This article is based on the corresponding article in another wiki. For Familypedia purposes, it requires significantly more historical detail on phases of this location's development. The ideal article for a place will give the reader a feel for what it was like to live at that location at the time their relatives were alive there. Also desirable are links to organizations that may be repositories of genealogical information..
Please help to improve this page yourself if you can.

Coles County, Illinois
Coles County Courthouse 2012-10-31 12-22-11
Coles County Courthouse
Map of Illinois highlighting Coles County
Location in the state of Illinois
Map of USA IL
Illinois's location in the U.S.
Founded December 25, 1830
Seat Charleston
Largest city Charleston (population)
Mattoon (area)
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

510.08 sq mi (1,321 km²)
508.29 sq mi (1,316 km²)
1.79 sq mi (5 km²),
 - (2010)
 - Density

105/sq mi (40/km²)
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Coles County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 53,873, which is an increase of 1.3% from 53,196 in 2000.[1] Its county seat is Charleston, which is also the home of Eastern Illinois University.[2] The county is part of the Charleston–Mattoon Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Mattoon is famous for the "original" Burger King owned by the Hootses which is not the same as the Burger King chain. With the fact that the Hootses can only use their "Burger King" name in the Mattoon area and that the Burger King chain can use the name in the United States excluding the Mattoon area after a 1968 trademark lawsuit, there is a 20 mile radius centering the Hootses' Burger King, and the chain cannot have one within the radius. As such, no Burger Kings from the chain are in the county.


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.


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.[3][4] 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.[5] 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.[6] 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.[7]


According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 510.08 square miles (1,321.1 km2), of which 508.29 square miles (1,316.5 km2) (or 99.65%) is land and 1.79 square miles (4.6 km2) (or 0.35%) is water.[8]

Adjacent countiesEdit

Map of Coles County Illinois

Township and municipality map of Coles County.

Major highwaysEdit


Coles County is divided into these twelve townships:

Settlements Edit




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. 2012 53,655 0.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
2012 Estimate[10]

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 53,196 people, 21,043 households, and 12,078 families residing in the county. The population density was 105 people per square mile (40/km²). There were 22,768 housing units at an average density of 45 per square mile (17/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 95.37% White, 2.28% Black or African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.79% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.41% from other races, and 0.90% from two or more races. 1.39% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 25.4% were of German, 17.8% American, 12.6% English and 12.3% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000. 96.8% spoke English and 1.8% Spanish as their first language.

There were 21,043 households out of which 26.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.20% were married couples living together, 8.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.60% were non-families. 31.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.91.

In the county the population was spread out with 19.70% under the age of 18, 23.50% from 18 to 24, 23.80% from 25 to 44, 19.70% from 45 to 64, and 13.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 91.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,286, and the median income for a family was $45,708. Males had a median income of $32,831 versus $21,923 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,370. About 7.50% of families and 17.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.40% of those under age 18 and 9.30% of those age 65 or over.

Climate and weather Edit

Climate chart for Charleston, Illinois
temperatures in °Cprecipitation totals in mm
source: The Weather Channel[12]

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 (−32.8 °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.[12]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Coles County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-11-05. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "Tales of Coles County, Illinois". Black Oak Press, Illinois. 2004, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Student author gets creative with Coles history". Daily Eastern News. 28 October 2005. 
  5. ^ "Mattoon-based thriller gets a name". Journal Gazette/Times-Courier. 14 May 2010. 
  6. ^ "A Ghost Story of local proportions". Journal Gazette/Times-Courier. 28 October 2000. 
  7. ^ "TV team uses technology to root out spirits at Ashmore Estates". Times-Courier. 20 July 2008. 
  8. ^ "Census 2010 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-11-05. 
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  11. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  12. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Charleston, Illinois". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 


External linksEdit

Coordinates: 39°31′13″N 88°13′18″W / 39.52028, -88.22167

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Coles County, Illinois. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.