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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.

Wolflake

Illinois

Basic Information

Type of Place
CDP, Unincorporated Borough, or MCD
Metro Area
Politics c. 1860?
Unions, Organized Labor?

Sundown Town Status

Confirmed Sundown Town?
Probable
Was there an ordinance?
Don't Know
Sign?
Perhaps, Some Oral Evidence
Year of Greatest Interest
1937
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

After the flood of January 1937, Johnston City received 287 flood refugees from around Mounds and Mound City. “When the danger of flooding has passed, the black people were transferred to Wolf Lake, the white refugees to Anna…”

Wolf Lake appears to have been all white in 1940.

An email from a former resident of Wolf Lake stated:

“I remember when I was very young and lived in wolf lake, there was a big sign on hwy 3, both north and south ends, that read the ‘”n word” dont let the sun set on your back in wolf lake.’ I lived there till I was nineteen and don’t know of a black ever living there.”

“On January 20 [1937] we received word that some 200 people were to be brought here from around Mounds and Mound City. [flood refugees] Eventually this number grew to 287, and these homeless people were housed in the Miner’s Hall, the Baptist Tabernacle, [and abandoned stores]… About half the refugees brought here were colored, and although the town had the reputation of never permitting a black to remain overnight here, they were welcomed with courtesy and kindness in 1937.” [not as residents, of course] “When the danger of flooding has passed, the black people were transferred to Wolf Lake, the white refugees to Anna…”