Farmer City, Illinois

Farmer City is a city in DeWitt County, Illinois, United States. The population was 2,037 at the 2010 census.

Farmer City
Downtown Farmer City
Location of Farmer City in De Witt County, Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
Coordinates: 40°14′47″N 88°38′31″W
CountryUnited States
TownshipSanta Anna
  Total2.45 sq mi (6.34 km2)
  Land2.40 sq mi (6.21 km2)
  Water0.05 sq mi (0.13 km2)
722 ft (220 m)
  Density836.11/sq mi (322.85/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
  Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code(s)
Area code(s)309
FIPS code17-25414
Wikimedia CommonsCategory:Farmer City, Illinois

Farmer City is part of Blue Ridge Community Unit School District 18 sharing facilities with nearby Mansfield and Bellflower, Illinois. Farmer City facilities include the District Unit Office, the Ruth M. Schneider Elementary School (K-3) and Blue Ridge High School. Blue Ridge received a bronze in the U.S. News and World Report Best High Schools list.[3]


The Kickapoo and Potawatomi Native American tribes lived on the prairie and woodlands around Salt Creek and other local streams. The westward push of traders and adventurers led to settlers around 1825. Dennis Hurley is believed to be the first white settler in the area; build a cabin, the area became known as Hurley's Grove with other families settling the area. Founding families were the Kirbys, McCords, Clearwaters, Watsons, Johnson, Webb, Blalach, Weedmans, Coveys, Cummings and Huddlestons. Hurley's Grove was just south of present-day Farmer City, with increased population by 1837, becoming part of DeWitt County in 1839.

The area to the south of Hurley's Grove solidified as a permanent settlement, within the wooded areas safety. North of the primary area became known as Mt. Pleasant. Subdivision of the land divided the area into 14 blocks, with a central public square; the first residence built was that of Nathan Clearwater, and William McFall opened a store in 1837. Mail delivery was established in 1837, but with another Mt. Pleasant in the state, the name changed to Santa Anna.

Dewitt County was part of the Eighth Judicial District in the early 1850s, and lawyer Abraham Lincoln traveled in the area many times on his circuit; he was well respected by county residents.[4] C. H. Moore House in nearby Clinton is the former residence of Lincoln's co-counsel in various cases.[5]

The settlement grew in population and physical size, with the center of activity moving northward. The area became connected in 1870 by rail, prospering; that year's census listed 1276 people in the township, and 537 in Mt. Pleasant. The necessity of an official name arose in 1869, with Farmer City chosen after much discussion and debate. The business district was destroyed in 1879 by a major fire, but the town was rebuilt. The rebuilding process had to be rebooted after an 1894 fire destroyed the new business district.

The early years of the next century saw Farmer City grow into a bustling community. A newspaper, the Public Reaper, first printed on November 27, 1879.[6] City fathers helped usher the area into a modern era, with utilities such as a water tower (1920). The new business district was joined by schools, churches, and fine homes. Interstate 74 was completed in the early 1970s. In 1980, an extensive study of the dialect of Farmer City was completed, making the city well known in the field of sociolinguistics.[7]


Farmer City is located at 40°14′47″N 88°38′31″W (40.246306, -88.641858).[8]

According to the 2010 census, Farmer City has a total area of 2.449 square miles (6.34 km2), of which 2.4 square miles (6.22 km2) (or 98%) is land and 0.049 square miles (0.13 km2) (or 2%) is water.[9]


Historical population
Est. 20162,005[2]−1.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 2,055 people, 830 households, and 557 families residing in the city. The population density was 892.8 people per square mile (345.0/km²). There were 906 housing units at an average density of 393.6 per square mile (152.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 99.56% White, 0.05% from other races, and 0.39% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.39% of the population.

There were 830 households out of which 32.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.8% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.8% were non-families. 28.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.94.

In the city, the population was spread out with 24.7% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 27.6% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 19.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $40,223, and the median income for a family was $45,515. Males had a median income of $34,524 versus $22,438 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,946. About 5.6% of families and 8.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.4% of those under age 18 and 3.3% of those age 65 or over.


Interstate 74, which is paralleled by US 150, and State Route 54 intersect near Farmer City. They are paralleled by routes of the Norfolk Southern Railway and Illinois Central Railroad, respectively.


Farmer City is the home of WEXG, an FM radio station broadcasting on a frequency of 98.3 mHz. Its programming consists of classic rock, whose broadcasts can also be heard online.

Notable people


  1. "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jun 29, 2017.
  2. "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  3. "Search | Best High Schools | U.S. News". Retrieved 2011-07-12.
  4. Stites, Helen (2006). Finding Lincoln in DeWitt County. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse. p. 59. ISBN 978-1-4259-1246-8. Retrieved 26 May 2011.
  5. "C.H. Moore and Abe Lincoln". C.H. Moore Homestead/DeWitt County Museum. Dewitt County Museum. Retrieved 26 May 2011.
  6. "Public Reaper - First Edition 1879". Public Reaper. DeWitt GenWeb Project. Archived from the original on 14 August 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2011.
  7. Sound Change in Farmer City: A Sociolinguistic Study Based on Acoustic Data, Timothy Habick, Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Illinois, Urbana. 1980. Habick, Timothy. (1991). "Burnouts versus rednecks: effects of group membership on the phonemic system," in Penelope Eckert, ed., New Ways of Analyzing Sound Change (San Diego: Academic Press), 185-212.
  8. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  9. "G001 - Geographic Identifiers - 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-12-27.
  10. "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  11. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  12. 'Lott R. Herrick, State Justice, Dead At Age 65,' Chicago Tribune, September 19, 1937, part 1, pg. 18
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