Hoopeston, Illinois

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Hoopeston is a city in Grant Township, Vermilion County, Illinois, United States. It is part of the Danville, Illinois, Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 5,965 at the 2000 census.

Contents

History

Hoopeston was laid out in 1871. It was named for Thomas Hoopes, one of the men who offered land for the crossing of two railroads: the Lafayette, Bloomington and Western Railroad and the Chicago, Danville and Vincennes Railroad.[2][3] The two railroads separated the town into four sections. The latter railroad still exists and is now operated jointly by CSX Transportation and Union Pacific Railroad.[4]

In 1890, Greer College was established in Hoopeston, funded by a gift of $40,000 and 500 acres (2.0 km2) of land from John Greer.[3]

Business and manufacturing in Hoopeston have historically been related to agriculture. In 1875, S. S. McCall established the Illinois Canning Company to can locally-grown vegetables; and this was so successful that in 1878 the Hoopeston Canning Company was established, which later became part of Stokely-Van Camp, Inc.[3] In addition, Silgan Can (formerly American Can) had a factory which manufactured the tin cans themselves, and an FMC plant manufactured agricultural machinery.

In honor of its agricultural roots, Hoopeston holds a Sweet Corn Festival each September, starting the Thursday before Labor Day and ending on Labor Day.

In association with the Sweet Corn Festival, the Miss National Sweetheart Pageant is also held during the week. Runners-up from the Miss America state pageants are eligible to compete for the title of Miss National Sweetheart.[citation needed]

It was also the location of one of several prisoner of war camps housing German soldiers during World War II (see German Prisoner of War Camp, Hoopeston, Illinois).

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