Coles County, Illinois facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Coles County, Illinois
Map
Map of Illinois highlighting Coles County
Location in the state of Illinois
Map of the USA highlighting Illinois
Illinois's location in the U.S.
Statistics
Founded December 25, 1830
Seat Charleston
Largest City Mattoon
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

510 sq mi (1,321 km²)
508 sq mi (1,316 km²)
1.8 sq mi (5 km²), 0.4%
Population
 - (2010)
 - Density

53,873
106/sq mi (41/km²)
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website: www.co.coles.il.us
Named for: Edward Coles

Coles County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. As of the 2010 census, the population was 53,873. Its county seat is Charleston, which is also the home of Eastern Illinois University.

Coles County is part of the Charleston-Mattoon, IL Micropolitan Statistical Area.

History

Coles County was organized on December 25, 1830 out of Clark and Edgar counties. It was named after Edward Coles, the second governor of Illinois, from 1822 to 1826.

Folklore

Coles County is home to several well-known legends and folktales, including the Mad Gasser of Mattoon and the ghost of Mary Hawkins at Pemberton Hall. Michael Kleen has documented many of these tales, including the "witch's grave" of St. Omer Cemetery and story of "Rag Doll Cemetery," in his book Tales of Coles County, Illinois. The legend of "Rag Doll Cemetery" formed the basis of the independent film Rag Doll, which was filmed primarily in and around Mattoon, Illinois in 2010. Additionally, the novel A Family Possessed by L. W. Stevenson is based on poltergeist activity experienced by a rural family living in Coles County in the 1980s. Ashmore Estates has long been a part of local folklore. Originally the almshouse at the Coles County Poor Farm, it is now a haunted attraction and a place of interest for paranormal investigators.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 510 square miles (1,300 km2), of which 508 square miles (1,320 km2) is land and 1.8 square miles (4.7 km2) (0.4%) is water.

Climate and weather

Weather chart for Charleston, Illinois
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
2.2
 
35
19
 
 
2.4
 
41
24
 
 
3.4
 
53
33
 
 
4
 
65
43
 
 
4.2
 
75
52
 
 
3.9
 
85
61
 
 
4.7
 
88
65
 
 
3.5
 
86
63
 
 
3.2
 
79
56
 
 
3.3
 
68
45
 
 
3.9
 
53
34
 
 
3.2
 
40
24
temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches
source: The Weather Channel

In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Charleston have ranged from a low of 19 °F (−7 °C) in January to a high of 88 °F (31 °C) in July, although a record low of −27 °F (−33 °C) was recorded in January 1994 and a record high of 110 °F (43 °C) was recorded in July 1936. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.20 inches (56 mm) in January to 4.65 inches (118 mm) in July.

Adjacent counties

Major highways

  • I-57.svg Interstate 57
  • US 45.svg US Route 45
  • Illinois 16.svg Illinois Route 16
  • Illinois 49.svg Illinois Route 49
  • Illinois 121.svg Illinois Route 121
  • Illinois 130.svg Illinois Route 130
  • Illinois 133.svg Illinois Route 133

Demographics

USA Coles County, Illinois age pyramid
2000 census age pyramid for Coles County, skewed by Eastern Illinois University
Historical populations
Census Pop.
1840 9,616
1850 9,335 −2.9%
1860 14,203 52.1%
1870 25,235 77.7%
1880 27,042 7.2%
1890 30,093 11.3%
1900 34,146 13.5%
1910 34,517 1.1%
1920 35,108 1.7%
1930 37,315 6.3%
1940 38,470 3.1%
1950 40,328 4.8%
1960 42,860 6.3%
1970 47,815 11.6%
1980 52,260 9.3%
1990 51,644 −1.2%
2000 53,196 3.0%
2010 53,873 1.3%
Est. 2015 52,521 −1.3%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 53,873 people, 21,463 households, and 11,963 families residing in the county. The population density was 106.0 inhabitants per square mile (40.9/km2). There were 23,425 housing units at an average density of 46.1 per square mile (17.8/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 92.9% white, 3.8% black or African American, 1.0% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 0.6% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 2.1% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 25.6% were German, 16.4% were Irish, 11.1% were American, and 10.0% were English.

Of the 21,463 households, 25.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.8% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 44.3% were non-families, and 31.4% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.87. The median age was 31.6 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $36,457 and the median income for a family was $54,170. Males had a median income of $38,915 versus $28,781 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,601. About 10.6% of families and 20.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.6% of those under age 18 and 5.9% of those age 65 or over.

Communities

Map of Coles County Illinois
Township and municipality map of Coles County.

Cities

Villages

Townships

Coles County is divided into these twelve townships:

  • Ashmore
  • Charleston
  • East Oakland
  • Humboldt
  • Hutton
  • Lafayette
  • Mattoon
  • Morgan
  • North Okaw
  • Paradise
  • Pleasant Grove
  • Seven Hickory

Coles County, Illinois Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.