A 1950 TIME Magazine article highlighted the sharp population decline in the Union county community of Shannon City. The most recent census numbers revealed a loss of 119 inhabitants from its peak population mark of 288. The owner of the local general store lamented that “none of the kids ever comes back here to live after they’ve gone away to school.” The town newspaper died when the editor died in the 1940s. The foundation from an the old theatre was overgrown with weeds.
Shannon City has continued to decline in population, with a mere 70 residents counted for the 2000 census. The only active building on main street is the part-time post office; a part-time bank up the street closed up years ago, while the only other storefront was without a roof or window and fully overrun by vegetation.