|Official name: The Village of Sheridan|
|Nickname: Gateway to The Lower Fox River Dells|
|Municipality||Village of Sheridan, Incorporated 1872|
|Elevation||594 ft (181 m)|
|Area||2.03 sq mi (5 km2)|
|- land||1.99 sq mi (5 km2)|
|- water||0.04 sq mi (0 km2)|
|Density||1,715.5 / sq mi (662 / km2)|
|Government||Mayor and Village Board|
|Village president||Mike Anderson (I)|
|- summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|Area code||815, 779|
|Wikimedia Commons: Sheridan, Illinois|
- 1 Geography
- 2 Demographics
- 3 Flooding
- 4 Employment
- 5 The Village of Sheridan, Incorporated 1872
- 6 Norway, Illinois
- 7 Law and government
- 8 Education
- 9 Infrastructure
- 10 Transportation
- 11 Notable people
- 12 References
- 13 External links
Sheridan is located at (41.5236847, -88.6850380).
According to the 2010 census, the village has a total area of 2.03 square miles (5.3 km2), of which 1.99 square miles (5.2 km2) (or 98.03%) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (or 1.97%) is water.
The village sits at a bend in the Fox River where Somonauk Creek enters the river, and the Lower Fox River Dells start. It is used as both a launching and retrieval point for canoes going down the river. Canoes generally start upstream in Yorkville, and they generally exit at Ayers Landing, Near the community of Wedron. The area of the village, and Mission Township where it sits, is defined by the river's distinct westward flow, which goes west, then south, then east, then south, and finally winds west again. The unincorporated area of the village resides within the flood plain and valley north of the village, and is within Northville Township while the village itself sits far back from the river, upon a sandstone bluff, which has been mined for sand and gravel. The village's "Rod and Gun Club" actually sits within one of the old open-pit mines between the village and the northern bridge.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,411 people, 285 households, and 214 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,715.5 people per square mile (660.2/km²). There were 297 housing units at an average density of 211.3 per square mile (81.3/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 53.63% White, 37.20% African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.37% Asian, 7.96% from other races, and 0.58% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.37% of the population.
There were 285 households out of which 43.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.3% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.9% were non-families. 20.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.86 and the average family size was 3.32.
In the village the population was spread out with 10.7% under the age of 18, 21.4% from 18 to 24, 52.4% from 25 to 44, 11.8% from 45 to 64, and 3.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 486.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 660.8 males.
The median income for a household in the village was $45,000, and the median income for a family was $49,615. Males had a median income of $24,270 versus $21,406 for females. The per capita income for the village was $11,352. About 2.3% of families and 3.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.8% of those under age 18 and 7.4% of those age 65 or over.
The community is also currently the home to a minimum-security prison for the State of Illinois.
The community is served by the Sheridan Community Fire Department and Sheridan Police Department. The school district that serves the area is CUSD #2, which serves the Communities of Serena, Sheridan, Harding, Norway, and Baker; Schools are only in Sheridan, Serena, and Harding, however, with the High School in Serena.
The mailing area of the community (the area with a Sheridan address) extends toward the communities of Newark, Millington, Norway, Serena, Somonauk, and Sandwich. Regarding to what reference is being consulted, the community of Norway and its environs are actually referred to as being Sheridan, or the nearby community of Serena.
In 1996, a flood occurred after a heavy rain storm drenched the valley, from Aurora, all the way down to Dayton, resulting in the low-lying area of Sheridan to flood, and most notably, Sheridan's "Old Mill Inn" became a popular spot for people to canoe from the bridge which came from town, to the Old Mill during the flood. In February 1998, the River flooded again after a rain storm not being able to drain into the frozen ground. In 2008, the remnants of Hurricane Ike flooded the valley yet again. During the April 17–18, 2013 rain event, which flooded nearly every river, stream, creek, and body of water in the greater Chicago area, the river and Somonauk Creek flooded, with much of the water level considerably diminished after it crested later that weekend. The river valley, both north and west of Sheridan is somewhat confined by sandstone bluffs on either side, which forces the river to rise, resulting in higher river levels. The village itself is largely untouched, as a half-mile gap between the main area of town and the valley, coupled with two abandoned gravel quarry pits sitting within the gap, protects the town. The village also sits approximately 30 feet above the river.
The community currently has a few local businesses, including three bars, three restaurants, a bakery, a gas station, a grocery store, a bank, a post office, a tobacco shop, two preschool centers, a towing/recovery shop, and a business that deals with dust control and other petrochemical needs. Most residents work outside of Sheridan, but the town's largest employer is the correctional center located south of town. Residents travel as far as the western suburbs of Chicago and Ottawa for work.
Sheridan Correctional Facility
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (April 2012)|
Known primarily by those who live there, and the people who stay at a resort in nearby Norway, the town has been widely unacknowledged by most of the populace of Illinois. But a newspaper report by the "Beacon News" of Aurora, revealed a community in desperate need, after the town's primary employer, The Sheridan Correctional Facility, was closed by the State of Illinois due to a budget shortfall in 2002. The decline led many to exodus the community to find work elsewhere, and some of the businesses which had been around for many years had to close. A lonely and solitary reminder of this period is an abandoned gas station which sits at the town's main intersection, which has been closed since 2002. But soon after, Rod Blagojevich had re-opened the facility, and had it re-purposed as a rehabilitation facility and medium security prison. In the subsequent years, the town has begun to come back to life again. The Sheridan Correctional Center reopened Jan. 2, 2004. The facility is an adult male medium-security prison, totally dedicated to substance abuse treatment. It is the largest substance abuse treatment program in the nation designed to curb the trend in Illinois' growing prison population to reduce high recidivism rates of released Illinois offenders, providing men with state-of-the-art substance abuse treatment services, and using a holistic approach to equip offenders to return to drug-free, crime-free lives upon release.
The Corner Tap
The Corner Tap, which is also locally known as the "Center of the World", is located within the downtown area of town, and has been a local staple of the community since it was established. Every year, generally on the last Sunday of the month, the bar hosts a Lawn Mower Poker Run, in which people drive between the town's local bars, starting at the Corner Tap, going north to "The Old Mill", then going back south toward town, stopping at the "Last Resort", then going back into town and stopping at "Mary's One More", the town's American Legion post, and finally ending up back at the Corner Tap. The event would end with a barbecue and tractor pulls. The event draws people from all over the state and from other neighboring states as well. Despite having been held annually for the last seventeen years, the event was cancelled for 2012 due to the owner's sudden illness and the short notice of the cancellation did not allow for there to be a "Plan B" to reorganize the event. The event will not continue, with the owner of the bar initially deciding not to continue the tradition, and his recent passing in the summer of 2013. None of the other local bars intend to take control of the event.
The Village of Sheridan, Incorporated 1872
The Village of Sheridan was settled as early as 1833 when Robert Rowe and his wife settled on Section 5 and 8 in what is now Mission Township. Prior to this, in 1826 Jesse Walker established a mission at the head of Mission Creek, just three miles from the present town of Sheridan. He became the first white settler in what is now Mission Township. In 1834, a Cholera Epidemic swept through the community, as evidenced by a cemetery south of town, dedicated for the outbreak. In 1844 Mission Point was established with the vote for a President and Vice-President. Mission Point became known as Rowe's Station in 1863, the Rowe farm consisted of three houses. Finally, in the summer of 1869 the village was platted and named Sheridan after General Phillip Sheridan. On June 24, 1872, the town of Sheridan voted forty-five to one to incorporate under the Old Statute of the State of Illinois. On June 29 of that same year, the first election of the Board of Trustees was held. The following seal was adopted: "Town Seal, Sheridan, Illinois. Incorporated, June 29, 1872". Not very inventive, but it served the purpose. The township's first post office building actually resided on the property of a farm, located a mile east of town, off of E 2650th Road. The post office served the community until a Post Office was constructed in Sheridan, and the rest of the township was served either by the communities of Millington, Newark, Sheridan, Sandwich, or by rural routes.
As time progressed, the community grew, and the latter half of the 20th Century saw expansive growth of local businesses, as there were a hardware store, two banks, a grocery store, two barber shops, two gas stations, three restaurants, and a tire center. However, over the subsequent years from 1995 to the present, many of the local businesses had either relocated or closed. Competition from nearby Ottawa, Sandwich, and Plano closed or diminished the ability to draw local residents to buying locally, resulting in local businesses having a hard time keeping business.
There are many fun and interesting events throughout the year to enjoy small town living in Sheridan. The Robert W Rowe library hosts many events to draw the community together including many clubs that residents with similar interests can enjoy. There is a parade and fireworks to celebrate Independence Day. In August there is the Lawn Tractor Poker Run. There is a Christmas Walk in December. The Fox River flows lazily through the village is very scenic and fun offering canoeing, fishing and swimming, with a local canoe rental service allowing people to enter the river in Sheridan and flow down to Wedron.
The community of Norway which sits to the south of Sheridan at the intersection of IL Rte 71 and County Highway 3. Due to the community's status as an unincorporated community in the State of Illinois, the community does not have a local government, fire district, school district, or local policing or postal services. Most of the services are provided by Sheridan, while the school district, (CUSD #2) serves the area, and the Serena Fire Protection District covers the community and has a small station located in Norway. Postal addresses are designated in Norway as either being Sheridan or Serena, since both communities have postal service, and both communities are no more than six miles away.
Law and government
The Village of Sheridan resides within two townships, Mission Township and Northville Township. The main area of town resides within Mission Township, while the periphery area of town extends to Northville Township in the north and west.
The village is covered by Community Unit School District #2, which is based out of neighboring Serena. The school district was formed by the combination of Sheridan, Serena, and Harding Schools. Currently, Serena High School is the only high school in the district, while there are three elementary schools in the three communities of the district. Serena High School is in the Little Ten Conference of the IHSA Athletic Program. Sheridan had a high school until 1939, when Sheridan High School was closed to combine with Serena and Harding. Sheridan High School was a member of the Little Ten Conference between 1930 until the formation of District 2. Serena has been a member of the Conference since 1939.
Sheridan is served by two hospitals, 'Valley West', run by Kishwaukee Health Systems, which is located in Sandwich, some six miles away, and also by OSF Saint Elizabeth Medical Center, (formally Ottawa Regional and Community Hospital of Ottawa, which is run by OSF Healthcare. There are higher-level trauma centers located in Aurora and Peoria.
The Illinois Railway runs through the center of town. Sheridan is near a State Highway, and two US Highways. Two County Highways (C. R. 32 and C. R. 3) run through town, and another (C. R. 2) is a mile to the west of town.
- U.S. Highway 34 six miles to the north
- U.S. Highway 52 four miles away to the south
- Illinois Route 71 six miles away, both to the south and to the east
||Somonauk, Illinois||Sandwich, Illinois||Plano, Illinois|
|Northville, Illinois||Newark, Illinois|
|Serena, Illinois||Norway, Illinois||Lisbon, Illinois|
- Silas Johnson, pitcher with several MLB teams; last person to strike out Babe Ruth; lived for 20 years in Sheridan, where he died
- "Village of Sheridan". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. 2008-02-27. Retrieved 2009-01-05.
- "2010 Census U.S. Gazetteer Files for Places – Illinois". United States Census. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.