Arcola, IL


Arcola is a city located in Douglas County, Illinois. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 2,652. The city was founded in 1855, when the Illinois Central Railroad was built through the county. The railroad itself was responsible for surveying, platting, and founding the town.

Arcola is somewhat famous for the Lawn Rangers, a "precision lawn mower drill team" that marches in formation with brooms and lawn mowers while wearing cowboy hats. Every year since 1980 the Lawn Rangers have marched in the Arcola Broomcorn Festival Parade. The event, held every year the weekend after Labor Day, honors Arcola's position in the late nineteenth century as a center of broom corn production. This unique custom was publicized by humor columnist Dave Barry, who marched with the Lawn Rangers in 1995 and has written columns about them.

In the countryside near Arcola is a prominent community of Old Order Amish, the largest in Illinois.


Arcola is located at 39°41'1" North, 88°18'21" West (39.683545, -88.305844). Interstate 57 runs through the town.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.6 km2 (1.4 mi2). 3.5 km2 (1.4 mi2) of it is land and 0.1 km2 (0.04 mi2) of it is water. The total area is 1.44% water.


As of the census of 2000, there were 2,652 people, 1,031 households, and 748 families residing in the city. The population density was 747.4/km2 (1,938.9/mi2). There were 1,080 housing units at an average density of 304.4/km2 (789.6/mi2). The racial makeup of the city was 89.40% White, 0.26% African American, 0.11% Native American, 0.79% Asian, 0.00% Pacific Islander, 8.03% from other races, and 1.40% from two or more races. 19.87% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 1,031 households out of which 33.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.7% were married couples living together, 8.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.4% were non-families. 24.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.7% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 22.6% from 45 to 64, and 15.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 93.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $38,125, and the median income for a family was $46,107. Males had a median income of $30,168 versus $22,723 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,664. 3.7% of the population and 2.0% of families were below the poverty line. 3.1% of those under the age of 18 and 2.9% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

Notable residents

  • Johnny Gruelle (1880-1938), creator of the Raggedy Ann doll.