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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.

Wilmette

Illinois

Basic Information

Type of Place
Suburb
Metro Area
N. Chicago
Politics c. 1860?
Unions, Organized Labor?

Sundown Town Status

Confirmed Sundown Town?
Probable
Was there an ordinance?
Perhaps, Some Oral Evidence
Sign?
Perhaps, Some Oral Evidence
Year of Greatest Interest
Still Sundown?

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

All-White suburb.
“Along the exclusive North Shore, in suburban Wilmette, a committee requested any families unable to domicile their maids, servants, gardeners, and handymen on their own premises to dismiss ‘all Negroes’ in their employ. The committee recommended the firing of black janitors who lived in the basements of apartment buildings as well. The presence of unsupervised blacks, the committee felt, had ‘depressed real estate values’ in the village. There was no machinery to enforce the edict; still, it accomplished its purpose. Few blacks who did not have quarters in their white employers’ homes remained in Wilmette. Other domestics had to commute to their jobs from the small ghetto in the adjoining suburb, Evanston, or all the way from Chicago. In 1970, sixty years after the ‘anti-Negro committee’ made its decree, there were only 81 blacks among the 32,134 villagers of Wilmette: 59 were females, primarily domestic servants.” -The Slum and the Ghetto, Thomas L. Philpott