Royalton, Illinois

Coordinates: 37°52′49″N 89°6′49″W / 37.88028°N 89.11361°W / 37.88028; -89.11361
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Royalton, Illinois
Main Street
Main Street
Location of Royalton in Franklin County, Illinois.
Location of Royalton in Franklin County, Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
Location of Illinois in the United States
Coordinates: 37°52′49″N 89°6′49″W / 37.88028°N 89.11361°W / 37.88028; -89.11361
CountryUnited States
TownshipSix Mile
 • Total1.12 sq mi (2.91 km2)
 • Land1.11 sq mi (2.89 km2)
 • Water0.01 sq mi (0.02 km2)
Elevation390 ft (120 m)
 • Total1,068
 • Density957.85/sq mi (369.81/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code(s)
Area code618
FIPS code17-66209
GNIS feature ID417020[2]
Wikimedia CommonsRoyalton, Illinois

Royalton is a village in Franklin County, Illinois, United States. The population was 1,151 at the 2010 census.[3]


According to the original surveys of Illinois, in the early 19th century the Lusk's Ferry Road ran through the middle of what is now Royalton, heading on a diagonal line toward the southeast. The Lusk's Ferry Road was an important early road connecting Fort Kaskaskia with Lusk's Ferry on the Ohio River. No trace of this road remains near Royalton. It is not clear whether the road figured in the early history of the town, or if it was long forgotten before Royalton came into existence.

Royalton was established in 1907.

On October 22, 1914, an explosion in the North Mine of the Franklin Coal & Coke Company killed 51 miners. This was the worst mine disaster to date in the coal fields of southern Illinois.[4]


Royalton is located in southwestern Franklin County at 37°52′49″N 89°6′49″W / 37.88028°N 89.11361°W / 37.88028; -89.11361 (37.880196, -89.113509).[5] Illinois Route 149 passes through the center of town, leading north and east 4.5 miles (7.2 km) to Zeigler and west and south 4.5 miles (7.2 km) to Hurst.

According to the 2010 census, Royalton has a total area of 1.128 square miles (2.92 km2), of which 1.12 square miles (2.90 km2) (or 99.29%) is land and 0.008 square miles (0.02 km2) (or 0.71%) is water.[6]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[7]

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 1,130 people, 516 households, and 314 families residing in the village. The population density was 999.2 inhabitants per square mile (385.8/km2). There were 577 housing units at an average density of 510.2 per square mile (197.0/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 99.65% White, 0.09% Native American, and 0.27% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.27% of the population.

There were 516 households, out of which 26.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.0% were married couples living together, 12.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.1% were non-families. 35.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 19.6% 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 2.81.

In the village, the population was spread out, with 22.7% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 24.2% from 25 to 44, 26.5% from 45 to 64, and 19.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 88.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.6 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $23,947, and the median income for a family was $29,886. Males had a median income of $28,542 versus $21,250 for females. The per capita income for the village was $15,778. About 16.8% of families and 20.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.2% of those under age 18 and 15.4% of those age 65 or over.

Memorial to the former Dowell Russian Orthodox Church, located at the Holy Protection Russian Orthodox church in Royalton

Notable church[edit]

Royalton is home to the only remaining Russian Orthodox church in southern Illinois, The Protection of the Holy Virgin Mary Orthodox Church.[9][10][11] The church was founded by eastern European immigrants, including Rusyns,[12][10][13] many of whom worked in local coal mines [14][15] The three principal founders were Frank Derbak, John August and Paul Andrews. The church opened to parishioners in late 1914.[16] It was built to mimic the construction of St. Ioasaph's in Muddy.[17]

At one time, there was a Russian Orthodox church in nearby Dowell, but it has closed. A memorial to the Dowell church is located in Royalton.[18]

On October 27, 1914 there was an explosion at the Royalton North No. 1 Mine, killing over 100 miners.[19] Many of the miners who were killed in the disaster were members of the church.[20] There is a memorial at the church, and many of the miners were buried in a cemetery dedicated to the disaster.


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 15, 2022.
  2. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Royalton, Illinois
  3. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001), Royalton village, Illinois". American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
  4. ^ "Mine Explosion at Royalton, Ill.", Coal Age, Vol. 6, No. 19 (Nov. 7, 1914); pages 753-757. Includes several good photos.
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  6. ^ "G001 - Geographic Identifiers - 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved December 25, 2015.
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  8. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  9. ^ "Royalton Churches"
  10. ^ a b ""Shadows of the Motherland"". Archived from the original on February 26, 2012. Retrieved August 11, 2010.
  11. ^ Terry Alliband (1980). Expressions: Folkways in Southern Illinois. Southern Illinois University Carbondale. p. 11.
  12. ^ Paul Robert Magocsi (July 30, 2005). Our People: Carpatho-Rusyns and Their Descendants in North America. Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers. p. 18. ISBN 978-0865166110.
  13. ^ >Smith, David (July 1978). The Russians of Buckner (Master of Arts thesis). Southern Illinois University. OCLC 8044617.
  14. ^ Mary Pat Flaherty (April 25, 1976). "Russian Orthodox Easter is Today". Southern Illinoisan. p. 4.
  15. ^ Barb Leebens (December 22, 1974). "Christmas on December 25th?". Southern Illinoisan. p. 2.
  16. ^ "Parish History".
  17. ^ Frances Van Cleve (August 7, 1959). "Russian Orthodox Church Unique In Area". Southern Illinoisan. p. 5.
  18. ^ "The Small Neighbor". Southern Illinoisan. January 11, 1990.
  19. ^ "Franklin Coal and Coke Company Royalton North No. 1 Mine Explosion".
  20. ^ "Royalton Church Observes 101 Years Since Fatal Mine Disaster". Southern Illinoisan.

External links[edit]