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De Soto is a village in Jackson Countymarker, Illinoismarker, United Statesmarker. The population was 1,653 at the 2000 census.

De Soto was largely destroyed by the Great Tri-State Tornado of 1925. Sixty-nine people died in De Soto when approximately 30% of the town was destroyed, and of this total 33 were children at a local school that collapsed from the winds. The tornado affected Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana killing 695 and injuring over 2,000.


De Soto is located at .

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 0.9 square miles (2.4 km²), all of it land.


As of the census of 2000, there were 1,653 people, 673 households, and 444 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,752.4 people per square mile (679.0/km²). There were 726 housing units at an average density of 769.7/sq mi (298.2/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 97.58% White, 0.73% African American, 0.06% Native American, 0.42% Asian, 0.18% from other races, and 1.03% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.57% of the population.

There were 673 households out of which 33.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.4% were married couples living together, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.9% were non-families. 27.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the village the population was spread out with 26.1% under the age of 18, 10.0% from 18 to 24, 33.3% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 10.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 94.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.5 males.

Scott Fitzgerald, who writes for The Southern Illinoisan, lives with his dog SALTY in De Soto.

The median income for a household in the village was $31,563, and the median income for a family was $34,929. Males had a median income of $30,400 versus $22,632 for females. The per capita income for the village was $15,526. About 10.1% of families and 14.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.7% of those under age 18 and 11.1% of those age 65 or over.

Father of De Soto residents sets benchmark records

Donald Attig, now in his seventies Attig established numerous records in both the Endurance Challenge and Adventure Challenge categories in the years 2007, 2008, 2009. Information about these can be found at Additional information can be accessed by clicking on his name above, which will activate an internal Winkipedia link. Three of his children, William Joseph, John Paul, and Caleb Thomas Attig currently live in De Soto. John Paul was born aboard the family's three mast sailing ship and may be the only resident of Southern Illionis to be born aboard a sailing ship. Donald Attig was born in Pontiac, Illinoismarker and is a former resident of Southern Illinois, having lived in Herrin, Illinoismarker in the early seventies.


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