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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.

Nashville

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?
Don't Know
Sign?
Yes, Photo or Written 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 3202
2000 3147 3107 5
2010
2020

Method of Exclusion

Main Ethnic Group(s)

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black

Comments

I grew up a farm boy about half-way between Nashville, IL and Hoyleton. My parents paid out-of-district tuition for me to attend elementary school in Nashville from 1943-1946 when consolidation of rural school districts made it possible for me to continue 6th grade in Hoyleton without the payment of extra tuition. The only black people I ever saw in those years was when we went visiting distant towns such as Centralia With respect to the “no blacks overnight” sign at the edge of town, I don’t remember ever seeing the sign, but I’ve certainly heard many people people mention it over the years. My mother always us wash our hands after touching things – like fresh produce from the grocery store in Nashville because “some dirty old black man may have touched it.” (Of course we always washed fruit & vegetables from our garden, too because of possible contamination from animals and insects.) And this from a woman whose ancestors fought for the Union during the Civil War.

Pretty much all of washington county, il, except for the area just outside of Centralia, is sundown. if you see blacks, its either they’re passing through or they’re there due to work. some of the towns (especially Nashville) sound their fire horns every evening at 5 pm. (Email to Fox TV website in St. L. after story on Anna, 3/2007)