Waynesville, Illinois

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Waynesville is a village in DeWitt County, Illinois, United States. The population was 452 at the 2000 census.



Waynesville is one of the oldest settlements in central Illinois. The area was first settled around 1825, by Prettyman Marvel and his wife, Rebecca (Barr) Marvel. They cleared an area of land near the present location of the village and were followed shortly thereafter by several other settlers. As a result, a small settlement sprung up about a mile south of Kickapoo Creek.

In 1832, the first plats for the village were filed, and the name "Waynesville" (after the hero of the Revolutionary War, General Anthony Wayne) was selected. Town lots were auctioned off, and the sale announced in newspapers. However, economic circumstances meant that few lots were ever built upon. Within two or three decades, the village had reached a population of about 500, a figure where it would remain almost until the present.

Sadly, Waynesville, although one of the first villages in the area, never became a prominent one. When the new county of Dewitt was established in 1839, Waynesville found itself at the far northwest corner, and thus out of the running for county seat. As well, influential politicians in Bloomington and Clinton managed to have the Illinois Central Railroad routed through those cities and bypassing Waynesville. Finally, when the system of state highways was laid out, the village was once again bypassed.

Today, Waynesville is a slowly-shrinking settlement, as younger people move away and older people die off. It no longer has a school of its own, in fact. Many of the buildings in its "uptown" business district have succumbed to the ravages of time.


Waynesville is located at 40°14′30″N 89°7′30″W / 40.24167°N 89.125°W / 40.24167; -89.125 (40.241666, -89.125081)[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.


As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 452 people, 185 households, and 133 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,404.0 people per square mile (545.4/km²). There were 203 housing units at an average density of 630.6/sq mi (244.9/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 98.67% White, 0.66% African American, and 0.66% from two or more races.

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