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El Paso
El Paso post office
El Paso post office
Location of El Paso in Woodford County, Illinois.
Location of El Paso in Woodford County, Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
Location of Illinois in the United States
Coordinates: 40°44′20″N 89°0′58″W / 40.73889°N 89.01611°W / 40.73889; -89.01611Coordinates: 40°44′20″N 89°0′58″W / 40.73889°N 89.01611°W / 40.73889; -89.01611
Country United States
State Illinois
Counties Woodford, McLean
Townships El Paso
 • Total 2.15 sq mi (5.56 km2)
 • Land 2.15 sq mi (5.56 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
747 ft (228 m)
 • Total 2,810
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,272.73/sq mi (491.36/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code(s)
Area code(s) 309
FIPS code 17-23737
FIPS code 17-23737
GNIS ID 2394632
Wikimedia Commons El Paso, Illinois

El Paso is a city in Woodford and McLean counties in the U.S. state of Illinois. The population was 2,810 at the 2010 census. The Woodford County portion of El Paso is part of the Peoria, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area.

El Paso is a small community in central Illinois that took on more characteristics of a highway community after the construction of Interstate 39, which supplanted the older alignment of U.S. Highway 51. In addition, El Paso is a potential stop for Chicago-Peoria traffic via U.S. Highway 24.


El Paso was founded by George Gibson and James Wathen. Gibson named the city "El Paso" after El Paso, Texas, or from the presence of low laying Rio Grande River that allowed an open pass between two mountains

In August 1975, the city became the last locality in the contiguous United States to convert its telephone service from manual switching; prior to that time, telephones in the city could not be dialed directly from any outside location, the assistance of an operator being necessary to place the call, and local telephone numbers consisted of four digits. (Certain parts of the outer Aleutian Islands of Alaska could not be dialed directly until the early 1980s.)


El Paso is located at 40°44′20″N 89°0′58″W / 40.73889°N 89.01611°W / 40.73889; -89.01611 (40.738800, -89.016034).

According to the 2010 census, El Paso has a total area of 2.13 square miles (5.52 km2), all land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 890
1870 1,564 75.7%
1880 1,390 −11.1%
1890 1,353 −2.7%
1900 1,441 6.5%
1910 1,470 2.0%
1920 1,638 11.4%
1930 1,578 −3.7%
1940 1,621 2.7%
1950 1,818 12.2%
1960 1,964 8.0%
1970 2,291 16.6%
1980 2,676 16.8%
1990 2,499 −6.6%
2000 2,695 7.8%
2010 2,810 4.3%
2019 (est.) 2,730 −2.8%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 2,695 people, 980 households, and 686 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,743.9 people per square mile (671.3/km2). There were 1,022 housing units at an average density of 661.3 per square mile (254.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.89% White, 0.15% African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.22% Asian, 0.22% from other races, and 0.37% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.71% of the population.

There were 980 households, out of which 35.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.9% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.9% were non-families. 25.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.12.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 26.6% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 28.7% from 25 to 44, 19.8% from 45 to 64, and 16.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $47,745, and the median income for a family was $55,286. Males had a median income of $36,406 versus $25,174 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,730. About 1.6% of families and 3.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.1% of those under age 18 and 6.6% of those age 65 or over.

El Paso Public Library from southeast
El Paso Public Library




El Paso's school district, CUSD #11, is the product of a consolidation with the school district of Gridley, IL. CUSD #11's schools are split between El Paso and Gridley. The schools located in El Paso are:

  • El Paso Gridley High School - Housing all of the upper junior (grades 7 and 8) and high school students for the district
  • Centennial School - Housing all the 5th and 6th grade students of the district
  • Jefferson Park - Housing the El Paso community's portion of district's elementary schools students

Notable people

  • Fulton J. Sheen, Catholic archbishop and televangelist, was born in El Paso
  • Clifford J. Vogelsang, Illinois state senator, judge, and lawyer, was born in El Paso.
  • Byron Keith, actor, best known for recurring roles in Batman (TV series) and 77 Sunset Strip, was born in El Paso.
  • Chick Evans, college athletics coach. He was raised in El Paso.
  • Elsa Swartz, composer and music educator, was born in El Paso.
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