Olney (Illinois)

Richland County


Olney is a city and county seat of Richland County to the east of the U.S. state of Illinois. At the time of the census in 2000 the population was 8,631.

White Squirrel

Olney is known for its white squirrels. In 1902, chased and shot William Stroup, a gray female squirrels. The shot struck two young from a nest, which he brought home to his children. The animals were later sold to Jasper Banks, which she exhibited in his restaurant. 1910 enacted the legislative office of Illinois a law that prohibits the keeping of squirrels, so they were brought back into the woods.

1925, the city passed a law for the leash of dogs. 1943 reached the squirrel population at its maximum of 1000; today it keeps unchangeable by 200 individuals. The City Council adopted in 1997 a law which makes a leash for both dogs and cats for binding to obtain the specific breed of squirrels.

White squirrels have " right of way" in all the streets in Olney. Driving over one of these copies shall be punishable by $ 200 fine. The police in Olney has made the white squirrels to their logo and it is found on all police vehicles. The white squirrel has proved Olney's trademark and the inhabitants of the village are still very proud of it.


Data obtained from the census in 2000 8.631 inhabitants of Olney lived in 3,755 households; among them were 2,301 families. The population density was 579 per km ². In place 4,283 residential units were recorded. Among the population was 97.67 % White, 0.48 % African American, 0.16 % Native American, 0.64 % Asian, and 0.35 % from other ethnic groups; 0.70 % reported belonging to several ethnic groups.

Among the 3,755 households 28.2% had children under the age of 18; 33.7 % were single-person households. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size 2.89.

The population was spread out with 23.8 % under the age of 18, 9.1 % from 18 to 24, 25.6% 25-44 years, 21.0% from 45 to 64 years and 20.5 % of 65 years or older. The median age was 39 years.

The median household income was $ 28,084, the median family income $ 37,365. The per capita income was $ 16,218 in Olney. Under the poverty line lived 17.0 % of the population.