Toulon, Illinois

Toulon is a city in Stark County, Illinois, United States. The population was 1,292 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Stark County.[3] Toulon is part of the Peoria, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area, and is the northwestern terminus of the Rock Island Trail State Park.

Stark County Courthouse in Toulon
Stark County Courthouse in Toulon
Location of Toulon in Stark County, Illinois.
Location of Toulon in Stark County, Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
Location of Illinois in the United States
Coordinates: 41°5′40″N 89°51′44″W / 41.09444°N 89.86222°W / 41.09444; -89.86222Coordinates: 41°5′40″N 89°51′44″W / 41.09444°N 89.86222°W / 41.09444; -89.86222
CountryUnited States
 • MayorLarry Hollis
 • Total1.02 sq mi (2.63 km2)
 • Land1.02 sq mi (2.63 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
 • Total1,292
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,141.59/sq mi (440.95/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code(s)
Area code(s)309 Exchange: 286
FIPS code17-75783
Wikimedia CommonsToulon, Illinois


Toulon is located at 41°5′40″N 89°51′44″W / 41.09444°N 89.86222°W / 41.09444; -89.86222 (41.094495, -89.862218).[4]

According to the 2010 census, Toulon has a total area of 1.02 square miles (2.64 km2), all land.[5]


Founded in 1841, Toulon was named after an existing town in Tennessee. The Tennessee town was named after Toulon, France.

Both Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas passed through Toulon during their 1858 senatorial campaign. The Lincoln and Douglas debates are a well known part of American Political history. While no actual debate took place in Toulon, both men did speak there before the 1860 election.

Douglas arrived on October 5, 1858, and was the guest of the hotel kept by B.A. Hall, which was Democratic headquarters. There were no railroads yet in Stark county, the "Little Giant" came in an open carriage, despite the rain, and was accompanied by Lieutenant Governor Payne, of Ohio. At the hotel he was greeted by a large number of enthusiastic Democrats and was welcomed by Martin Shallenberger in a short but appropriate address, to which Mr. Douglas responded briefly. After dinner he was escorted to the public square, where a platform had been erected for the speaker. So dense was the crowd that some time was spent in getting through it to the speaker's stand, many crowding forward to shake Mr. Douglas' hand. Although hoarse from his long campaign and the rain was falling, he soon warmed to his subject and the multitude stood for an hour or more listening with rapt attention to his utterances.

The next day dawned and it was still raining, but the republicans seemed determined to make a greater showing than the democrats had done on the day previous. At an early hour delegations came pouring in from every township in the county, and even from the adjoining counties. It could easily have been seen, by the most casual observer, that if Douglas was the idol of the democracy, Lincoln was the popular hero of the Republican party, which was still in its swaddling clothes. This vast assemblage rendezvoused on the Kewanee road, a short distance north of the city, to await the coming of the speaker. Oliver Whitaker acted as chief marshal. Forming the people in a hollow square, he instructed them to remain silent until he gave the signal for applause. Mr. Lincoln's carriage approached at a moderate gait, owing to the condition of the road, Mr. Whitaker waived his hand and the cheer that went up was so spontaneous and deafening that the horses attached to the carriage were frightened to such an extent that the safety of the occupants of the carriage was threatened. Says Mrs. Shallenberger: "Order being restored, the various delegations paid their respects to Mr. Lincoln and the ladies on horseback, decorated with state badges, rode up. The one representing Illinois was provided with a wreath of leaves and flowers, with which it is presumed she meant to crown or encircle the man they delighted to honor, but Mr. Lincoln very quietly said: 'Wear it yourself, dear, they become you better than me.'"

A procession was then formed—claimed by many to be the largest ever witnessed in the county up to that time—and Mr. Lincoln was escorted to the Virginia Hotel on East Main Street. Here he declined any formal greeting and remained in his room until dinner was ready. After dinner he was escorted to the public square, where he spoke from the stand that Mr. Douglas had spoken from the day before. And, as at the Douglas meeting, the audience stood in the rain to listen to him who two years later was called to the highest office in the gift of the people.


The city is home to several long-established churches including a United Methodist Church, a Congregational Church, the Faith Baptist Church (Independent) and the First Baptist Church.

Local businessesEdit

Businesses in Toulon include: Connie's Country Kitchen, Lucy Dot's Little Bakery Shoppe, River Valley Medical Center (Aunt Martha's), State Bank of Toulon, Leezer Agency, Casey's General Store, Toulon Market, Nelson Auto Sales, Rumbold and Kuhn elevator and Stark County Ambulance the only Advanced EMS provider in the county.


Stark County High School and Stark County Junior High are located in Toulon.


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)1,161[2]−10.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]

As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 1,400 people, 555 households, and 355 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,575.4 people per square mile (607.4/km2). There were 601 housing units at an average density of 676.3/sq mi (260.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.64% White, 0.21% African American, 0.50% Native American, 0.07% Asian, 0.07% from other races, and 0.50% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.43% of the population.

There were 555 households, out of which 29.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.8% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.0% were non-families. 33.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 20.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 23.3% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 23.9% from 25 to 44, 19.4% from 45 to 64, and 26.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 80.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,792, and the median income for a family was $40,078. Males had a median income of $32,353 versus $20,556 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,219. About 6.1% of families and 7.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.8% of those under age 18 and 6.3% of those age 65 or over.

Notable peopleEdit

Curt Thompson, a convicted murderer of a young rookie police officer and a married couple with whom he'd had a long-running feud; the event was featured on American Justice in an episode called "The Bully of Toulon".


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  5. ^ "G001 - Geographic Identifiers - 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2020-02-13. Retrieved 2015-12-27.
  6. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  7. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  8. ^ "Nebraska Governor Ashton Cockayne Shallenberger". National Governors Association. Retrieved September 29, 2012.
  9. ^
  10. ^