Pawnee, Illinois

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Coordinates: 39°35′31″N 89°34′55″W / 39.59194°N 89.58194°W / 39.59194; -89.58194
Pawnee
Village
Country United States
State Illinois
County Sangamon
Elevation 603 ft (184 m)
Coordinates 39°35′31″N 89°34′55″W / 39.59194°N 89.58194°W / 39.59194; -89.58194
Area 1.26 sq mi (3 km2)
 - land 1.26 sq mi (3 km2)
 - water 0.00 sq mi (0 km2)
Population 2,647 (2000)
Density 2,221.0 / sq mi (858 / km2)
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Postal code 62558
Area code 217
Location of Pawnee within Illinois
Location of Pawnee within Illinois
Wikimedia Commons: Pawnee, Illinois

Pawnee is a village in Sangamon County, Illinois, United States. The population was 2,647 at the 2000 census, and 2,550 at a 2009 estimate. It is part of the Springfield, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History[edit]

Pawnee was founded, by virtue of getting a Post Office, in 1854. Originally the community was called 'Horse Creek', which was an improvement from the nearby 'Dead Horse Creek' (where a dead horse was found in the creek Southwest of town), but the petition for a Post Office sent to the postmaster in Springfield, Illinois, was denied under that name. 'Pawnee' was suggested on the grounds that it was fashionably Native American for the time. Justus Henkle was the first settler in the township, and he came to the area in 1818.

Abraham Lincoln used to travel through Pawnee en route to Springfield, Illinois via the Black Diamond Road on the SE side of town, and sometimes the Pawnee Road on the SW side. The Black Diamond Road appears to have been so named based on a nearby coal mine of the same name.

People[edit]

Pawnee boasts Illinois' first poet laureate, Howard B. Austin, as its adopted son. Austin was awarded this title in 1936 by Governor Henry Horner. He was born July 27, 1886 on the family farm near Blue Mound, Illinois. He died April 1, 1962 at his home in Springfield, Illinois. Austin performed with the Pawnee Four, a barbershop quartet known in central Illinois. Austin wrote songs for the quartet to perform at conventions, fairs and private celebrations. While living in Pawnee, Austin worked at the Consolidated State Bank.

Austin was known to compose song lyrics quickly, often during the event at which the Pawnee Four were to perform. Austin would hold out a sheet of paper with the lyrics and the quartet would fall into harmonies on his lead. Often his songs were not only composed immediately prior to their performances, but they were frequently about the previous speakers or performers. This contributed to his reputation as a witty and clever poet. Carl Sandburg followed Austin as Illinois next poet laureate.

Pawnee was also the home of Frank Hart, founding member of the band known as Atomic Opera. Frank grew up in Pawnee although he was born in Springfield, Illinois.

Geography[edit]

Pawnee is located at 39°35′31″N 89°34′55″W / 39.59194°N 89.58194°W / 39.59194; -89.58194 (39.592050, -89.582012).[1]

According to the 2010 census, the village has a total area of 1.26 square miles (3.3 km2), all land.[2]

Demographics[edit]

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 2,647 people, 1,028 households, and 747 families residing in the village. The population density was 2,221.0 people per square mile (858.8/km²). There were 1,086 housing units at an average density of 911.2 per square mile (352.4/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 98.83% White, 0.15% African American, 0.11% Native American, 0.19% Asian, 0.04% from other races, and 0.68% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.30% of the population.

There were 1,028 households out of which 40.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.0% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.3% were non-families. 23.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.06.

In the village the population was spread out with 28.1% under the age of 18, 6.8% from 18 to 24, 31.8% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 11.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 92.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.6 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $50,787, and the median income for a family was $54,736. Males had a median income of $37,171 versus $26,304 for females. The per capita income for the village was $21,599. About 5.9% of families and 6.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.6% of those under age 18 and 8.5% of those age 65 or over.

In Popular Culture[edit]

Pawnee is loosely represented in the video game Watch Dogs, though the geographic position is quite different. Due to contiguous map size constraints in the open-world game, Pawnee is shown to be relatively close to Chicago, however, it is actually located nearer to the center of Illinois, far from Chicago.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  2. ^ "2010 Census U.S. Gazetteer Files for Places – Illinois". United States Census. Retrieved 2012-10-13. 
  3. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.