Nason, Illinois

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Nason is a city in Jefferson County, Illinois, United States. The population was 234 people as of the 2000 census. It is part of the Mount Vernon Micropolitan Statistical Area.



Nason is located at 38°10′38″N 88°58′2″W / 38.17722°N 88.96722°W / 38.17722; -88.96722 (38.177195, -88.967304).[1]

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


Nason was built from the ground up in 1923 as a model city centered around the largest coal mine in the nation. Nason is located 11 miles southwest of Mt. Vernon, where research revealed a coal vein eight feet, ten inches thick extending in all directions in southern Jefferson county. The Nason Coal Company owned 30,000 acres (121 km²) and company president A. J. Nason got the idea to construct an industrial city in that area. Nason opened June 9, 1923 when real estate was put on the selling block.

City planners assumed Nason's population would exceed 5,000 people. Wide streets were constructed for automobiles. The mine was built to handle 10,000 tons of coal per day, and the railroad depot was located at the west edge of the town. A railroad connected Nason and Mt. Vernon in 1924. Land was reserved for two parks. Nason thrived and in 1923, the Mt. Vernon Register-News called it "The Wonder City". The newspaper also said that the growth of the town has been so rapid that it's beyond belief - "ALL ROADS LEAD TO NASON".

Nason peaked and then declined when the mine closed October 19, 1951. By 1965, the town was a virtual ghost town.

Rumors of the city's demise were, however, somewhat exaggerated. With the construction of Rend Lake, the town is now located on a peninsula between the main arms of the Lake, affording excellent recreational opportunities.

Nason remains incorporated as a city.


As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 234 people, 101 households, and 64 families residing in the city. The population density was 259.0 people per square mile (100.4/km²). There were 121 housing units at an average density of 133.9/sq mi (51.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 99.15% White, 0.0% African American, 0.0% Native American, 0.0% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.85% from other races, and 0.0% from two or more races. None of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

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