Douglas County Courthouse in Tuscola
|Motto: "A Complete Community"|
|Elevation||650 ft (198 m)|
|Area||2.75 sq mi (7 km2)|
|- land||2.74 sq mi (7 km2)|
|- water||0.01 sq mi (0 km2)|
|Density||2,084.9 / sq mi (805 / km2)|
|- summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|Wikimedia Commons: Tuscola, Illinois|
Tuscola is located at (39.797682, -88.281564).
According to the 2010 census, the city has a total area of 2.75 square miles (7.1 km2), of which 2.74 square miles (7.1 km2) (or 99.64%) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.026 km2) (or 0.36%) is water.
The founding Supervisor of Tuscola township was O. C. Hackett, elected in 1868. Hackett was elected Supervisor with a majority of only one vote over W. B. Ervin. O. C. Hackett was the grandson of noted Kentucky frontiersman and Boonsborough resident Peter Hackett. O. C. planted Hackett's Grove, a sassafras grove situated on Section 31, Township 16, Range 9, on the east side of the township. This 20-acre (81,000 m2) grove is traversed by a branch of Scattering Fork of the Embarrass River, long known as Hackett's Run, and according to the History of Douglas County (1884), the grove had been owned by the Hacketts since long before Douglas County had an existence. O.C. Hackett's father, John Hackett, settled in nearby Coles County in 1835. Family legend holds that Abraham Lincoln stayed at the Hackett farm during the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858.
From the 1890s to the 1940s, Tuscola had a sizeable number of African-American citizens, including Arthur Anderson, the "most graceful walker" at the 1898 Colored Folks Cake Walk in Tuscola; his partner Cozy Chavous; the musician Cecil "Pete" Bridgewater, father of internationally-known musicians Cecil Bridgewater and Ronnie Bridgewater; the educator and musician Ruth Calimese, daughter of automobile worker "Big Jim" Calimese; musician Solomon "Sol" Chavous; mail carrier and war veteran Bruce Hayden (father of distinguished violinist Bruce Hayden, Jr.); Lemuel and Nettie Riley; football star and garage owner Tommy Wright; and dozens of other people. Tuscola had two churches with mainly black congregations, the African Methodist Episcopal Church on North Niles, and the White Horse Riders church on Houghton Street. Unlike the neighboring town of Arcola, Tuscola did not have the ordinance, common in small Illinois towns at the time, that a Negro person could not be on the streets after sundown. The black and white people of Tuscola got along well. However, between 1922 and 1924 two large Ku Klux Klan gatherings were held in Tuscola. The 1924 rally consisted of nearly 2,000 Klan cars, a hundred marching Klansmen, burning crosses, and a naturalization ceremony in Tuscola's Ervin Park.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,448 people, 1,885 households, and 1,261 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,084.9 people per square mile (806.3/km2). There were 2,000 housing units at an average density of 937.5 per square mile (362.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.11% White, 0.31% African American, 0.40% Native American, 0.52% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.20% from other races, and 0.43% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.06% of the population.
There were 1,885 households out of which 30.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.1% were married couples living together, 9.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.1% were non-families. 29.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 14% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.93.
In the city the population was spread out with 25% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 29% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 16.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 91.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $39,608, and the median income for a family was $44,816. Males had a median income of $35,063 versus $22,090 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,465. About 2.3% of families and 4.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3% of those under age 18 and 5% of those age 65 or over.
- Smiley Burnette, actor
- James E. Callaway, politician
- John H. Campbell, jurist
- Philip Deaver, author
- Gary Forrester, author
- Jennie Garth, actress
- Joseph Gurney Cannon, longtime speaker of the US House
- Fred Wakefield, NFL football player
- Linda Metheny, Olympic Gymnast
- George Roller, executive director of the Center for Christian Statesmanship on Capitol Hill
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "2010 Census U.S. Gazetteer Files for Places – Illinois". United States Census. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
- History of Douglas County, Illinois
- History of Coles County, Illinois.
- "The History of Tuscola's Negro Population" (PDF). Tuscola.org. Retrieved September 17, 2014. Adapted from The Cabin Chatter, April 1997, Douglas County Museum.
- "The History of Tuscola's Black Population" (PDF). Douglas County Cabin Chatter (Douglas County Historical Society). c. 1993. Retrieved September 17, 2014.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.