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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.

Pulaski County

Illinois

Basic Information

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

Sundown Town Status

Confirmed Sundown Town?
Unlikely
Was there an ordinance?
No
Sign?
No
Year of Greatest Interest
1924
Still Sundown?
Surely Not

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
2000
2010
2020

Method of Exclusion

Main Ethnic Group(s)

Group(s) Excluded

Comments

“Another Attempt to Drive Negroes Out of Pulaski County,” Cairo Bulletin, January 8, 1924, p.1. [Pulaski County never became a sundown county, except perhaps its northern part; it includes Mounds, Mound City, both having substantial black populations to this day.]
1924 lynching attempt: “Nine men were indicted by the Pulaski County grand jury last week for participation in the mob which formed around the Mounds jail in an attempt to lynch the Negro who, it is alleged, murdered Dalay Wilson when her father’s store was entered with intent to rob.”
Lynching of Nelson Howard, black, c. July 1883, has blacks in the county upset. Letter by W. T. Scott to Gov. J. M. Hamilton, 8/3/1883, requests assistance in bringing the mob to justice because the sheriff isn’t doing so. In Hamilton correspondence, IL State Archives.

Pulaski County schools did not desegregate until 1966! It then fired all black teachers and administrators. Her school, Lovvejoy Grade School, 1952, had outhouses! The white school had a cafeteria; hers did not. Lvoejoy had only two teachers for eight grades. Got used books, not usually the same book for all students.
At the Roxoy Movie Theater, Mounds, blacks had to use the balcony. In about 1957 she and fellow elementary students sat-in at a lunch counter in Villa Ridge. Her father was deputy sheriff of Pulaski! — Shirley Motley Portwood, Tell Us a Story (Carbondale: S IL U P, 2000), 128-130.