|Elevation||736 ft (224 m)|
|Area||2.71 sq mi (7 km2)|
|- land||2.71 sq mi (7 km2)|
|- water||0.00 sq mi (0 km2)|
|Density||1,412.8 / sq mi (545 / km2)|
|Incorporated||March 8, 1867|
|- summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|Area code||815 & 779|
|Wikimedia Commons: Chatsworth, Illinois|
Chatsworth is located at (40.754256, -88.293023).
According to the 2010 census, the town has a total area of 2.71 square miles (7.0 km2), all land.
Founding of Chatsworth
Chatsworth was laid out by Zeno Secor (1809 – 25 October 1875) and Cornelia Gilman on 8 June 1859. Both founders were from New York. Secor was a member of the Board of Directors of the company that was building the Peoria and Oquawka Railroad. He was a noted civil engineer and marine engine designer, who was involved with a number of railroads. Secor was later president of the Toledo Peoria and Western Railroad. Secor is best known for building a number of ironclad warships for the Union Navy. Cornelia Gilman was perhaps the person of that name who was the wife of Samuel Gilman, another director of the firm, and the man who gave his name to the nearby town of Gilman, Illinois. The town of Chatsworth is perhaps named for Chatsworth House, the home of the Duke of Devonshire. Trains were running along the Peoria and Oquawka Railroad before the town was platted. The railroad soon became the Toledo, Peoria and Western.
Original Design of Chatsworth
Chatsworth was surveyed by Nelson Buck, the County Surveyor of Livingston County. However the plan used was virtually identical to that used at Fairbury, including the street names, and very similar to that used at Gridley, El Paso and other places along the Peoria and Oquawka Railroad. This suggests that the railroad supplied the plan from which Buck worked. Like these other towns, Chatsworth was centered a long narrow depot grounds rather than a public square. The plat of the Original Town was exceptionally large, covering 160 acres (0.65 km2) and consisting of forty-two blocks, most located north of the railroad. The early depot was on the south side of the tracks. Block 16 of the plat was not divided into lots and 1878 was being called the City Park. It was eventually planted with over 500 maple trees and a pavilion was added in 1962.
Growth of Chatsworth
The first building was a story and a half frame structure used as both a residence and story, which was built by Charles D. Brooks and Truman Brockway of New York. Brooks was also the first postmaster and the first grain dealer. Early growth of the town was very rapid and by 1870 Chatsworth had 1,493 people. The first hotel was the Cottage House built by Samuel Patton. Soon a newspaper, the Plaindealer, was being published. In 1879 a second railroad, the Kankakee and Southwestern, passed through the town and was given a right of way down Second Street. In 1887 the town rendered aid in the train accident known as the Great Chatsworth Train Wreck. Telephone service came in 1883 and an electric light plant was built in 1894. In March 1924 seventy to one hundred men arrived in town to work on a paved highway, at first known as the Corn Belt Trail, which soon became Route 24 and formed an important east-west route across Illinois.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,265 people, 533 households, and 338 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,412.8 people per square mile (542.7/km²). There were 581 housing units at an average density of 648.9/sq mi (249.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.81% White, 0.32% African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.16% Asian, 0.08% from other races, and 0.47% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.66% of the population.
There were 533 households out of which 31.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.5% were married couples living together, 11.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.4% were non-families. 33.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.99.
In the town the population was spread out with 27.7% under the age of 18, 6.7% from 18 to 24, 25.9% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 17.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 93.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.9 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $32,159, and the median income for a family was $42,679. Males had a median income of $31,848 versus $20,667 for females. The per capita income for the town was $15,241. About 13.0% of families and 14.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.3% of those under age 18 and 12.3% of those age 65 or over.
- Illinois Regional Archives Depository System. "Name Index to Illinois Local Governments". Illinois State Archives. Illinois Secretary of State. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "Places: Illinois". 2010 Census Gazetteer Files. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
- For a brief obituary and dates see [Chatsworth Illinois Memories] http://sites.google.com/site/chatsworthillinoismemories/ p.4.
- American Railroad Manuel for the United States and the Dominion of Canada (New York: American Railroad Manuel Company, 1874) 1:495.
- History of Livingston County, Illinois (Chicago: LeBaron, 1878) p. 379.
- Edward Callary, Place Names of Illinois (Urbana: University of Illinois, 2008) p. 66. Callay also includes other possibilities for the name.
- History of Livingston, 1878, p.392.
- Standard Atlas of Livingston County Illinois (Chicago: George A. Ogle, 1911) pp 25-26.
- Chatsworth Area Centennial Celebration (Chatsworth: Centennial Historical Committee, 1967) No page numbers.
- History of Livingston, 1858, pp 392-393.
- Chatsworth Centennial, 1967.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.