DeKalb, Illinois
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DeKalb, Illinois

DeKalb, Illinois
City
City of DeKalb
The Egyptian Theatre in downtown DeKalb
The Egyptian Theatre in downtown DeKalb
Nickname(s): 
Barb City
Location of DeKalb in DeKalb County, Illinois.
Location of DeKalb in DeKalb County, Illinois.
DeKalb, Illinois is located in Illinois
DeKalb, Illinois
DeKalb, Illinois
Location within the state of Illinois
Coordinates: 41°55?53?N 88°45?01?W / 41.93139°N 88.75028°W / 41.93139; -88.75028Coordinates: 41°55?53?N 88°45?01?W / 41.93139°N 88.75028°W / 41.93139; -88.75028
CountryUnited States
StateIllinois
CountyDeKalb
Incorporated1856
Government
 o MayorCohen Barnes
Area
 o City16.30 sq mi (42.23 km2)
 o Land16.14 sq mi (41.80 km2)
 o Water0.16 sq mi (0.43 km2)
Elevation
879 ft (268 m)
Population
 o City43,862
 o Estimate 
(2019)[3]
42,847
 o Density2,654.87/sq mi (1,025.03/km2)
 o Urban
68,545 [2]
Time zoneUTC−6 (CST)
 o Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
60115
Area code(s)815
FIPS code17-19161
Websitewww.cityofdekalb.com

DeKalb is a city in DeKalb County, Illinois, United States. The population was 43,862 according to the 2010 census, up from 39,018 at the 2000 census. The city is named after decorated Franconian-French war hero Johann de Kalb, who died during the American Revolutionary War.

Founded in 1856, DeKalb became important in the development and manufacture of barbed wire, especially for agriculture and raising livestock. While agricultural-related industries remain a facet of the city, along with health and services, the city's largest employer in the 21st century is Northern Illinois University, founded in 1895. About 65 miles (105 km) from downtown Chicago, DeKalb is part of the Chicago metropolitan area.

History

DeKalb was originally called Huntley's Grove,[4] and under the latter name was platted in 1853.[5] The name is for Baron Johann de Kalb, a major general in the American Revolutionary War.[6] The first church in DeKalb was organized in 1844.[7]:164 Beginning in 1846, a stage coach traveled from Chicago through DeKalb and Dixon to Galena.[7]:14 A post office has been in operation at DeKalb since 1849.[8] The first railroad reached DeKalb in 1853.

Barbed wire was a key product in DeKalb's history. Joseph Glidden (1813-1906), a DeKalb resident since about 1850, received a patent in 1874 for inventing the conventional double-strand barbed wire that remains in common use around the world today.[4] Glidden and Isaac L. Ellwood (1833-1910) manufactured barbed wire in DeKalb, initially as the Barb Fence Company. Successor companies included the 1881 Superior Barbed Wire Company, which merged into American Steel and Wire in 1898 and finally became United States Steel. Between 1892 and 1898 Glidden and Ellwood played substantial parts in establishing the state teachers college that became Northern Illinois University.[7]:149

DeKalb played a leading role in the development of commercial hybrid corn.[7]:46–49 From a base in the early county Farm Bureau, the DeKalb Agricultural Association produced large quantities of high-yield seed varieties, beginning in 1934. Until the mid-1970s, more American farmers planted DeKalb hybrid corn than any other brand. The DeKalb logo was a flying ear of corn. A series of joint ventures and mergers beginning in 1982 resulted in the DeKalb brand of agricultural products being owned by Bayer since 2017.[]

Geography

DeKalb is in northern Illinois, about 65 miles (105 km) west of downtown Chicago and 30 miles southeast of Rockford. The South Branch Kishwaukee River flows northward through DeKalb.

According to the 2010 census, DeKalb has an area of 14.812 square miles (38.36 km2), of which 14.65 square miles (37.94 km2) (98.91%) is land and 0.162 square miles (0.42 km2) (1.09%) is water.[9]

On August 24, 2007, the Kishwaukee River at DeKalb crested at 15.27 feet (4.65 m) (all-time record 15.8 feet (4.8 m)), causing major flooding. This was only the second time the river has risen above 15 feet (4.6 m) since the level of the river has been recorded.[10]

Climate

DeKalb has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa) typical of northern Illinois, with four distinct seasons. Summers can be hot, while winters are cold and snowy. Precipitation is somewhat uniform year-round, although it can be heavier in the spring and summer when the area is prone to strong thunderstorms.

Climate data for DeKalb, Illinois (1991-2020 normals, extremes 1966-present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 63
(17)
69
(21)
84
(29)
92
(33)
96
(36)
101
(38)
102
(39)
103
(39)
94
(34)
89
(32)
76
(24)
69
(21)
103
(39)
Average high °F (°C) 28.1
(-2.2)
32.5
(0.3)
45.0
(7.2)
58.6
(14.8)
70.2
(21.2)
79.9
(26.6)
83.1
(28.4)
81.2
(27.3)
74.9
(23.8)
62.0
(16.7)
46.3
(7.9)
33.6
(0.9)
57.9
(14.4)
Daily mean °F (°C) 20.6
(-6.3)
24.5
(-4.2)
35.9
(2.2)
48.0
(8.9)
59.7
(15.4)
69.7
(20.9)
73.2
(22.9)
71.3
(21.8)
64.0
(17.8)
51.5
(10.8)
37.9
(3.3)
26.3
(-3.2)
48.5
(9.2)
Average low °F (°C) 13.1
(-10.5)
16.6
(-8.6)
26.8
(-2.9)
37.3
(2.9)
49.2
(9.6)
59.5
(15.3)
63.3
(17.4)
61.3
(16.3)
53.2
(11.8)
41.0
(5.0)
29.6
(-1.3)
19.1
(-7.2)
39.2
(4.0)
Record low °F (°C) -27
(-33)
-26
(-32)
-13
(-25)
8
(-13)
24
(-4)
34
(1)
43
(6)
39
(4)
27
(-3)
13
(-11)
-8
(-22)
-22
(-30)
-27
(-33)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 1.69
(43)
1.71
(43)
2.24
(57)
3.56
(90)
4.79
(122)
4.57
(116)
4.00
(102)
4.06
(103)
3.32
(84)
2.96
(75)
2.31
(59)
2.04
(52)
37.25
(946)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 10.2
(26)
8.7
(22)
4.4
(11)
1.3
(3.3)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.1
(0.25)
1.8
(4.6)
6.6
(17)
33.1
(84)
Average precipitation days 9.8 8.4 9.8 12.3 12.9 11.0 10.1 9.0 9.0 10.2 8.6 10.3 121.4
Average snowy days 7.0 5.2 3.0 0.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 1.7 6.0 23.7
Source: NOAA[11][12]

Demographics

A home in the neighborhood north of downtown DeKalb, near the Gurler House

As of the census[13] of 2010, there were 43,862 people, 15,386 households, and 7,508 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,993.8 people per square mile (1,157.3/km2). There were 16,436 housing units at an average density of 1,121.9 per square mile (433.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 74.9% white, 12.8% African American, 0.3% Native American, 4.1% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 5.5% from other races, and 2.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.5% of the population.

There were 15,386 households, out of which 26.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 33.2% were married couples living together, 11.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 51.2% were non-families. 29.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 17.6% under the age of 18, 37.3% from 18 to 24, 22.6% from 25 to 44, 15.0% from 45 to 64, and 7.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 23.6 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $37,719, and the median income for a family was $59,671. Males had a median income of $43,819 versus $36,488 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,155. About 19.6% of families and 32.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.0% of those under the age of 18 and 5.7% of those age 65 or over.

Culture and contemporary life

  • DeKalb is home to the annual Corn Fest, usually held in late August.[14]
  • The Egyptian Theatre, built in 1929, is one of a handful of such theatres still extant in the United States.[15]
  • The Stage Coach Players, founded in 1947, have a theatre on 5th Street.[16]

Economy

DeKalb is home to Northern Illinois University, the city's largest employer and Illinois's third-largest campus.[17] Other large employers include Northwestern Medicine, General Electric, Monsanto (originally as DeKalb Corn), the local school district, and a large retail district along Route 23 (shared with Sycamore) that includes Walmart, Target, Lowe's, Best Buy, Meijer, Kohl's, Ross, and dozens of other chain and local stores.

DeKalb is also home to warehouses for several major companies, including Target, 3M, Nestlé, and Panduit, in part due to DeKalb's proximity to major highways such as I-88 and I-39. 3M's complex serves as the distribution hub for three of 3M's four business units and export operations to North America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.[18]

In 1984, the intersection of two streets in a popular NIU housing district in DeKalb begot the name of a regional consulting firm, "Greenbrier & Russel"[19] (subsequently acquired by Fujitsu Consulting in 2006[20]). In 2011, DeKalb was the broadcast base of Up and In: The Baseball Prospectus Podcast with Kevin Goldstein and Jason Parks.[21] The town was also the filming location for the 2012 film At Any Price.

Parks and greenspace

The DeKalb Park District is responsible for DeKalb's 44 parks and recreation facilities. Members of the League of Women Voters established the park district in 1935 to address the need for a public swimming pool. The City of DeKalb gave the first four parks to the District: Annie's Woods, Huntley Park, Liberty Park, and Hopkins Park.

In 2000 the district opened the Sports and Recreation Center, a multi-function facility that features an indoor field of over 1 acre, clear-span space with synthetic field turf. The park district provides year-round athletic and recreation programs including day camps, youth baseball and softball, adult softball leagues both indoors and outdoors, swimming lessons, golf lessons, karate, tennis, adult and youth basketball leagues, indoor soccer, fitness classes, and preschool.

The DeKalb Park District park system has 44 parks totaling over 700 acres: community parks, neighborhood parks, passive parks and linear parks. Notable parks and facilities include:

  • River Heights Golf Course
  • Buena Vista Golf Course
  • Hopkins Park Pool and Community Center
  • Nehring Center for Culture and Tourism
  • Ellwood House Museum and Park

Government

DeKalb has a council-manager government. Policy is developed by an elected city council and implemented by an appointed professional city manager. The DeKalb City Council is made up of a mayor, elected at-large, and seven alderpersons, elected by ward. Each serves a four-year term, with half the council elected every two years. A city clerk is also elected every four years to serve as the city's official recordkeeper. City council meetings are held the second and fourth Mondays of every month.

Council Position Name of Member
Mayor Jerry Smith
First Ward Carolyn Morris
Second Ward Bill Finucane
Third Ward Tracy Smith
Fourth Ward Patrick Fagan
Fifth Ward Scott McAdams
Sixth Ward Mike Verbic
Seventh Ward Anthony Faivre
Source: City of DeKalb Website[22]

Education

There are 11 public schools, one private school, one university and one public library.

Northern Illinois University

Altgeld Hall, the first building to be constructed at NIU

Northern Illinois University (NIU) was founded in DeKalb as the Northern Illinois State Normal School in 1895. NIU is a comprehensive teaching and research institution with total enrollment around 20,000 (including about 16,000 undergraduates and 300 law school students),[23][24] which makes NIU the third largest campus in Illinois.[17] NIU is home of the Huskies. Notable NIU alumni include Dan Castellaneta (the voice of Homer Simpson and Krusty the Clown), Jimmy Chamberlin (The Smashing Pumpkins drummer), former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, former Labor Secretary W. Willard Wirtz, Oscar-nominated actress Joan Allen in Pleasantville (film), NFL players Michael Turner, Doug Free, Chandler Harnish, Jordan Lynch and Ryan Diem, former NBA Players Kenny Battle and Paul Dawkins, and actor Steve Harris from David E. Kelley's legal Drama The Practice.

Public schools

DeKalb is served by both public and private school systems. DeKalb Community Unit School District 428 operates eight elementary schools (Grades K-5), Clinton Rosette and Huntley Middle Schools (Grades 6-8), and DeKalb High School (Grades 9-12), which is the Home of the Barbs. DeKalb is also home to St. Mary's Catholic Grade School (Grades K-8).

Infrastructure

Aerial view of DeKalb, with airport (center)

Transportation

The first railroad entered DeKalb on August 22, 1853. In 1864, the line became part of the Chicago and North Western Railway main line from Chicago to Omaha, which carried passengers until 1971. A depot between 6th and 7th Streets was built in 1891. The Union Pacific Railroad took control of the line in 1995. Since 2006, the nearest passenger rail service is at the Metra commuter system station in Elburn, 15 miles (24 km) east of DeKalb, which is accessible by bus.

The transcontinental Lincoln Highway was established through DeKalb in 1913. The first "seedling mile" of concrete pavement was built in 1914 at Malta, six miles west of DeKalb. The rest of Lincoln Highway across DeKalb County was paved in 1920.[7]:16 The highway is now part of Illinois Route 38. The main north-south highway through DeKalb is Illinois Route 23, which forms an unusual intersection of two state highways and a major railroad at the corner of Fourth and Lincoln. Interstate Highway 88, part of the Illinois Tollway system, was completed to DeKalb around 1975 and passes just south of town, where there are two toll plazas and a service oasis that includes restaurants and a gas station. Via the tollway, DeKalb is 30 miles (48 km) west of Aurora and 65 miles (105 km) west of downtown Chicago.

Scheduled local bus service throughout the DeKalb area is provided by the city in partnership with Northern Illinois University.[25] Routes extend through the university, the city, and Sycamore with extensions west to Kishwaukee College and east to the passenger rail station at Elburn.[26] Schedules on the main routes vary depending on whether the university is in session. The system began in 1971 as the Huskie Bus Line under contract to the NIU Student Association.[27] By 1982 the system served 3 million riders per year, second only in Ilinois to the Chicago Transit Authority. In 2018, it merged with a smaller City of DeKalb bus system, which had been operated by the local Voluntary Action Center (VAC).[28] Paratransit operations were added in 2021, also by transfer from VAC.[29] VAC continues to serve a wider surrounding area with on-demand transportation for people with special needs and to out-of-town medical appointments.[30]

DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport (DTMA) (ICAO: KDKB, FAA LID: DKB), serving the general aviation community, is on the east side of the city at 3232 Pleasant Street. The airport opened in April 1944 in association with a factory making Interstate TDR assault drone aircraft. The city took ownership in 1948. There is no commercial service directly to DeKalb, but the city center is 43.43 miles away from O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, making commercial air access relatively easy.

Hospitals

  • Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital

Notable people

See also

References

  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2020.
  2. ^ 2010 Census Urban Area List Archived October 10, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  4. ^ a b "History of DeKalb - DeKalb, IL". www.cityofdekalb.com.
  5. ^ Callary, Edward (September 29, 2008). Place Names of Illinois. University of Illinois Press. p. 90. ISBN 978-0-252-09070-7.
  6. ^ Chicago and North Western Railway Company (1908). A History of the Origin of the Place Names Connected with the Chicago & North Western and Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railways. p. 63.
  7. ^ a b c d e Davy, Harriet Wilson, ed. (1963). From oxen to jets, a history of DeKalb County, 1935-1963. DeKalb County Board of Supervisors. LCCN 63-21791.
  8. ^ "DeKalb County". Jim Forte Postal History. Retrieved 2015.
  9. ^ "G001 - Geographic Identifiers - 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved 2015.
  10. ^ South Branch Kishwaukee River at DeKalb, Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service, National Weather Service. Retrieved August 25, 2007.
  11. ^ "NowData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2021.
  12. ^ "Station: De Kalb, IL". U.S. Climate Normals 2020: U.S. Monthly Climate Normals (1991-2020). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2021.
  13. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015.
  14. ^ "History of Corn Fest". DeKalb Corn Fest. Retrieved 2017.
  15. ^ "Arts and Culture - DeKalb County Convention and Visitors Bureau". DeKalb County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Retrieved 2017.
  16. ^ "Stage Coach Players". www.stagecoachers.com. Archived from the original on May 2, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  17. ^ a b "NIU, 3 other Illinois universities' credit rating lowered".
  18. ^ "Why Dekalb County?". DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation. Retrieved 2014.
  19. ^ "Executive Profile - Eric Wasowicz". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 2014.
  20. ^ "Fujitsu Consulting Acquires Illinois-based Greenbrier & Russel". Retrieved 2014.
  21. ^ http://www.baseballprospectus.com/blog/podcast/
  22. ^ "City Council | DeKalb, IL". www.cityofdekalb.com. Retrieved 2017.
  23. ^ "Northern Illinois University". Forbes. Retrieved 2014.
  24. ^ "Law School - Northern Illinois University". US News and World Report. Retrieved 2014.
  25. ^ "Public Transit". City of DeKalb. Retrieved 2021.
  26. ^ "Transit Resource Guide". City of DeKalb. Retrieved 2021.
  27. ^ Embrey, Michael (September 22, 2020). "DeKalb's Huskie Bus Line transportation system was born (1971)". DeKalb County Online. Retrieved 2021.
  28. ^ "Voluntary Action Center". Retrieved 2021.
  29. ^ "Paratransit". City of DeKalb. Retrieved 2021.
  30. ^ "About MedVAC/TransVAC in DeKalb County". Voluntary Action Center. Retrieved 2021.
  31. ^ Michael Tomlan, Introduction to George F. Barber's Victorian Cottage Architecture: An American Catalog of Designs, 1891 (Dover Publications, 2004), pp. v-xvi.
  32. ^ M. Ruth Little (2009). Barber, George F. (1854-1915), North Carolina Architects and Builders, A Biographical Dictionary. Website maintained by North Carolina State University Libraries. Accessed May 3, 2011.
  33. ^ "A.J. Bramlett Player Profile, Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA Stats, NCAA Stats, Game Logs, Bests, Awards". Basketball.realgm.com. Retrieved 2016.
  34. ^ 'Illinois Blue Book 1971-1972,' Biographical Sketch of Dennis J. Collins, pg. 156-157
  35. ^ Poulisse, Adam (October 3, 2015). "DeKalb's Cindy Crawford: Model's roots featured in her autobiography, 'Becoming'". Daily Chronicle. DeKalb, Illinois. Retrieved 2017.
  36. ^ 'Illinois Blue Book 1983-1984, Biographical Sketch of Joseph B. Ebbesen, pg. 97
  37. ^ a b c Krell, Alan (February 3, 2002). The Devil's Rope: A Cultural History of Barbed Wire. Islington, London, England: Reaktion Books. p. 23. ISBN 978-1861891440.
  38. ^ McCormick, John (June 7, 2005). "Fred Eychaner: Reclusive millionaire is one of the nation's top Democratic donors". Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Illinois. Retrieved 2017.
  39. ^ Wright, Gilson (April 15, 1973). "Barbara Hale is "my kind of people" says writer". The Journal News. p. 12. Retrieved 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  40. ^ Litsky, Frank (October 1, 2011). "Mike Heimerdinger, 58, Who Helped to Coach Super Bowl Winners, Is Dead". The New York Times. New York City. Retrieved 2017.
  41. ^ Benjamin Secher (June 28, 2008). "Richard Jenkins: bald, 61 years old - and a star at last". Telegraph.co.uk. Archived from the original on February 2, 2009. Retrieved 2010.
  42. ^ Reference for Business - Company History Index. "Cirrus Design Corporation - Company Profile, Information, Business Description, History, Background Information on Cirrus Design Corporation". Retrieved 2014.
  43. ^ DeKalb Barb Football [@dekalb_football] (November 13, 2015). "Big thanks to DeKalb Alumni and current Atlanta Falcons Coach Doug Mallory for the conference call to the Barbs football team today" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  44. ^ Conklin, Mike (September 8, 1987). "Stricken Giant's Father Dismisses Cancer Link". Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Illinois. Retrieved 2017.
  45. ^ "Mel Owens". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 2015.
  46. ^ Schrader, Barry (January 21, 2014). "Richard Powers produces 11th novel". Daily Chronicle (Illinois). DeKalb, Illinois. Retrieved 2017.
  47. ^ Cimarusti, Luca (January 10, 2017). "Weekend Nachos leave behind a legacy of brutality". Chicago Reader. Chicago, Illinois. Retrieved 2017.
  48. ^ Weil, Martin (April 25, 2010). "Willard Wirtz, labor secretary for JFK and LBJ, dies at 98". The Washington Post. Washington, D.C. Retrieved 2017.

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

DeKalb,_Illinois
 



 



 
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