Oblong, Illinois

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Oblong is a village in Crawford County, Illinois, United States. The population was 1,580 at the 2000 census. One of its claims to fame is being the only town with its name in the world; proclaiming this to the world with its town sign, "The Only Oblong Welcomes You." Another is that it is the home of the Illinois Oil Field Museum and Resource Center at Oblong, Illinois, a collection of early oilfield artifacts from the early days of the industry in the Illinois Basin and a resource center featuring a collection of early oil field records and resource books.

Oblong also boasts the largest nighttime marching band parade competition in the state of Illinois. The annual parade caps off the Oblong "Fall Follies" fall festival and the event is attended each year by large crowds of people from all around the surrounding areas.

Oblong was originally a crossroads, notable only for its general store, owned by Henry Peck. The store featured a prominent sign, "Hen. Peck" and people of the area referred to the crossroads as "Henpeck." When the village decided to incorporate, it was decided that Henpeck would be a terrible name for their fair village. While surveying the area in conjunction with the incorporation, a rectangular prairie was identified on the outskirts of the community - and thus, Oblong was born.

Another claim to fame is that of a prominent headline in the Chicago Tribune - "Oblong Man Marries Normal Woman" - referring to the matrimony of a man from Oblong, Illinois and woman from Normal, Illinois.

Oblong has one public four year high school and one public grade school (K-8th). In athletics, Oblong High School's teams are nicknamed the "Panthers" for boys and "Lady Panthers" for the girls. Oblong Grade School touts "Tigers" as the nickname for its athletic teams. The Oblong high school football team remains one of the few teams in the state of Illinois to have never made the playoffs. They had one of their worst teams in years in 2009 season when they went 0-9 and only averaged 9 points per game.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.0 square miles (2.5 km²), of which, 0.9 square miles (2.5 km²) of it is land and 1.04% is water.



Oblong was incorporated in 1883.[1]


As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 1,580 people, 681 households, and 439 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,662.8 people per square mile (642.1/km²). There were 761 housing units at an average density of 800.9/sq mi (309.3/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 98.92% White, 0.19% African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.13% Asian, and 0.51% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.57% of the population. Oblong is mentioned by James Loewen[3] as a sundown town.

There were 681 households out of which 27.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.9% were married couples living together, 12.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.4% were non-families. 32.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.81.

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