Christopher, Illinois
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Christopher, Illinois
Location of Christopher in Franklin County, Illinois.
Location of Christopher in Franklin County, Illinois.
Christopher is located in Illinois
Location of Christopher in Franklin County, Illinois.
Christopher is located in the United States
Christopher (the United States)
Coordinates: 37°58?20?N 89°3?10?W / 37.97222°N 89.05278°W / 37.97222; -89.05278
CountryUnited States
 o MayorGary Bartolotti
 o Total1.59 sq mi (4.11 km2)
 o Land1.58 sq mi (4.10 km2)
 o Water0.01 sq mi (0.02 km2)
 o Total2,382
 o Estimate 
 o Density1,742.10/sq mi (672.53/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 o Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code(s)
Area code(s)618
FIPS code17-14286
Wikimedia CommonsChristopher, Illinois

Christopher is a city in Franklin County, Illinois, United States. The population was 2,382 at the 2010 census.


Christopher is located 20 miles northeast of Carbondale, Illinois at 37°58?20?N 89°3?10?W / 37.97222°N 89.05278°W / 37.97222; -89.05278 (37.972099, -89.052911).[3]

According to the 2010 census, the city has a total area of 1.58 square miles (4.1 km2), of which 1.58 square miles (4.1 km2) (or 100%) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.026 km2) (or 0.63%) is water.[4]


As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 2,836 people, 1,297 households, and 814 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,011.0 people per square mile (776.6/km²). There were 1,436 housing units at an average density of 1,018.3/sq mi (393.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.62% White, 0.11% African American, 0.04% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.11% from other races, and 0.85% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.53% of the population.

There were 1,297 households out of which 25.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.6% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.2% were non-families. 34.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.19 and the average family size was 2.79.

In the city the population was spread out with 21.8% under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 24.2% from 25 to 44, 24.3% from 45 to 64, and 21.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 86.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,045, and the median income for a family was $34,342. Males had a median income of $30,222 versus $18,458 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,141. About 14.3% of families and 19.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.4% of those under age 18 and 9.5% of those age 65 or over.



Coal mining

In 1906, the United Coal Mining Company No. 1 mine opened near Christopher. An explosion at the mine killed eight men on July 27, 1915.[7] The mine was sold to the Old Ben Coal Corporation, and renamed Old Ben Coal Mine No. 1 in 1916. The mine closed in 1929.[8]

On November 29, 1917, an explosion at Old Ben Coal Corporation's Mine No. 11 killed 17 men.[9][10][11]

Mob vigilantism during World War I

On March 22, 1918 five men who were accused of being "pro-German" became victims of a mob numbering more than 300 people. They were:[12]

  • Theodore Kunger, a grocer, had been judged by a local court of being disloyal, and ordered to pay a $100 fine. Having no money, he was put in jail. Later his cell was broken into by a vigilance committee. Kunger was carried by the mob to the city square where he was made to kiss the U.S. flag before he was tarred and feathered. He was then returned to jail.
  • W. R. Jones, Kunger's attorney, was abducted five miles outside Christopher on his way home to Benton, Illinois. He was brought to the square and compelled to kiss the flag and praise president Woodrow Wilson, but was spared tar and feathers. He was told to leave town.
  • Henry Timbrock and Henry Wheeler were also suspected of pro-German sympathies. They too were taken to the square, made to kiss the flag and tarred and feathered.
  • The Polish pastor of the local Catholic church, Rev. John Kovalsky, had been accused of making disloyal remarks. He was taken to the square where he was stripped to the waist and coated with tar and feathers.[13][14]

Notable people


  1. ^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved 2019.
  3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved .
  4. ^ "Places: Illinois". 2010 Census Gazetteer Files. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved .
  5. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  6. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved .
  7. ^ Hinton, Wayne. "Explosion at United Coal Company Mine No. 1". History of Illinois Coal Mine Disasters 1911 to 1920. Retrieved .
  8. ^ Hinton, Wayne (2018). "Old Ben Coal Mine No. 12". Coal Mines of Franklin County, Illinois. Retrieved .
  9. ^ United States Mine Rescue Association. "Old Ben No. 11 Mine Explosion". Mine Disasters in the United States. Retrieved .
  10. ^ Jones, John E. "Explosion in Old Ben Coal Corporation's Mine No. 11". History of Illinois Coal Mine Disasters 1911 to 1920. Retrieved .
  11. ^ Raye, Janet (December 8, 2017). "Hellraisers Journal: Not One Miner Brought Out Alive after Explosion at Old Ben Mine, Christopher, Illinois". We Never Forget. Retrieved .
  12. ^ "Four Disloyalists are Tarred and Feathered," Lebanon Daily Reporter, Mar. 23, 1918.
  13. ^ "Use Tar in Illinois, Too," Kansas City Times, Mar. 23, 1918.
  14. ^ "Tar and Feathers for Four Men," Logansport Pharos Reporter, Mar. 23, 1918.
  15. ^

Coordinates: 37°58?20?N 89°3?10?W / 37.97222°N 89.05278°W / 37.97222; -89.05278

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