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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.

Vienna

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?
No
Year of Greatest Interest
1954
Still Sundown?
Probably

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 1173 100
1950 1085 34
1960 1094 15 6
1970 1325 2
1980 1420
1990 1446 9
2000 1234 1208 1
2010 1434 16
2020

Method of Exclusion

  • Violent Expulsion

Main Ethnic Group(s)

  • Unknown

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black

Comments

Oral history done on-site, 1/2004, with elected city
official and mother of same: the black community was
at the S end of town, S 7th street, “behind where those
mobile homes are. Mother was in HS in the early
1950s. A black man beat up and maybe killed a white
HS cheerleader’s grandmother, with whom she lived,
and raped the cheerleader. He was arrested and
incarcerated, but whites threatened the entire black
community, and all left except one family… [I think
that family lived outside the corporate limits.]”
Another person who grew up in Vienna, now lives
in another S. IL town, told me, 2/2004: “I have heard
in 1954, the year that I was born, a black man raped a
white woman, and they burned out all the blacks in
town.” “There was a segregated area where the blacks
lived, called Nigger Hill. But I did not know that as a
negative word.” A whole community