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Robbins, Illinois
Village
Village of Robbins, Illinois
Location of Robbins in Cook County, Illinois.
Location of Robbins in Cook County, Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
Location of Illinois in the United States
Country United States
State Illinois
County Cook
Townships Bremen, Worth
Incorporated 1917
Area
 • Total 1.45 sq mi (3.75 km2)
 • Land 1.45 sq mi (3.75 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)  0%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 4,629
 • Density 3,194.62/sq mi (1,233.52/km2)
Standard of living (2007-11)
 • Per capita income $13,089
 • Median home value $77,600
ZIP code(s)
60472
Area code(s) 708
Geocode 64616
FIPS code 17-64616

Robbins is a village southwest of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 4,629 at the 2020 census. It is the second oldest Black incorporated town in the north following Brooklyn, Illinois and was home to the country’s first black-owned airport.

History of Robbins

Robbins was incorporated on December 14, 1917 and named for Eugene S. Robbins, a white real estate developer who laid out the village's early subdivisions. The village's founder and first mayor was Thomas J. Kellar, who noted in an early interview "Our people in Robbins are mostly people who get tired of the white fights and the crowded city. They come out here to raise chickens, make gardens, and be a little more free". Kellar, who was a clerk for the Cook County Board of Assessors, was tasked with investigating the procedures of incorporation. Thomas J. Kellar School in Robbins was named in his honor and first opened for the 1954 school year
After incorporation the community became a popular recreation spot for black Chicagoans, who crowded its picnic grounds and nightclubs on summer weekends.

Geography

According to the 2010 census, Robbins has a total area of 1.45 square miles (3.76 km2), all land.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 431
1930 753 74.7%
1940 1,349 79.2%
1950 4,766 253.3%
1960 7,511 57.6%
1970 9,641 28.4%
1980 8,853 −8.2%
1990 7,498 −15.3%
2000 6,635 −11.5%
2010 5,337 −19.6%
2020 4,629 −13.3%
U.S. Decennial Census
2010 2020

2020 census

Robbins village, Illinois - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010 Pop 2020 % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 117 240 2.19% 5.18%
Black or African American alone (NH) 4,990 3,908 93.50% 84.42%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 11 2 0.21% 0.04%
Asian alone (NH) 6 10 0.11% 0.22%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 0 0 0.00% 0.00%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 1 20 0.02% 0.43%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 37 103 0.69% 2.23%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 175 346 3.28% 7.47%
Total 5,337 4,629 100.00% 100.00%

Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.

Transportation

Robbins is served by a station on Metra's Rock Island District commuter rail line. Robbins is served by two Pace bus routes, 359 Robbins/South Kedzie Avenue and 385 87th/111th/127th.

Interstate 294 runs through Robbins, but it has no exits within the village limits. Access to Interstates 57 and 294 are within a five- to eight-minute drive.

Midway International Airport is within 25-30 minute drive. The village is home to MDW's southern approach radar tower. O'Hare International Airport is within a 30-45 minute drive via Interstate 294 using the IL-50/ 83 Cicero Exit.

Robbins Airport, the first to be owned and operated by African-Americans in the United States, was located here from 1930 to 1933. It had the only flight school at the time where African-Americans could be trained as pilots, and served as a model for the Tuskegee Airmen Program during World War II. Many great African-American pilots flew into this forgotten airport. The surrounding white communities, such as Blue Island and Midlothian, did not approve of this activity, and their police sometimes arrested black pilots after they had landed in Robbins. The one-runway airport and hangar were destroyed by a tornado in 1933. School and operations were relocated by the invitation of white owners of the Harlem Airport in Chicago (it was located south of present-day Midway International Airport). From there, many of the flight school instructors entered the Tuskegee Airmen Program. One notable instructor and the man considered to be the founder of the Robbins airport was John C. Robinson, who was Supreme Commander of the Ethiopian Air Force when Italy invaded Ethiopia in 1935. The activities of these men and women have been recognized by the Smithsonian Institution's Air and Space Museum.

Education

Posen-Robbins School District 143½ serves Robbins.

Notable people

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Robbins (Illinois) para niños

Black History Month on Kiddle
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Ernest Everett Just
Mary Jackson
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