Home » Illinois » Tolono

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?
Unions, Organized Labor?

Sundown Town Status

Sundown Town in the Past?
Was there an ordinance?
Don't Know
Don’t Know
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
1900 1702 17
1910 1391 11
1920 1410 1
1930 1371 0
1950 1065 2M
1970 2027 0
1980 2434 0
1990 2605 2586 5
2000 2700 2640 8
2010 3447 29

Method of Exclusion

Main Ethnic Group(s)

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black


Two female residents, interviewed together at their workplace in about 2012: “It is a known fact that black people weren’t welcome in Tolono,” said one. When (the older woman) went to high school, “there were no black people.” When (the younger one) attended, some time after the mid-1990s, “there were two African-Americans and three mixed.” The two African-Americans were continually harassed. The female African-American had to drop out, while the male graduated. The older woman added, “Some people come to the Tolono schools because they are all Caucasian.”

email 11/2007:

I don’t think today there is a problem as there are interracial couples in town now. Sundown towns should be limited to those that literally did run people out and I can only think of one nearby town with that reputation: Tolono. — according to a longterm resident of Homer who knew Tolono.