Home » Illinois » Anna

James W. Loewen (1942-2021)

We mourn the loss of our friend and colleague and remain committed to the work he began.



Basic Information

Type of Place
Independent City or Town
Metro Area
Politics c. 1860?
Strongly Democratic
Unions, Organized Labor?
Don’t Know

Sundown Town Status

Sundown Town in the Past?
Was there an ordinance?
Don't Know
Yes, Strong Oral Tradition
Year of Greatest Interest
Still Sundown?

Census Information

The available census data from 1860 to the present
Total White Black Asian Native Hispanic Other BHshld
1860 1758 0
1870 2697 44
1880 1494
1890 2295
1900 2618 0
1910 1809 1
1920 3019 1
1930 3436 2
1940 4092 0
1950 4380 3
1960 4280 1
1990 4805 24
2000 5136 4941 89 2
2010 4422 50 9

Method of Exclusion

  • Violent Expulsion
  • Threat of Violence

Main Ethnic Group(s)

  • English

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black


1990, median owner-occupied housing unit, $37,700
Anna has blacks in the 1990 census, but zero black households.
2000, lists two households but their total population = 3. I consider only one a household (since a household must have >1 person acc. to IRS!). 88 blacks 6 wh/bl, but mostly in mental hospital. 63 male: 2 <5; 1 10-14; rest adult. 26 female: 3 <5; 2 10-14; rest adult. NONE 5-10. Some babies may be with adults in hospital? Anna was named for Anna Davie in 1853 or '54 but drove out its black population in 1909; for many decades "ANNA" has been said to mean "Ain't No Niggers Allowed," according to residents of Anna, 2002 and residents of nearby towns. "The feeling against Negroes is high here. The town has one black family. The large stone quarry here has some thirty or forty negroes employed. They will be warned to leave the vicinity. If the blacks remain it is feared trouble will occur." (Carbondale Free Press, 11/13/1909) c.1947, "I went into a shop and splurged with a baseball mag and a shoeshine. Immersed in the mag during the shine, I looked up and was astonished to see a white man, the proprietor, shining my shoes. That evening I mentioned it to kinfolk, who said, verbatim: "Niggers aren't allowed in Anna. If one is seen, they're told to not let the sun set on their black heads. If you want niggers, go to Carbondale." (email, 8/2003) Blacks who worked at Anna State Hospital c.1971 did not live in town, but commuted from Cobden, Cairo, etc. (Cath. priest, 4/2003) "I was appalled at the closed-mindedness of Anna HS," a nearby resident told me in 2004. One of my daughters graduated from there in '95, one in '98. "Oh no, there are no black people in Anna today." I have detailed oral history of the sign and its location. See important article, Centralia Sentinel, 1/3/1982 One resident wrote in 2010 that one year prior a friend who was half African-American was denied one morning in an Anna restaurant because of the color of her skin.