Location of Gillespie in Macoupin County, Illinois
Location of Illinois in the United States
|Coordinates: 39°7′34″N 89°48′59″W|
|• Total||1.49 sq mi (3.85 km2)|
|• Land||1.49 sq mi (3.85 km2)|
|• Water||0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)|
|Elevation||663 ft (202 m)|
|• Density||2,148.15/sq mi (829.63/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (CST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|Wikimedia Commons||Gillespie, Illinois|
The first group of settlers arrived to what is now present-day Gillespie in the late 1820s from Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana. The township thrived in the 1830s, increasing in population and businesses. In 1835 the first schoolhouse was built. Gillespie was officially incorporated as a town in the spring of 1853. By 1904, the population rose to 3,100 and there were a number of businesses, churches, and schools. On January 29, 1905, a giant fire swept through the entirety of the business district and destroyed most businesses and some homes.
For years, Gillespie's main source of employment was the multiple mines scattered throughout the township operated by the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad Company. It is said that Gillespie boasted three of the largest coal mines in the world.
Gillespie is named for Judge Joseph Gillespie, who was active in Illinois state politics.
Gillespie is home to Gillespie C.U.S.D. #7, which operates Gillespie High School, Gillespie Middle School, and Ben-Gil Elementary School.
Gillespie is located at 39°7′34″N 89°48′59″W (39.126023, -89.816403).
According to the 2010 census, Gillespie has a total area of 1.45 square miles (3.76 km2), all land. A large lake, Lake Gillespie, is just outside the city limits. Many people from surrounding towns enjoy fishing, boating, water-skiing and sunbathing there.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,412 people, 1,452 households, and 936 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,349.3 people per square mile (908.5/km²). There were 1,547 housing units at an average density of 1,065.1 per square mile (411.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.56% White, 0.32% African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.12% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.15% from other races, and 0.59% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 0.73% of the population.
There were 1,452 households, of which 28.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.8% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.5% were non-families. 31.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.93.
In the city, the population was spread out with 23.3% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 27.3% from 25 to 44, 22.7% from 45 to 64, and 17.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 88.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $33,168, and the median income for a family was $40,500. Males had a median income of $35,032 versus $23,136 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,042. About 8.6% of families and 12.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.4% of those under age 18 and 9.5% of those age 65 or over.
The Annual Black Diamond Days, Gillespie's original coal festival, is a celebration of miners and mining, which has always been a major industry in Macoupin County. The festival is held annually for three days each year on the first weekend in June in Gillespie. Gillespie welcomes visitors with parades, contests, prizes, a carnival, mine rescue demonstration, 1 Mile Fun Run and 5K Run, arts and crafts, and concessions.
- Ferras Alqais, singer-songwriter
- W. Russell Arrington, Illinois state legislator and lawyer; born in Gillespie
- Clarence J. Goodnight, zoologist; born in Gillespie
- Howard Keel, film and television actor and singer
- Harry Patton, pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals; born in Gillespie
- Raphael Tracey, U.S. soccer player and member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame; born in Gillespie
- "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jun 29, 2017.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved November 17, 2019.
- Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 137.
- Chicago and North Western Railway Company (1908). A History of the Origin of the Place Names Connected with the Chicago & North Western and Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railways. p. 77.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "G001 - Geographic Identifiers - 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-12-27.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Howard Keel". IMDb. Retrieved 2018-06-05.