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Geneva, Illinois

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Geneva, Illinois

Geneva is a city in and the county seat of Kane County, Illinois, United States.[1] It is located on the western fringe of the Chicago suburbs. Geneva is located between Batavia and St. Charles.[2][3] As of a July 2011 official US Census Bureau estimate, the city had a total population of 21,707.[4] Geneva is part of a tri-city area, along with St. Charles and Batavia. The area is currently experiencing a high level of population growth as Chicago's urban sprawl spreads farther west.

Geneva is a popular tourist destination with its scenic location along the Fox River and numerous shops and restaurants. There is an extensive bike trail system in Geneva including portions of the Fox River Trail and the Illinois Prairie Path. Geneva has an active historical society, the Geneva History Center, located in downtown Geneva as well as the Fabyan Windmill, an old Dutch windmill dating back to the 1850s. In 2013 it was nominated by Bloomsberg Business Week as the best place to raise a kid in Illinois.[5] The city is home to the Kane County Cougars baseball club of the Midwest League and the Chicago Steel ice hockey club of the United States Hockey League.


Geneva is located at 41°53'9" North, 88°18'42" West (41.885722, -88.311771),[6] 36 miles (58 km) west of downtown Chicago.

According to the 2010 census, the city has a total area of 9.99 square miles (25.9 km2), of which 9.74 square miles (25.2 km2) (or 97.50%) is land and 0.24 square miles (0.62 km2) (or 2.40%) is water.[7]


Geneva was first settled in the 1830s on an important route from Chicago. Daniel Shaw Haight was the first settler in Geneva. Haight sold his claim in 1835 to James and Charity Herrington, who were influential in the creation of the town of Geneva.[8] A local's connections with Col. Richard Hamilton, a prominent Cook County politician, led to the naming of Geneva as county seat in 1836. The town was platted a year later and was probably named after Geneva, New York.[9] Before the name Geneva was chosen, the names LaFox, Big Spring, and Herrington's Ford were used.[10] A courthouse and jail were among the first major works. Geneva was incorporated as a village in 1858. While its site as a county seat attracted attention, the village's location on the Fox River provided the most economic opportunities. Early goods manufactured in Geneva included cheese, butter, milled grains, and packed meat. The connection of the railroad in 1853 provided increased demand for industry, and by 1900, Appleton Manufacturing, Howell Foundry, Bennet Milling Co., and Pope Glucose Co. became major employers. This resulted in major civic improvement projects such as a pumping stations and water mains in 1896. Geneva was particularly noted for its flux of Swedish immigrants, who comprised half of the population by 1900. A year later, Geneva was connected to other Fox Valley communities through the Aurora, Elgin and Fox River Electric Company.

Historical sites


Geneva is served by Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW), Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD), and Dupage Airport (DPA). The city also benefits from highways running through the city, including State Routes 25, 31, 38 with easy access to Interstate 88.


Geneva is also serviced by the PACE bus system run by Chicago's suburbs. The following bus routes run through this city:

  • Route 529 - Randall Rd / 5th Street[11]
  • Route 801 - Elgin / Geneva[12]
  • Route 802 - Aurora / St. Charles[13]


As a part of the Chicago metropolitan area, Geneva has a station on the Union Pacific/West line of the Metra commuter rail system; it provides frequent service to downtown Chicago, 36 miles (58 km) away, and extends west to Elburn.


Kane County Courthouse
Kane County Government Center

As of the census[16] of 2000, there were 19,515 people, 6,718 households, and 5,186 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,321.4 people per square mile (895.9/km²). There are 6,895 housing units at an average density of 820.2/sq mi (316.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.50% White, 1.02% African American, 0.06% Native American, 1.25% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.58% from other races, and 0.56% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.77% of the population.

There were 6,718 households out of which 45.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.0% were married couples living together, 6.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.8% are non-families. 19.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.85 and the average family size was 3.31.

In the city the population was spread out with 31.8% under the age of 18, 5.3% from 18 to 24, 31.6% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 8.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 99.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.2 males.

As of 2011 the median income for a household in the city is $95,467. Males had a median income of $65,103 versus $38,520 for females. The per capita income for the city was $42,995. About 1.6% of families and 2.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.6% of those under the age of 18 and 4.9% of those ages 65 and older.


Geneva School District 304 includes the following schools:

Elementary education schools

  • Harrison Street Elementary School (built in 1929)[17]
  • Williamsburg Elementary School (built in 2008)[18]
  • Heartland Elementary School (built in 2002)[19]
  • Mill Creek Elementary School (built in 1996)[20]
  • Fabyan Elementary School (built in 2008)[21] Principal: Darcy Thompson
  • Western Avenue Elementary School (built in 1964)[22] Principal: Ronald Zeman

Middle schools

  • Geneva Middle School South (built in 1994), Principal: Mr. Terrance Bleau[23]
  • Geneva Middle School North (built in 2006), Principal: Mr. Lawrence Bidlack[24]

High schools

Former schools

  • Third Street School (closed 1922) was torn down in 1938 to open a Post Office
  • Fourth Street School (closed 1994) is now Geneva CUSD 304 Central Office
  • Sixth Street School (closed 1977) was used as the offices for the Kane County Regional Office of Education (2000-2015); it was demolished in September 2015.[25][26][27]
  • Coultrap School (closed 2009) was used as a high school (1922–1958), then middle school (1958–1994) and then an Elementary School (1994–2008); it was demolished in the summer of 2013.[28][29]

Parks and recreation

The following fitness/recreation centers are part of the Geneva Park District

  • Sunset Racquetball and Fitness Center
  • Stephen D. Persinger Recreation Center
  • Peck Farm Interpretive Center

Also containing over 30 parks for recreation use.[30]

Annual events

  • Swedish Days
  • Festival of the Vine
  • Dancing with the Geneva Stars
  • Geneva Film Festival
  • Christmas Walk
  • Geneva Concours d'Elegance

Media and entertainment

Notable people

Sister cities


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External links

  • Official Site of the City of Geneva, Illinois
  • Geneva Chamber of Commerce
  • Geneva Public Library District
  • Geneva History Center
  • Education Primary Website for Geneva, IL District 304
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