Dunkel was laid out in 1876. Dunkel's post office was established May 4, 1877 and disestablished August 31, 1902; the community is now served by the Pana post office. It was situated along the Illinois Central Railroad. It was named for Elias Dunkel, an early postmaster. All that remains of Dunkel today are a few houses and a grain elevator operated by nearby Assumption Co-Op.
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Dunkel, Illinois
- Callary, Edward (29 September 2008). Place Names of Illinois. University of Illinois Press. p. 100. ISBN 978-0-252-09070-7.
- Christian County Place Names
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