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James W. Loewen (1942-2021)

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

Mt. Carmel

Illinois

Basic Information

Type of Place
Independent City or Town
Metro Area
Politics c. 1860?
Unions, Organized Labor?

Sundown Town Status

Confirmed Sundown Town?
Surely
Was there an ordinance?
Perhaps, Some Oral Evidence
Sign?
Perhaps, Some Oral Evidence
Year of Greatest Interest
Still Sundown?
Probably Not, Although Still Very Few Black People

Census Information

The available census data from 1860 to the present
Total White Black Asian Native Hispanic Other BHshld
1860
1870
1880
1890
1900
1910
1920
1930
1940
1950
1960
1970
1980
1990 8287
2000 7982 7798 38
2010
2020

Method of Exclusion

  • Other

Main Ethnic Group(s)

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black

Comments

When I was a gradeschooler I remember being told by someone in the community about an old law that blacks had to leave town by sundown. Supposedly there had been a knife fight (I think set in the 20’s) between a black man and a white man, and “for the sake of all concerned” blacks “used to” have to be out of town when it got dark. As a child I took that to mean that it was for the protection of both races. (From a local resident, accessed in 2003)

Wabash Valley Jr. College: U of IL basketball coach Lou Henson had a couple of black HS prospects who needed academic seasoning, so he sent them to a friend of his, coaching at Wabash Valley Jr. College, in Mt. Carmel, hoping to enroll them at teh U of I later. One dated a white girl, and friction ensued, and all the black basketball players left Wabash Valley.