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Hoopeston, Illinois
Art in McFerren Park, 2007
Art in McFerren Park, 2007
Sweetcorn Capital of the World
Location of Hoopeston in Vermilion County, Illinois.
Location of Hoopeston in Vermilion County, Illinois.
Hoopeston, Illinois is located in Vermilion County, Illinois
Hoopeston, Illinois
Hoopeston, Illinois
Location in Vermilion County, Illinois
Country United States
State Illinois
County Vermilion
Township Grant
Founded 1871
Organized 1874
Incorporated 1877
 • Total 3.69 sq mi (9.55 km2)
 • Land 3.69 sq mi (9.55 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
725 ft (221 m)
 • Total 4,915
 • Density 1,333.42/sq mi (514.91/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code 217
FIPS code 17-36061
GNIS ID 410494

Hoopeston is a city in Grant Township, Vermilion County, Illinois, United States. As of the 2020 census, the city population was 4,915.


McFerren Park in Hoopeston Illinois
Entrance to McFerren Park, 2007

Hoopeston was laid out in 1871. It was named for Thomas Hoopes, one of the men who offered land for the crossing of two railroads: the Lafayette, Bloomington and Western Railroad and the Chicago, Danville and Vincennes Railroad. The two railroads separated the town into four sections. The latter railroad still exists and is now operated jointly by CSX Transportation and Union Pacific Railroad.

In 1890, Greer College was established in Hoopeston, funded by a gift of $40,000 and 500 acres (2.0 km2) of land from John Greer.

Business and manufacturing in Hoopeston have historically been related to agriculture. In 1875, S. S. McCall established the Illinois Canning Company to can locally-grown vegetables; and this was so successful that in 1878 the Hoopeston Canning Company was established, which later became part of Stokely-Van Camp, Inc. In addition, Silgan Can (formerly American Can) had a factory which manufactured the tin cans themselves, and an FMC plant manufactured agricultural machinery.

In honor of its agricultural roots, Hoopeston holds a Sweet Corn Festival each September, starting the Thursday before Labor Day and ending on Labor Day.

In association with the Sweet Corn Festival, the Miss National Sweetheart Pageant is also held during the week. Runners-up from the Miss America state pageants are eligible to compete for the title of Miss National Sweetheart.

It was also the location of one of several prisoner of war camps housing German soldiers during World War II (see German Prisoner of War Camp, Hoopeston, Illinois).


Hoopeston is located at the intersection of Illinois Route 1 and Illinois Route 9, about one mile from the north edge of Vermilion County. According to the 2010 census, Hoopeston has a total area of 3.69 square miles (9.56 km2), all land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 1,272
1890 1,911 50.2%
1900 3,823 100.1%
1910 4,698 22.9%
1920 5,451 16.0%
1930 5,613 3.0%
1940 5,381 −4.1%
1950 5,992 11.4%
1960 6,606 10.2%
1970 6,461 −2.2%
1980 6,411 −0.8%
1990 5,871 −8.4%
2000 5,965 1.6%
2010 5,351 −10.3%
2020 4,915 −8.1%
U.S. Decennial Census

Hoopeston is part of the Danville, Illinois, Metropolitan Statistical Area.

As of the census of 2010, there were 5,351 people residing in the city. The population density was 1,451.7 people per square mile. There were 2,529 housing units. The racial makeup of the city was 91.79% White, 0.82% African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.13% Asian, 5.60% from other races, and 1.37% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.38% of the population.

There were 2,369 households, out of which 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.5% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.7% were non-families. 31.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 24.8% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 24.1% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 20.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,947, and the median income for a family was $39,368. Males had a median income of $31,656 versus $20,474 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,055. About 12.3% of families and 13.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.6% of those under age 18 and 11.7% of those age 65 or over.


Primary and secondary education

  • Hoopeston Area High School
  • Hoopeston Area Middle School serves 8th, 7th, and 6th-grade students
  • John Greer Grade School (originally known as John Greer College) serves 5th, 4th and 3rd-grade students.
  • Maple Grade School serves kindergarten through 2nd-grade students.

The school district has faced increasingly declining enrollment over the past 10 years. The district has also struggled financially in recent years. Honeywell School, formerly serving 3rd and 4th-grade students, was closed at the end of the 2015–2016 school year due to funding cuts and declining enrollment.

The school teams are named the "Cornjerkers", a term describing farm workers who picked corn prior to the use of mechanized corn picker implements.

Hoopeston Area High School is the alma mater of former Ohio State University head men's basketball coach Thad Matta.


Hoopeston is served by the Hoopeston Carnegie Public Library.

Notable people

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Hoopeston para niños

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