Bone Gap, Illinois

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Bone Gap is a village in Edwards County, Illinois, United States. The population was 272 at the 2000 census.



Bone Gap is located at 38°26′49″N 87°59′47″W / 38.44694°N 87.99639°W / 38.44694; -87.99639 (38.447053, -87.996288).[1]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 0.6 square miles (1.6 km²), all of it land.


French trappers knew this area before it was permanently settled. The French referred to this place as "Bon Pas," which translates literally to "good step," Kentuckians modified the name to "Bone Pass," as though it were a "pass" through a mountain range. This was then changed to "Bone Gap," as in the Cumberland Gap.

An alternative story about the origin of Bone Gap's name involves a small band of Piankashaw Indians who established a village in a gap in the trees a short distance east of present day Bone Gap. Several years later early American settlers found a pile of bones discarded by the Indians near their encampment-hence the name Bone Gap as given to the white man's village established about the 1830s.

Early settlers in the area included the five Rude brothers who came from West Virginia in 1830. other families included the Morgans, Knowltons, Philips, Gibsons, and Rices. In 1835-36 Ebenezer and Elizabeth Gould came west with their twin sons, Philander and Ansel. Due to several members of the farming community coming from Northeastern states, they were referred to as "Yankees," and the community was referred to as "Yankeetown."

Old Bone Gap, as it was usually called, was situated a little more than one-fourth mile east of the present village limits. It was never incorporated as a village and consisted of a store and post office, the office of Dr. Fildes, a blacksmith shop, a Baptist church, a Methodist parsonage, and a few log dwellings.

On March 9, 1892 a petition was circulated for an election to incorporate as a village. On March 29 of that year thirty-eight votes were cast for incorporation and seven against.


As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 272 people, 99 households, and 80 families residing in the village. The population density was 450.5 people per square mile (175.0/km²). There were 110 housing units at an average density of 182.2/sq mi (70.8/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 99.26% White, 0.37% Native American and 0.37% Asian.

There were 99 households out of which 38.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 67.7% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 18.2% were non-families. 18.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.75 and the average family size was 3.07.

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