Anna, Illinois
City of Anna
The Anna State Asylum, built in 1869 in the Kirkbride Plan was a rambling four-story structure, part of which was destroyed in separate incidents, but most of which is still standing as the central complex to the C.L. Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center.
Location of Anna in Union County, Illinois
Anna, Illinois
Anna, Illinois
Location of Anna in Union County, Illinois
Coordinates: 37°27′40″N 89°14′20″W / 37.46111°N 89.23889°W / 37.46111; -89.23889Coordinates: 37°27′40″N 89°14′20″W / 37.46111°N 89.23889°W / 37.46111; -89.23889
Country United States of America
State Illinois
County Union
PlattedMarch 3, 1854 (1854-03-03)
IncorporatedFebruary 16, 1865
 • MayorSteve Hartline
 • Total3.57 sq mi (9.25 km2)
 • Land3.55 sq mi (9.20 km2)
 • Water0.02 sq mi (0.05 km2)
610 ft (190 m)
 • Total4,442
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,153.95/sq mi (445.51/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)618
FIPS code17-01543 Edit this at Wikidata

Anna is the largest community and retail trade center in Union County, Illinois, United States. Located in Southern Illinois, its population was 4,442 at the 2010 United States Census, a decline from 5,135 in 2000. It is known for being tied to its close neighbor Jonesboro, together known as Anna-Jonesboro. Anna is known for the Choate Mental Health and Development Center, a state facility that opened in 1869.[3]


Anna was platted on March 3, 1854, after the new Illinois Central Railroad established a station there.[4] It was founded by Winstead Davie and named after Anna Davie, his wife.[5] It was then incorporated on February 16, 1865.[6]

The coming of the railroad can be credited for prompting the founding of the City of Anna, although, from the time of the George Rogers Clark expedition into Southern Illinois country, emigrants recognized its agricultural possibilities.[7] Centrally located in Anna Precinct of Union County, Anna was established by ordinance following the election of Trustees in 1855, although the plot was recorded in the county records on March 3, 1854. The area's elevation and fertile soil have made fruit farming—particularly the growth of grapes for winemaking—one of the area's principal businesses. For the purpose of farming, fruit growing, gardening, and dairying, the lands in and around Anna are not surpassed in Southern Illinois.[8] The precinct in which Anna lies is situated on the divide between the waters of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers and is well drained by the Cache, Cypress, and Big Creeks. Many cool springs of water aid materially in cattle farming in this area.[9]

In 1859, brothers Cornwall and Wallace Kirkpatrick started Anna Pottery in Anna. Their work became well-known and later, collectors' items; one of their most descriptive pieces was a pig from which wine could be consumed. The business ran until 1900, according to an exhibit at the Union County Historical Society Museum in Cobden.[10]

Anna is home to the site of the Union County Fair, which started in 1880 and continues today.[11]

In 1909, town residents reportedly attempted to drive out the black families who lived in Anna, after the lynching of William “Froggie” James in the nearby town of Cairo, Illinois for the rape and murder of Anna resident Anna Pelley.[12][13] Anna was historically a sundown town, in which African Americans were excluded from living in the town's limits. Though the town was named after Anna Davie, the wife of the town's founder, some outsiders believed that the town's name was an acronym for "Ain't No Niggers Allowed". The town has become infamous for it by its portrayal in literature and film. [14] The phrase is still well-known, with few non-white residents owing in part to its historical reputation.[15]

The Stinson Memorial Library is a public library located at 409 South Main Street in Anna, Illinois. The library was designed by Walter Burley Griffin, an understudy to Frank Lloyd Wright, in 1913 and constructed in 1913–14. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 9, 1978.

Lewis Bakeries, the makers of Bunny Bread, was founded in 1925. Lewis started the company with a $300 loan against his mother's house, and by 1987, the company was reportedly earning $80 million in annual sales. Founder Jack Lewis died in September 2001 at the age of 91. Bunny Bread itself was created in 1947, according to the Bunny Bread website.[16][17]

Anna native Clyde L. Choate expressed his concerns about the industry of coal, and was then encouraged by President Harry S. Truman to run for office. He did, and in 1946 won, serving 30 years until he left the state legislature in 1976. He was the Illinois Democratic chairman for the 1972 presidential elections and a decorated soldier from WWII, from which he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.


Anna is located at 37°27′40″N 89°14′20″W / 37.46111°N 89.23889°W / 37.46111; -89.23889.[18]

According to the 2010 census, Anna has a total area of 3.519 square miles (9.11 km2), of which 3.5 sq mi (9.06 km2) (or 99.46%) is land and 0.019 sq mi (0.05 km2) (or 0.54%) is water.[19]


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)4,100[2]−7.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[20]

As of the census[21] of 2010, there were 4,442 people, 1,893 households and 1,097 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,269.1 people per square mile. There were 2,123 housing units at an average density of 606.6 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 95.7% White, 1.1% African American, 0.6% American Indian and Alaskan Native, 0.4% Asian, <0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.2% from other races, and .9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people (of any race) were 2.9% of the population.

There were 1,893 households, out of which 24.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.6% were married couples living together, 14.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.8% had a male householder with no wife present and 42.0% were non-families. 37.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 21.0% 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 2.85.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 22.7% aged 19 and younger, 7.0% from 20 to 24, 22.7% from 25 to 44, 24.5% from 45 to 64, and 23.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42.8 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $39,602, the median income for a family was $44,420. The incomes of 20.2% of the population were below the poverty level.[22]


Public schools in Anna include Anna Jr High School Davie School and the Lincoln School, both part of Anna District #37,[23] and the Anna-Jonesboro Community High School District #81.[24]

Notable people


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  3. ^ "Choate Developmental Center Profile". Illinois Department of Human Services. Retrieved 2019-10-10.
  4. ^ Lam, Howard (1954). 100 Years of Progress: The Centennial History of Anna, Illinois. Anna, Ill: Anna Centennial Committee. OCLC 9349651.
  5. ^ Illinois Central Magazine. Illinois Central Railroad Company. 1922. p. 42.
  6. ^ "Name Index to Illinois Local Governments Illinois State Archives Prepared by the Illinois Regional Archives Depository System". Office of the Illinois Secretary of State.
  7. ^ Lam, Howard (1954). 100 Years of Progress: The Centennial History of Anna, Illinois. Anna, Ill: Anna Centennial Committee. OCLC 9349651.
  8. ^ Lam, Howard (1954). 100 Years of Progress: The Centennial History of Anna, Illinois. Anna, Ill: Anna Centennial Committee. OCLC 9349651.
  9. ^ Lam, Howard (1954). 100 Years of Progress: The Centennial History of Anna, Illinois. Anna, Ill: Anna Centennial Committee. OCLC 9349651.
  10. ^ "The Kirkpatrick Pottery". The Waterman and Hill-Traveller's Companion, a Natural Events Almanac. 2005.
  11. ^ "Enjoy Illinois". 2020 Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity.
  12. ^ Wexler, Laura. "Darkness on the Edge of Town". Washington Post. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  13. ^ Brown, edited by Nikki L.M.; Stentiford, Barry M. (2008). The Jim Crow Encyclopedia (1st ed.). Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 345. ISBN 9780313341816. Retrieved 9 April 2016.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  14. ^ James W. Loewen. "Sundown Towns". Archived from the original on 9 August 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  15. ^ Jaffe, Logan (2019-11-07). "The Legend of A-N-N-A: Revisiting an American Town Where Black People Weren't Welcome After Dark". ProPublica. Retrieved 2019-11-10.
  16. ^ "Story Of Bunny Bread Shared In Article Which Originally Appeared In 1952 Paper". The Gazette-Democrat.
  17. ^ "Welcome to Bunny Bread". Lewis Bakeries, Inc.
  18. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: City of Anna
  19. ^ "G001 - Geographic Identifiers - 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 13 February 2020. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  20. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  21. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 3, 2015.
  22. ^ "United States Census Bureau". 2009–2013. Retrieved 2015-10-03.
  23. ^ "Anna District 37". Archived from the original on 2018-04-24. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  24. ^ "Anna Jonesboro Community High School". Retrieved 2018-04-23.