Mineral, Illinois

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Mineral is a village in Bureau County, Illinois, United States. The population was 428 at the 2010 census. It is part of the OttawaStreator Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

Geography

Mineral is located at 41°22′55″N 89°50′12″W / 41.38194°N 89.83667°W / 41.38194; -89.83667 (41.381921, -89.836576)[1].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 0.3 square miles (0.8 km²), all of it land.

History

The area in which Mineral is located was first settled in the early 1830s. The land just south of the current village was found to be ripe with coal. Several mines were open until ultimately strip mining became a prominent way to retrieve coal from the ground.

The population of the township of Mineral (so named because of its rich coal supply) became populated to the point of where it was officially organized in 1850. As the train tracks were laid north of the coal mining area, so brought the formation of the town of Mineral. The town of Mineral was platted in 1857 and soon developed several small stores and a population of 300 to 350 residents.

A school was erected in 1870 with the town's first graduating high school class being the class of 1894 with three students earning their diplomas. The year 1907 brought the completion of the Hennepin Canal to the north of Mineral. Unfortunately the canal's practical use was outdated by its completion due to the vast developments in the train industry. The Hennepin Canal continues to function as a great fishing and boating area.

In 1919 the Mineral School building was destroyed by fire. The school district was organized and determined to rebuild. In 1922 a new two-story brick school building was built on the northwest side of town. This school was built to handle grades 1 - 12 and included a gymnasium complete with a stage and balcony area. During this time Mineral continued to grow at a steady pace. Though the town's population is said to have never exceeded 350 people, the town was able to support several small businesses allowing the residents to have all they needed within walking distance of their homes. The creation of U.S. Route 6 which passed through Mineral was also a great asset to the town, bringing in visitors from all over the country.

Mineral enjoyed great successes through the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, continuting to support its own school system and several small businesses including, at one time, three gas stations, three restaurant/taverns, an upholstery store, a motel, two grain elevators, two churches, a lumber yard, two grocery stores, a bank, a volunteer fire department, a library, a barbershop, a beauty shop, an ice cream parlor. and of course, its beloved Mineral High School.

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