Coal Mining in Illinois

South Wilmington

South Wilmington Home 100 Years of History Miners, Mining & Social Life Mines Photos Short History


The sinking of the Chicago, Wilmington and Vermilion Coal Company's Mine No. 1, on December 10, 1898 was the beginning of the village of South Wilmington, Illinois. The site of the new town was eighty acres of land purchased from Mr. McConnell, a local farmer. On August 23, 1899, South Wilmington was incorporated as a village. The first school began that same year and classes were held in an old store building. The following year two new school houses were built. According to census reports, the population of the town was 711 in 1900 and grew to a high of 2403 in 1910. The town was very prosperous during the shaft coal mining boom from 1900 until the mid 1920's when the mines closed. This forced many miners and their families to move to other coal mining towns and resulted in businesses closing and the decline of the towns population.