Coles County, Illinois

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Coles County, Illinois
Coles County Courthouse 2012-10-31 12-22-11.jpg
Coles County Courthouse
Map of Illinois highlighting Coles County
Location in the state of Illinois
Map of the United States highlighting Illinois
Illinois's location in the U.S.
Founded December 25, 1830
Named for Edward Coles
Seat Charleston
Largest city Charleston
Area
 • Total 510 sq mi (1,321 km2)
 • Land 508 sq mi (1,316 km2)
 • Water 1.8 sq mi (5 km2), 0.4%
Population
 • (2010) 53,873
 • Density 106/sq mi (41/km²)
Congressional district 15th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website www.co.coles.il.us

Coles County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. As of the 2010 census, the population was 53,873.[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[edit]

Coles County was organized on December 25, 1830 out of Clark and Edgar counties. It was named after Edward Coles,[3] the second governor of Illinois from 1822 to 1826.

Folklore[edit]

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 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.[4][5] The legend of "Rag Doll Cemetery" formed the basis of the independent film "Rag Doll," which was filmed primarily in and around Mattoon, Illinois in 2010.[6] 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.[7] Ashmore Estates 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.[8]

Geography[edit]

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.[9]

Climate and weather[edit]

Charleston, Illinois
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
2.2
 
35
19
 
 
2.4
 
41
24
 
 
3.4
 
53
33
 
 
4
 
65
43
 
 
4.2
 
75
52
 
 
3.9
 
85
61
 
 
4.7
 
88
65
 
 
3.5
 
86
63
 
 
3.2
 
79
56
 
 
3.3
 
68
45
 
 
3.9
 
53
34
 
 
3.2
 
40
24
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: The Weather Channel[10]

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 (−33 °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.[10]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Demographics[edit]

2000 census age pyramid for Coles County, skewed by Eastern Illinois University
Historical population
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%
Est. 2013 53,698 −0.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[11]
1790-1960[12] 1900-1990[13]
1990-2000[14] 2010-2013[1]

As of the census[15] of 2000, there were 53,196 people, 21,043 households, and 12,078 families residing in the county. The population density 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, 2.28% Black or African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.79% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.41% from other races, and 0.90% from two or more races. 1.39% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 25.4% were of German, 17.8% American, 12.6% English and 12.3% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000. 96.8% spoke English and 1.8% Spanish 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 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 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.

Communities[edit]

Township and municipality map of Coles County.

Cities[edit]

Villages[edit]

Townships[edit]

Coles County is divided into these twelve townships:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 4, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 87. 
  4. ^ "Tales of Coles County, Illinois". Black Oak Press, Illinois. 2004, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Student author gets creative with Coles history". Daily Eastern News. 28 October 2005. 
  6. ^ "Mattoon-based thriller gets a name". Journal Gazette/Times-Courier. 14 May 2010. 
  7. ^ "A Ghost Story of local proportions". Journal Gazette/Times-Courier. 28 October 2000. 
  8. ^ "TV team uses technology to root out spirits at Ashmore Estates". Times-Courier. 20 July 2008. 
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  10. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Charleston, Illinois". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  11. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 4, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 4, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 4, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 4, 2014. 
  15. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External links[edit]

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