Equality, Illinois

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Equality is a village in Gallatin County, Illinois, United States. The population was 721 at the 2000 census. Near the village are two points of interest, the Crenshaw House and the Garden of the Gods Wilderness.



French settlers extracted salt near Equality as early as 1735, while Native Americans made salt here long before then. In 1803, the American Indians ceded their "Great Salt Springs" to the US government by treaty. The government then leased the springs, requiring the holder to produce a certain quantity of salt each year or pay a penalty. The salt works is referred to as the "United States Saline" in old documents.

Isaac White was in charge of the salt works in 1811. White volunteered for the Indiana militia that year, and was killed at the Battle of Tippecanoe.

Special territorial laws permitted exceptions to anti-slavery treaties at these salines, and slaves were used extensively in manufacturing salt. The census of 1820 for Gallatin County listed 239 slaves or servants.

During the 1820s, Gallatin County included what is now Saline County as its western half. In 1826, the County seat was moved from Old Shawneetown, on the eastern edge of the county, to the new village of Equality, near the center of what was then Gallatin County. Equality remained the county seat until the formation of Saline County in 1847.

In 1838, a local salt maker, John Hart Crenshaw began building his manor house at Hickory Hill.

The Great Salt Springs are located southeast of Equality, on federal land along the south bank of the Saline River, seven-tenths of a mile west of Illinois Route 1 on Salt Well Road. Half Moon Lick, where the saltworks first developed as a large industry, is on private property southwest of Equality.


Equality is located at 37°44′11″N 88°20′40″W / 37.73639°N 88.34444°W / 37.73639; -88.34444 (37.736472, -88.344473).[1]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 0.9 square miles (2.3 km²), all of it land.


As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 721 people, 315 households, and 206 families residing in the village. The population density was 800.3 people per square mile (309.3/km²). There were 333 housing units at an average density of 369.6/sq mi (142.9/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 99.17% White, 0.14% from other races, and 0.69% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.66% of the population.

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