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Batavia, Illinois

Batavia, Illinois
Motto: "Where Tradition and Vision Meet"[1]
Nickname: The Windmill City, City of Energy[2]
Country United States
State Illinois
Counties Kane, DuPage
Townships Batavia (Kane), Winfield (DuPage)
Elevation 666 ft (203 m)
Area 9.70 sq mi (25 km2)
 - land 9.64 sq mi (25 km2)
 - water 0.07 sq mi (0 km2)
Population 26,318 (2012 estimate)
Density 2,638.4 / sq mi (1,019 / km2)
Settled 1833
Incorporated July 27, 1872
Government Council-manager
Mayor Jeff Schielke
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Postal code 60510 and 60539
Area codes 630 and 331
Location in Kane County and the state of Illinois.
Wikimedia Commons:
Statistics: [3]
Website: City of Batavia, Illinois
Batavians and Oksana Maria Lorzak in August 2008.

Batavia is a suburb of Chicago. It was founded in 1833, and is the oldest city in Kane County, Illinois. A small portion of Batavia lies in DuPage County.[4] During the latter part of the 19th century, Batavia, home to six American-style windmill manufacturing companies, became known as "The Windmill City."[4] Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, a federal government-sponsored high-energy physics laboratory, where both the bottom quark and the top quark were first detected, is located in the city.

Batavia is part of a vernacular region known as the Tri-City area, along with St. Charles and Geneva, all western suburbs of similar size and relative socioeconomic condition. A "vernacular region" is a distinctive area where the inhabitants collectively consider themselves interconnected by a shared history, mutual interests, and a common identity. Such regions are "intellectual inventions" and a form of shorthand to identify things, people, and places. Vernacular regions reflect a "sense of place," but rarely coincide with established jurisdictional borders.[5]

As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 26,045, which was estimated to have increased to 26,318 by July 2012.[6]


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Major Streets 2.1
  • Demographics 3
  • Economy 4
    • Top employers 4.1
  • Accolades 5
  • Schools 6
  • Library 7
  • Transportation 8
  • Notable people 9
  • See also 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12


Batavia was first settled in 1833 by Christopher Payne and his family. Originally called Big Woods for the wild growth throughout the settlement, the town was renamed by local judge and former Congressman Isaac Wilson in 1840 after his former home of Batavia, New York.[7][8] Because Judge Wilson owned the majority of the town, he was given permission to rename the city.

The settlement of Batavia was delayed one year by the Black Hawk War, in which Abraham Lincoln was a citizen soldier, and Zachary Taylor and Jefferson Davis were Army officers.[9] Although there is no direct evidence that Lincoln, Taylor, or Davis actually visited the future site of Batavia, there are writings by Lincoln that refer to "Head of the Big Woods," which was the original name of Batavia given by its first settler, Christopher Payne. The city was incorporated on July 27, 1872.[10]

After the death of her husband, Mary Todd Lincoln was an involuntary resident of the Batavia Institute on May 20,1875.[11] Mrs. Lincoln was released four months later on September 11, 1875. [12] In the late 19th century, Batavia was a major manufacturer of the Conestoga wagons used in the country's westward expansion.[13] Into the early 20th century, most of the windmill operated waterpumps in use throughout America's farms were made at one of the three windmill manufacturing companies in Batavia.[14][15] Many of the original limestone buildings that were part of these factories are still in use today as government and commercial offices and storefronts. The Aurora Elgin and Chicago Railway constructed a power plant in southern Batavia and added a branch to the city in 1902. The Campana Factory was built in 1936 to manufacture cosmetics for The Campana Company, most notably Italian Balm, the nation's best-selling hand lotion at the time.


Batavia is located at (41.8488583, -88.3084400).[3]

According to the 2010 census, the city has a total area of 9.70 square miles (25.1 km2), of which 9.64 square miles (25.0 km2) (or 99.38%) is land and 0.07 square miles (0.18 km2) (or 0.72%) is water.[16]

Major Streets


As of the 2000 U.S. census, there were 23,866 people, 8,494 households, and 6,268 families residing in the city.[19] The population density was 2,638.4 people per square mile (1,018.2/km²). There were 8,806 housing units at an average density of 973.5 per square mile (375.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.21% White, 2.42% Black or African American, 0.11% Native American, 1.35% Asian, none Pacific Islander, 1.53% from other races, and 1.39% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.27% of the population.

There were 8,494 households out of which 41.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.0% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.2% were non-families. 22.5% 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 2.75 and the average family size was 3.27.

In the city, the population was spread out with 31.3% under the age of 18, 6.0% from 18 to 24, 30.6% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 9.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 94.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.4 males.

Males had a median income of $55,913 versus $35,083 for females. The per capita income for the city was $38,576. About 2.5% of families and 3.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.1% of those under age 18 and 5.6% of those age 65 or over.

According to the 2008 U.S. Census Bureau estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $90,680, the median income for a family was $103,445, and the median home value was $329,800.[20]


Aldi, Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Aldi, has its headquarters in Batavia.[21]

Fermilab is located just outside the town borders and serves as employment for many of the town's residents.

Top employers

According to the City's 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[22] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of employees
1 Fermilab 2,000
2 Suncast 450
3 AGCO 425
4 Eagle Concrete 300
5 Power Packaging 250
6 Sealy 250
7 VWR International 225
8 Aldi 200
9 Waste Management 200
10 DuKane Contract Services 160


Batavia is an award winning community.

  • In 2007, BusinessWeek ranked Batavia #21 on a national list of the 50 best places in America to raise kids.[23]
  • In 2009, Batavia was ranked #56 on CNN Money's Best Small Towns in the nation.
  • In 2011, Batavia was voted by RelocateAmerica as one of the Top 100 Places to Live in America.[24]
  • In 2013, Batavia won the Best Street Award from the Illinois Chapter of the Congress of New Urbanism for the City's Streetscape redevelopment of River Street.[25] The River Street design was also awarded the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Downtown Revitalization at the Illinois Main Street Conference in 2013.[26]
  • In 2013, the City of Batavia was designated as a Bike Friendly Community (Bronze Level) by the League of American Bicyclists. Currently, only six communities in Illinois are designated Bike Friendly Communities.[27][28]
  • In 2013, Batavia’s collection of historic windmills was designated as an Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
  • In 2013, the Batavia High School football team won the 6A state championship.
  • In 2014, for the second consecutive year, Batavia High School was designated a GRAMMY Signature School for excellence in music education.[29]


Batavia is served by Batavia Public School District No. 101. The district currently consists of six K-5 elementary schools, one 6-8 middle school, and Batavia High School.[30] Small pockets of the city are served by Geneva Community Unit School District 304 and West Aurora Public School District 129.

A college preparatory school, Harbridge College Prep, will be opening in Fall 2015 in the historic Campana Building.[31][32]


Batavia is served by Batavia Public Library District, which was founded in 1882 as a township library. It converted to a district library in June 1975. The library serves most of Batavia Township (Kane County) and portions of Winfield Township (DuPage County), Geneva Township (Kane County), and Blackberry Township (Kane County). Its current facility opened in January 2002.[33]


Notable people

See also


  1. ^ "City of Batavia, Illinois". City of Batavia, Illinois. Retrieved August 31, 2012. 
  2. ^ Edwards, Jim; Edwards, Wynette (2000). "City of Energy Entrepreneurs". Batavia: From the Collection of the Batavia Historical Society. Chicago, IL: Arcadia. pp. 21–32.  
  3. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: City of Batavia
  4. ^ a b Schielke, Jeffery (2010). "Batavia History: Our Town". City of Batavia. Retrieved 2010-02-08. 
  5. ^ [Scheetz, George H.] "Whence Siouxland?" Book Remarks [Sioux City Public Library], May 1991.
  6. ^ "2012 Population Estimates". Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  7. ^ Callery, Edward (2009). Place names of Illinois. Champaign-Urbana, Ill: University of Illinois Press.  
  8. ^ "Several Towns Named After Founders and Heroes". The Daily Herald. December 28, 1999. p. 220. Retrieved August 17, 2014 – via  
  9. ^ Blackhawk War
  10. ^ Illinois Regional Archives Depository System. "Name Index to Illinois Local Governments". Illinois State Archives.  
  11. ^ a b Emerson, Jason (June–July 2006). "The Madness of Mary Lincoln". American Heritage. Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ Robinson, Marilyn; Schielke, Jeffery D.; Gustafson, John (1998) [1962]. John Gustafson's Historic Batavia. Batavia, Ill: Batavia Historical Society.  
  14. ^ Cisneros, Stacey L.; Scheetz, George H. (2008). Windmill City: A Guide to the Historic Windmills of Batavia, Illinois. Batavia, Ill: Batavia Public Library.  
  15. ^ "Batavia History". Batavia Historical Society. 2000. Archived from the original on 15 January 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-08. 
  16. ^ "Places: Illinois". 2010 Census Gazetteer Files.  
  17. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  19. ^ "Batavia city, Illinois - Fact Sheet". American FactFinder. United States Census Bureau. 2000. Retrieved 2010-02-08. 
  20. ^ "2006-2008 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates". American FactFinder. United States Census Bureau. 2008. Retrieved 2010-02-08. 
  21. ^ Wollam, Allison. "Discount retailers bulk up in Houston as economy stutters." Houston Business Journal. Monday November 28, 2011. Retrieved on December 8, 2011.
  22. ^ City of Batavia CAFR
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^!ca-best-street/c1n2v
  26. ^ Chicago Sun-Times 
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^ "Batavia Public Schools". Batavia Public School District No. 101. 2010. Archived from the original on 18 January 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2010. 
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^ "Library History". Batavia Public Library. 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-08. 
  34. ^ "Ken Anderson". IMDb. Retrieved October 19, 2012. 
  35. ^ Hamashige, Hope (November 7, 2000). "An inventor's success story". CNN Money. Retrieved October 22, 2012. 
  36. ^ "Dan Issel". NBA Encyclopedia. Retrieved October 22, 2012. 
  37. ^ "Craig Sager". CNN/Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on August 23, 2011. Retrieved October 22, 2012. 

External links

  • Official website
  • Batavia Public Library
  • Neighbors of Batavia
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