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Macomb, Illinois

Macomb, Illinois
Macomb Square, 2006
Macomb Square, 2006
Location of Macomb, Illinois
Location of Macomb, Illinois
Country United States
State Illinois
County McDonough
Incorporated 1830
 • Mayor Michael J. Inman
 • Total 11.12 sq mi (28.8 km2)
 • Land 10.69 sq mi (27.7 km2)
 • Water 0.43 sq mi (1.1 km2)  3.87%
Population (2014)
 • Total 21,516[1]
 • Density 1,803.6/sq mi (696.4/km2)
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Area code(s) 309

Macomb is a city in and the county seat of McDonough County, Illinois, United States.[2] It is situated in western Illinois, southwest of Galesburg. The city is about 75 miles southwest of Peoria and 77 miles southeast of the Quad Cities.[3] A special census held in 2014 placed the city's population at 21,516.[1] Macomb is the home of Western Illinois University.


  • History 1
    • Origin 1.1
    • Presidential visits 1.2
    • St. Louis Rams Summer Camp 1.3
  • Geography 2
  • Demographics 3
  • Filmings in Macomb 4
  • Manufacturing 5
  • Transportation 6
  • Attractions and entertainment 7
  • Events 8
  • Outdoor recreation 9
  • Higher education 10
  • Newspapers 11
  • Notable people 12
  • See also 13
  • References 14
  • External links 15



A Carnegie library, Macomb, Illinois

First settled in 1829 on a site tentatively named Washington, the town was officially founded in 1830 as the county seat of McDonough County and given the name Macomb after General Alexander Macomb,[4] a general in the War of 1812. War veterans were given land grants in the Macomb area, which was part of the "Military Tract" set aside by Congress. In 1855 the Northern Cross Railroad, a predecessor to the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, was constructed through Macomb, leading to a rise in the town's population. In 1899 the Western Illinois State Normal School, later Western Illinois University, was founded in Macomb. Representative Lawrence Sherman was instrumental in locating the school in Macomb.[5] In 1903 the Macomb and Western Illinois Railway was built from Macomb to nearby Industry and Littleton by local financier Charles V. Chandler, though this railroad was abandoned in 1930. In 1918, construction on Illinois Route 3 was begun as a state financed highway from Cairo to Rock Island through Macomb; in the late 1920s U.S. Route 67 was extended along this route to Dubuque, Iowa.

Presidential visits

Macomb has been visited by several US Presidents over the years. Ulysses S. Grant, Andrew Johnson, Rutherford B. Hayes, William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt have all made short addresses in Macomb. On two occasions, Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama addressed large audiences prior to their election as president. Obama was actually stumping for state senate at the time, meaning a president or presidential nominee has not visited Macomb in 109 years and counting.[6]

St. Louis Rams Summer Camp

Macomb was home to the St. Louis Rams' football summer training camp from 1996-2004. In 2005, the Rams decided to move summer training to their own facilities in St. Louis, Missouri, ending the nine-year relationship.[7]


Macomb is located at (40.460501, -90.674048).[8] The East Fork Lamoine River flows past the northern part of the city.

According to the 2010 census, the city has a total area of 11.12 square miles (28.8 km2), of which 10.69 square miles (27.7 km2) (or 96.13%) is land and 0.43 square miles (1.1 km2) (or 3.87%) is water.[9]


As of the census[12] of 2000, there are 18,558 people, 6,575 households, and 2,952 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,884.2 people per square mile (727.4/km²). There are 7,037 housing units at an average density of 714.5 per square mile (275.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city is 88.73% White, 5.93% African American, 3.06% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.69% from other races, and 1.40% from two or more races. 2.10% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 6,575 households out of which 19.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.9% were married couples living together, 7.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 55.1% were non-families. 38.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.10 and the average family size was 2.77.

In the city the population was spread out with 12.6% under the age of 18, 42.9% from 18 to 24, 18.2% from 25 to 44, 14.0% from 45 to 64, and 12.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 23 years. For every 100 females there were 94.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,994, and the median income for a family was $42,069. Males had a median income of $27,663 versus $21,780 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,470. 29.1% of the population and 12.2% of families were below the poverty line. 22.8% of those under the age of 18 and 8.1% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

Outline of the Township area and the City of Macomb in McDonough County

Filmings in Macomb

  • Cast in Gray (2005)[13][14]
  • Wife Swap (2006)[15]



Attractions and entertainment

  • The Forum Music Concerts
  • WIU Sporting Events
  • Geology Museum
  • The Old Bailey House
  • University Art Gallery Museum
  • Western Illinois Museum
  • Convention Bureau
  • Macomb Community Theater
  • Macomb Balloon Rally


Heritage Days Parade, 2005
  • February - WIU Ag Mech Show, WIU Jazz Festival
  • June - Macomb Heritage Days
  • September - Macomb Balloon Rally, Al Sears Jazz Festival
  • October - WIU Homecoming Parade, WIU Dad's Weekend Fishing Tournament
  • November - Festival of Trees
  • December - / Dickens on the Square

Outdoor recreation

Higher education

Sherman Hall, 2006


Notable people

See also


  1. ^ a b,684,534/2,014/06/03/official-macomb-census-recount-numbers-are-in
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 195. 
  5. ^ Hicken, Victor (1970). The Purple and the Gold: The Story of Western Illinois University. Western Illinois University Foundation. pp. 5–6, 11–13. Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  6. ^ Morgan, Joanne Scobee (2000). "McDonough County, Illinois, Reminiscences of a Pioneer: Noted Visitors and Residents". Retrieved December 6, 2010. 
  7. ^ Wagoner, Nick. "Rams Move Training Camp Back to St. Louis," April 24, 2005 (accessed January 30, 2007). Archived September 27, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  9. ^ "2010 Census U.S. Gazetteer Files for Places – Illinois". United States Census. Retrieved 2012-10-13. 
  10. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  12. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  13. ^ Hicks, Jonathan (March 26, 2004). "'"Macomb gets 'Cast in Gray. Western Courier. Retrieved January 30, 2007. 
  14. ^ "Cast in Gray (2005) - Filming locations". Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Retrieved December 6, 2010. 
  15. ^ McDougall, Chelsea (November 24, 2006). "Macomb family featured on reality show". Macomb Eagle. Retrieved January 30, 2007. 
  16. ^ Fox, Margalit (October 8, 2010). "William M. Birenbaum, college leader, dies at 87". New York Times. Retrieved October 10, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Theatre Alumnus Michael Boatman to Visit WIU - University Relations - Western Illinois University". Retrieved 2 February 2012. 
  18. ^ "Author Interview with Joe Garner on his book We Interrupt This Broadcast". Retrieved 2 February 2012. 
  19. ^ 'The Green Bag.' 1891, volume III, editor by Horace W. Fuller, Boston Book Company: 1891, pg. 236
  20. ^ "Dr. Henry Wells, Political Science". University of Pennsylvania Almanac, Volume 54, No. 8, October 16, 2007. 2007. Retrieved 2011-05-23. 

External links

  • City of Macomb (official site)
  • McDonough County Illinois (Official site)
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