Knox College Struggle and Progress-African Americans in Knox County, Illinois (Knox College)
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Report on demographics
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TitleReport on demographics
DescriptionA report by Professor of Sociology J. Howell Atwood on an investigation into the demographic characteristics of the African American community in Galesburg, Illinois in 1936. The report provides details about population and housing, employment and church affiliation of African Americans in Galesburg. Atwood conducted extensive research from 1930-1960 about the Galesburg African American community.
SubjectDemography
Employment
Religion
Churches
AuthorAtwood, Jesse Howell;
Time Period1930s
Date Created (original)1936
TypeText
Formatpdf
IdentifierJ. Howell Atwood Manuscript Collection (box 9)
Languageeng
RightsSee http://library.knox.edu/digitalcollections/rightsinfo.htm
CollectionStruggle and Progress-African Americans in Knox County, Illinois (Knox College)
Date Digital2012-07-31
TranscriptIn the summer and fall of 1936 a survey was made of the colored
families living in Galesburg. From the information thus obtained
data were compiled concerning their births, ages, church affiliat-
ions, the number of wage earners in one dwelling, the number of
generations residing in a single house, and the number of years
they had lived as galesburg residents.

This survey revealed that over 41% of the negro people living
in Galesburg were born in this city. 114 Negroes or 19.04% of
them moved here from other cities in Illinois; 13.3% came
from Missouri, and 11.1% came from Kentucky. Other states from
which are Galesburg negroes have come are New york, Connecticut,
Arkansas, Virginia, Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, , Tennessee, Louisiana,
Mississippi, Texas, Kansas, Alabama, Oklahoma, Colorado and
Washington. Three negroes claimed to have come from India.

The majority of the colored folk have lived in Galesburg for
some time. Data concerning birth and residency were obtained from
724 people. Of this number 251 were born in Galesburg. 20.7% have
lived here from 10-15 years while only 3.8% have lived here for
one year or less.

Data concerning the age of individuals were obtained from
867 people. It was found that there are not very many negro
children in Galesburg. The majority of colored folk are middle
aged or older. 14.5% were between the ages of 35 and 45. Ten
and 3 hundreths % were between 65 and 75 years old.

In most dwellings there is only one generation; but in
almost 2/5 (37.01%) of the units there are 2 generations. 25
(7.4%) were recorded where there were 3 generations living in 1
house. 36.5% of those who answered questions concerning the number
of people living in one house reported that there were 2 people
living in the house. Not many cases were found where there were


p. 2

more than 4 people living in the house.

Data concerning the number of adults in one household were
obtained from 669 adults. In the majority of cases there are only
2 adults in a household or family. A little more than 1/4 of the
cases reported 1 adult as head of the family. The negroes
apparently do not have very many children. In more than 3/5 of the
cases there were found to be only one or two children in the
family. Few families reported more than 3 children.

More than 1/2 of the colored folk attend the Second Baptist
or the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Other religious
affiliations found among the colored people were; Christian Science,
Pentecostal Mission, Church of God in Christ, Mt. Zion Israel of
God, Roman Catholic and Mohammedan. These colored people who
attend Church attend quite regularly and a large share of them are
member of churches. 62.2% of those from whom data were obtained
concerning church attendance showed that everyone in the household
attended. Many times it was found that all the individuals of
one family did not attend one church but several. 15.5% of the cases
showed that all the members of the family attended a church but
some members of the family attended one church while the others
attended another.

Out of the 316 from whom data were obtained concerning owner-
ship of automobiles, 32.2% claimed ownership to a car while 64.2%
possessed neither car or truck.

From this survey it was found that 6 people were receiving
pensions.

Most of the adult negroes were employed, but some of their
jobs were part time employment and paid very little. 89.1% of the
331 household surveyed reported that 1 or more were working. The
husband or father was the most common wage earner. More than


p. 3

1/2 of those employed are either husband or father while practically
1/3 of those employed were wives or mothers. In more than 3/5 of
the households studies there was found only 1 wage earner; and in
almost 1/5 (18.4%) of the cases there were found 2 wage earners.

Twenty six of the colored folk were found unable to work.
11 were not able to work because of illness. Other reasons for
being unable to work were, injuries, age, blindness, retired,
cripple, and mentally deficient. Several of the colored folk
have been employed at one place for a considerable length of
time. Information was obtained from 20 people. Six of these
20 have worked at the same plant for 10-20 years. 3 have worked
under the same employer for 40-50 years. The larger number of
colored people are employed as domestic servants. Other occup-
ations frequently found among the Galesburg colored people are
W.P.A. jobs, caretakers, or Janitors, railroad employment,
American Steel Foundry Co., common laborers, and musicians and
entertainers. There were also found 3 colored teachers, 2 under-
takers, 3 ministers and a doctor.


p. 4

Place of birth or state last lived in:

Born here 225 41.21%
Born in or from Illinois 114 19.04
" " " " Missouri 73 13.3
" " " " Kentucky 61 11.1
" " " " Iowa 16 2.9
" " " " Oklahoma 6 1.09
" " " " Tennessee 5.9
" " " " India 3.5
" " " " Kansas 1.1
" " " " Arkansas 5.9
" " " " Michigan 2.3
" " " " Virginia 11 2.01
" " " " Mississippi 4.7
" " " " Texas 2.3
" " " " Alabama 1.1
" " " " Ohio 2.3
" " " " New York 1.1
" " " " Louisiana 5.9
" " " " Colorado 1.1
" " " " Washington 1.1
" " " " Connecticut 2.3
" " " " South 5.9


p. 5

Occupancy in Galesburg:

Live here Born here Total Total Percent
1 year or less 27 1 28 3.8%
1---- 4 years 40 17 57 7.8
5---- 9 " 72 30 102 14.08
10-- 14 " 132 18 150 20.7
15-- 19 " 69 16 85 11.7
20-- 24 " 37 24 61 8.4
25-- 29 " 28 31 59 8.1
30-- 34 " 24 27 51 7.4
35-- 44 " 24 25 49 6.7
45-- 54 " 17 27 44 6.07
55-- 64 " 2 25 27 3.7
65-- 75 " 1 10 11 1.5
------ ------ ------
473 251 724

--------------------------------------------------------------

Age
1 year or under 4.4%
1---- 4 years 43 4.8
5---- 9 " 63 7.2
10--- 14 " 42 4.8
15--- 19 " 56 6.4
20--- 24 " 73 8.4
25--- 29 " 68 7.8
30--- 34 " 70 8.07
35--- 44 " 126 14.5
45--- 54 " 112 12.9
55--- 64 " 123 14.1
65--- 75 " 87 10.03
---
867

p.6

Generations in one house:
I 186 55.5%
II 124 37.01
III 25 7.4
---
335
-------------------------------------------------

Total Number of people in one house:

I 70 22.2%
II 115 36.5
III 48 15.2
IV 35 11.1
V 20 6.3
VI 9 2.8
VII 10 3.1
VIII 3.9
IX 1.3
X 1.3
XI 2.6
XIV 1.3
---
315
------------------------------------------------


Number of adults in one household

I 80 25.2 80
II 163 51.4 326
III 52 16.4 156
IV 11 3.4 44
V 7 2.2 35
VI 2.6 12
VIII 2.6 16
--- ---
317 669


p. 7

Number of children in one house:

I 38 34.5%
II 38 34.5
III 18 16.3
IV 6 5.5
V 4 3.6
VI 4 3.6
VIII 1.9
IX 1.9
---
110

------------------------------------------

Church Affiliations:
Christian Science 1.4%
Second Baptist 59 29.06
African Methodist Episcopal 110 54.1
Pentecostal 5 2.3
Mt. Zion Israel of God 10 4.9
Church of God in Christ 9 4.3
Roman Catholic 4 1.9
Mohammedan 1.4


p. 8

Number in house going to church:regularly:

I 17 12.5%
II 2 1.4
V 1.7
All 84 62.2
All -- but to different churches 21 15.5
---
135

-------------------------------------------------------

Car

Yes 102 32.2%
Truck 8 2.5
Truck and car 3.9
No. 203 64.2
---
316

-------------------------------------------------------

Pensions.

World War 2 33.3%
American Veteran 1 16.6
Spanish Am. War 1 16.6
Pension from India 1 16.6
Pension 1 16.6
---
6

-------------------------------------------------------

Work.

Yes 295 89.1%
No 32 9.6
Unrecorded 4 1.2
---
331

------------------------------------------------------

Persons Working.

Husband 193 51.3%
Wife (or mother) 110 29.2


p.9

(cont'd-Wife or mother)

Son or Son in law 41 10.9%
Roomer 8 2.1
Daughter or Daughter in Law 21 5.6
Brother 2 5.3
Sister 1.2
---
376

----------------------------------------------------

Wage Earners.

I 201 60.7%
II 61 18.4
III 15 4.5
IV 2.6
Unrecorded 52 15.7
---
331

----------------------------------------------------

Reasons for Not Working.

Illness 11 34.3%
Injury 2 6.2
Age 4 12.5
Blindness 3 9.3
Cripple 4 12.5
Mental deficient 1 3.1
Retired 1 3.1
---
26

----------------------------------------------------

Length of Employment.

Under 1 year 2 10%
1---4 years 4 20
5-- 9 " 2 10
10- 29 " 6 30
30- 39 " 2 10


p. 10

40-50 years 3 15%
50-60 " 1 5
---
20

----------------------------------------------------

Kinds of Work.

Scavenger 1.2%
Charge of City Dump 1.2
Teacher 3.7
U.S. Mail 1.2
Phone Company 1.2
Policy Wheel 1.2
Dressmaker 3.7
Domestic Servants 92 23.1
Undertaker 2.5
Rooming House 6 1.5
Housecleaning 12 3.01
W.P.A. 64 16
Care taker or janitor 30 7.5
Chauffeur-mechanic-or garage man 8 2.01
Police 2.5
Laborer 14 3.5
Junk Dealer 2.5
Clerk 5 1.2
C. B. & Q R. R. 24 6.03
Trucker 10 2.5
Gas 2.5
American Steel Co. 28 7.02
Barber 7 1.7


p. 11

Stand proprietor 5 1.2%
Odd Jobs 4 1
Shoe Shiner 8 2.01
C.C.C. 6 1.5
Red Caps 4 1
Minister 3.7
Register Mail 2.5
Elevator Operator 1.2
Housekeeper 4 1
Cook 4 1
Musician or Entertainer 13 3.2
Agent 5 1.2
Carpenter 1.2
Light Co. 2.5
Purington Brick Paving Co. 1.2
Butcher and Housewrecker 1.2
Take in Waahinga 8 2.01
Doctor 1.2
Life Guard 1.2
Political job or influence 5 1.2
---
398









Physical Description11 typed 8.5 x 11 in. sheets
FilenameReport_on_demographics.pdf
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