Eldorado, IL


Eldorado is a city located in Saline County, Illinois. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 4,534. Although the city's name appears to be derived from Spanish, it is pronounced IPA /ɛldəˈɾeɪɾoʊ/ (listen).


Eldorado is located at 37°48'51" North, 88°26'27" West (37.814212, -88.440937).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.1 km2 (2.3 mi2). 6.0 km2 (2.3 mi2) of it is land and 0.1 km2 (0.04 mi2) of it is water. The total area is 1.28% water.


Long before the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, George Harrison performed at the Veterans of Foreign Wars hall in Eldorado. This was the first performance by a Beatle in the United States. This was in 1963, when Harrison was visiting his sister, Louise, who lived in nearby Benton, Illinois.

Eldorado is home to one of the smallest daily newspapers in the US, The Eldorado Daily Journal (circulation 1,200), which is a sister publication to the Harrisburg Daily Register.

In 1925, Dr. J.V. Ferrell founded Ferrell Hospital, which exists today as a 52-bed facility operated by Southern Illinois Healthcare.

In 1984, a respected local physician, Dr. John Dale Cavaness, was charged with the murder of his son. The case was chronicled in the book by Darcy O'Brien, "Murder in Little Egypt".


As of the census of 2000, there were 4,534 people, 1,945 households, and 1,182 families residing in the city. The population density was 761.1/km2 (1,967.8/mi2). There were 2,236 housing units at an average density of 375.4/km2 (970.5/mi2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.26% White, 0.35% African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.02% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.22% from other races, and 0.90% from two or more races. 1.19% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 1,945 households out of which 27.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.8% were married couples living together, 11.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.2% were non-families. 35.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 20.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.86.

In the city the population was spread out with 22.2% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 23.5% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 24.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 84.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $22,500, and the median income for a family was $30,861. Males had a median income of $27,721 versus $14,514 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,980. 23.1% of the population and 16.4% of families were below the poverty line. 32.1% of those under the age of 18 and 19.1% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.