Canton, Illinois

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Canton is the largest city in Fulton County, Illinois in the United States. The population was 15,288 as of the 2000 Census. The Canton Micropolitan Statistical Area covers all of Fulton County; it is in turn part of the wider Peoria Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area.



Canton is located at 40°33′28″N 90°02′03″W / 40.557737°N 90.034264°W / 40.557737; -90.034264.[2]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.0 square miles (20.7 km²), of which, 7.8 square miles (20.3 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.4 km²) of it (2.00%) is water.


Canton was founded in 1825 by settler Isaac Swan, who mistakenly believed his new town and Canton, China were antipodes.[1] Abundant coal and labor, and the proximity of railroads and the Illinois River made Canton a factory town. The major manufacturing plant in town was P&O (Parlin & Orendorff) Plow Works, later International Harvester, which closed in 1983. In 1997, the 30-acre (120,000 m2) plant was destroyed by an arson fire, leaving the former industrial heart of the city a smoldering ruin, which has since been leveled. The town's employers now include the Illinois state prison named the Illinois River Correctional Center, the city's Graham Hospital, Spoon River College and retail stores.

Founder Isaac Swan, his infant child, and three other people died in a devastating tornado of June 1835.[citation needed] The city was hit by another F-3 tornado on July 23, 1975. Two people were killed and the storm caused major damage to the downtown area

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