Tolono, Illinois

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Location of Tolono in Champaign County, Illinois.
Location of Tolono in Champaign County, Illinois.
Tolono is located in Champaign County, Illinois
Location within Champaign County
Tolono is located in Illinois
Tolono (Illinois)
Coordinates: 39°59′10″N 88°15′35″W / 39.98611°N 88.25972°W / 39.98611; -88.25972Coordinates: 39°59′10″N 88°15′35″W / 39.98611°N 88.25972°W / 39.98611; -88.25972
CountryUnited States
 • Total2.06 sq mi (5.33 km2)
 • Land2.06 sq mi (5.33 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
 • Total3,447
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,672.18/sq mi (645.63/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
Postal code
Area code(s)217
FIPS code17-75614

Tolono is a village in Tolono Township, Champaign County, Illinois, United States. The population was 3,447 at the 2010 census. Its name was fabricated by J.B. Calhoun, land commission of the Illinois Central Railroad, who wrote about it simply: "[I] placed the vowel o three times, thus o-o-o, and filling in with the consonants t-l-n."[3][4]


Tolono is located at 39°59′10″N 88°15′35″W / 39.98611°N 88.25972°W / 39.98611; -88.25972 (39.986046, -88.259727).[5] According to the history of Champaign County: A surveyor for the Illinois Central who was looking for a division headquarters, surveyed the Tolono area and wrote on a map 'too low, No.' and that became the name of the town established there. Tolono as one time had two or three companies making tile used to drain the land around the town, resulting in swamps on the east side of the town both on the north and south side of the Wabash Railroad.

According to the 2010 census, Tolono has a total area of 2.14 square miles (5.54 km2), all land.[6]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20183,449[2]0.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 2,700 people, 1,083 households, and 753 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,444.4 people per square mile (557.5/km²). There were 1,137 housing units at an average density of 608.3 per square mile (234.8/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 97.78% White, 0.30% African American, 0.52% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 0.37% from other races, and 0.78% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.93% of the population.

There were 1,083 households out of which 36.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.6% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.4% were non-families. 26.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the village, the population was spread out with 27.4% under the age of 18, 6.7% from 18 to 24, 33.5% from 25 to 44, 21.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.8 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $44,200, and the median income for a family was $51,763. Males had a median income of $36,875 versus $24,694 for females. The per capita income for the village was $19,894. About 3.3% of families and 5.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.8% of those under age 18 and 7.4% of those age 65 or over.


Founded in the early 19th century as a result of the land-grant Illinois Central Railroad's expansion southward, Tolono was initially home to many railroad employees. Many streets bear the names of the IC's administrative staff. The original homes in the community were small and narrow filling half lots adjacent to the railroad tracks. With the intersection of an east-west railway, Tolono became a featured stop for early rail passengers. The peak of the railroad's passenger influence in Tolono occurred when Tolono became the last stop in Illinois for Abraham Lincoln as he bid farewell to his home state in a speech given from the back of his coach.

In 1959, Tolono became home to the first Monical's Pizza restaurant. Although the original location does not bear the Monical's name any longer, the buildings still stand and another Monical's Pizza is operated less than a block away. Members of the entrepreneurial Monical family still reside in the village today.

After shooting in several locations in Tolono in 2006, Mark Roberts, a Tolono native, wrapped production on his feature-length movie "Welcome To Tolono". The film was highlighted on the 2007 film festival circuit. Welcome To Tolono focuses on an Alcoholics Anonymous group that meets in the basement of a Tolono church.[9]

Home of Robert A. Bates.

Notable people[edit]


Community Unit School District # 7 or Unit Seven Schools is a district that services preschool through twelfth grade in the greater Tolono area.[10] The school district covers 173 square miles (450 km2) covering the communities of Tolono, Philo, Sidney, Sadorus, and Pesotum. In August 2002, there were three new schools, Unity East Elementary (approximately 300 students from Sidney and Philo), Unity West Elementary (approximately 400 students from Pesotum, Sadorus, and Tolono), and Unity Junior High (approximately 200 students district-wide) featuring the Rocket Center gymnasium. Along with the existing High School,[11] there are now four schools instead of seven. The district is located in a rural agricultural setting 10 miles (16 km) south of Champaign-Urbana, minutes from both Parkland College and the University of Illinois.


  1. ^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jun 30, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  3. ^ Stewart, pg. 362
  4. ^ Illinois Central Magazine. Illinois Central Railroad Company. 1922. p. 46.
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  6. ^ "G001 - Geographic Identifiers - 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-12-25.
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  9. ^ "Welcometo Tolono". Retrieved October 14, 2016.
  10. ^ "unitsevenschools".
  11. ^ "uhs".

External links[edit]