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^
  • Edwards County Sesquicentennial Book 1814-1964