Homer, Illinois

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Homer is a village in Champaign County, Illinois, United States. Its population was 1,200 at the 2000 census.

Contents

History

Homer grew from a settlement named Union, which was on the Fort Clark or State Road running between Danville and Urbana, nearly three miles north of the present town. Union was little more than several cabins built in 1829-30, but it served as a post office and meeting place in what was Vermilion County prior to the creation of Champaign County in 1833. Moses Thomas, a native of Pennsylvania, built a mill on the Salt Fork creek southeast of Union in 1834 and began to mill grain. A young merchant traveling from Indiana, Michael Doctor Coffeen, built a store adjacent to the mill, and with Thomas created the village of Homer on January 26, 1837. The post office was moved to Homer with M. D. Coffeen as postmaster in 1841.

Homer grew to 120 people in 1850, and the coming of the Great Western Railroad to the south of the town prompted the village to move to its present location. In February 1855, the town's 32 buildings were dragged 1.5 miles south by 18 teams of oxen. The village became a stop on the railway, later named the Wabash Railroad, becoming the center of agriculture in eastern Champaign County.

In 1905, the town became the location for Homer Park, an amusement park on the Illinois Traction System interurban line. Homer Park, north of the village on the Salt Fork creek, offered swimming, food, baseball, movies and even a small zoo. The park closed in 1937 after flooding and poor management.

Geography

Homer is located at 40°2′6″N 87°57′32″W / 40.035°N 87.95889°W / 40.035; -87.95889 (40.034972, -87.958986)[1].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.0 square miles (2.7 km²), all of it land.

This Homer should not be confused with the former village of Homer, now called Troy Grove nor the Homer Glen area of Will County in Homer Township.

Demographics

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 1,200 people, 489 households, and 339 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,169.3 people per square mile (449.8/km²). There were 511 housing units at an average density of 497.9/sq mi (191.6/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 98.83% White, 0.08% African American, 0.50% Asian, and 0.58% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.25% of the population.

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