Alvin, Illinois

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Alvan is a village in South Ross Township, Vermilion County, Illinois, United States.[1] It is part of the 'Danville, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area'. The population was 316 at the 2000 census[2]. The U.S. Post Office, however, uses the name Alvin and the village is also often known by this alternate name.



A settlement was founded in 1872 about a mile south of present-day Alvan, along the Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad railroad, and was called Gilbert in honor of the founder, Alvan Gilbert. In 1875, the new Havana, Rantoul and Eastern Railroad (which became the Illinois Central Railroad) crossed the C&EI north of Gilbert, and the town of Alvan was founded at the intersection. Tradition says that the town's name became Alvin (with an "i" instead of an "a") because the post office mis-spelled it and refused to correct the error.[3]

In 1942 a tornado struck Alvan and caused much destruction, killing six people. A marker in the town commemorates the tragic event and reads as follows:

Alvin Tornado
Monday, March 16, 1942
11:40 AM
Billy Smith - Henry O'Farrell
Ruth Viles - George Johnson
Odessa Scott - Goldie Hoover
Donated by
Mel Schriefer
A.E. Hoskins


Alvan is located on County Road 3 about 2 miles north of Bismarck, Illinois. The coordinates are 40°18′34″N 87°36′25″W / 40.30944°N 87.60694°W / 40.30944; -87.60694 (40.309494, -87.606887)[4].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 0.8 square miles (2.1 km²), all of it land.


As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 316 people, 106 households, and 85 families residing in the village. The population density was 397.2 people per square mile (152.5/km²). There were 115 housing units at an average density of 144.6/sq mi (55.5/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 97.78% White, 1.58% Native American, 0.32% Asian, and 0.32% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.63% of the population.

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