Pana, Illinois

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Pana is a city in Christian County, Illinois, United States. The population was 5,614 at the 2000 census.



Pana is located at 39°23′14″N 89°4′52″W / 39.38722°N 89.08111°W / 39.38722; -89.08111 (39.387136, -89.081186).[1]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.7 square miles (6.9 km²), all of it land.


Pana, Illinois, in Christian County, was first known as Stone Coal Precinct when it was founded on June 6, 1845. The name was later changed to Pana Township on September 2, 1856. In 1857, the village of Pana was incorporated. It was at the intersection of east-west and north-south railroads, and had supplies of fuel and water for the steam engines of the railroad.

The name "Pana" is derived from the Native American tribe, the Pawnee. Pawnee became "pani" or "slave" in the French patois or creole that developed in Illinois. This evolved into "Pana"[2].

Pana was the site of the Pana Coal Strike, an attempt to break/avert the coal mine unions around 1900. It pitted city/township versus county law enforcement, which culminated with a declaration of martial law and the control of Pana by the national guard[3].

Pana came to be known as the City of Roses, coined by local newsmen, the Jordan Brothers. Because of a weather and geographical anomaly, Pana has very few hail storms, making it ideal for the greenhouse industry; along with its ample supply of coal. Many major florists and growers set up shop here. At one time, there were 109 greenhouses in Pana.

Kitchell Park, one of the few parks listed in the United States National Register of Historic Places, is located in Pana and was added to the Register in 1992.

Historian James Loewen identified Pana as a "Sundown town" (a town in which African-Americans were not allowed to reside, named for the common rule that they must leave town by sundown) in his book, Sundown Towns.

Notable people

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