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Macomb, Illinois

Coordinates: 40°28′15″N 90°40′51″W / 40.47083°N 90.68083°W / 40.47083; -90.68083
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Macomb, Illinois
Macomb Square, 2006
Macomb Square, 2006
Location in McDonough County, Illinois
Location in McDonough County, Illinois
Macomb is located in Illinois
Macomb is located in the United States
Coordinates: 40°28′15″N 90°40′51″W / 40.47083°N 90.68083°W / 40.47083; -90.68083
CountryUnited States
IncorporatedDecember 24, 1830
 • MayorMichael J. Inman
 • Total11.03 sq mi (28.57 km2)
 • Land10.60 sq mi (27.46 km2)
 • Water0.43 sq mi (1.12 km2)  3.87%
Elevation643 ft (196 m)
 • Total15,051
 • Density1,419.77/sq mi (548.19/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code
Area code(s)309, 861
FIPS code17-45889
GNIS ID2395801[2]

Macomb /məˈkm/ is a city in and the county seat of McDonough County, Illinois, United States.[4] It is situated in western Illinois, about 75 miles (121 km) southwest of Peoria.[5] As of the 2020 census the population of the city was 15,051,[3] down from 19,288 in 2010. Macomb is the home of Western Illinois University.




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 Alexander Macomb,[6] 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. On April 24, 1899, the Western Illinois State Normal School, currently Western Illinois University, was founded in Macomb. Representative Lawrence Sherman was instrumental in locating the school in Macomb.[7] 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 stumping for the U.S. Senate at the time, meaning a president or presidential nominee has not visited Macomb in 109 years and counting.[8]

St. Louis Rams summer camp


The WIU campus and its Hanson Field Stadium were home to the St. Louis Rams' football summer training camp from 1996 to 2004. In 2005, the Rams decided to move summer training to their own facilities in St. Louis, Missouri, ending the nine-year relationship.[9][10]

Colts Drum and Bugle Corp Summer Camp


WIU's Hanson Field was home to the Colts' summer training camp in 2023.[11] The nine-time Drum Corps International (DCI) World Class Finalist, from Dubuque, IA are a group of 160 high school- and college-aged musicians, plus 40 staff members and support team members. They train, work, and live on the WIU campus for three weeks. Members live in the residence halls and practice at Hanson Field.[12]

Minor league baseball


Macomb was home to the Macomb Potters, who played as members of the Class D level Illinois-Missouri League in 1909 and 1910. The team also hosted two exhibition games against the Chicago Cubs. The Potters began play after local fans raised funds to start the team.[13][14]

On Friday, June 18, 1909, the Macomb Potters hosted an exhibition game against the defending World Series Champion Chicago Cubs. The game was scheduled with the agreement that the Cubs would feature their regular lineup. The selected date allowed the Cubs to play in between the Cubs' series with the Brooklyn Superbas. The game was advertised as “the greatest day in the baseball history of McDonough County,” in a large advertisement placed in the June 17, 1909 Macomb Daily Journal. The teams took infield at 2:30 p.m., with the game starting at 3:00 p.m. In front of 2,964 fans, the Cubs beat the Potters 6–0. Admission was $1.00 per ticket. After the game, each team split the gate money minus expenses and each club received $971.50.[13][15]

During the 1910 season, the Macomb Potters and the Chicago Cubs played a second exhibition game in Macomb. The 1910 game was won by the Cubs 5–0.[13]



The East Fork Lamoine River flows past the northern part of the city.

U.S. Routes 67 and 136 pass through the city. They enter the city together from east on Jackson Street and split at the city center, US 67 turning north on Lafayette Street, and US 136 continuing west on Jackson Street. US 67 leads north 33 miles (53 km) to Monmouth and south 27 miles (43 km) to Rushville, while US 136 leads east 40 miles (64 km) to Havana and west 42 miles (68 km) to Keokuk, Iowa.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Macomb has a total area of 11.03 square miles (28.57 km2), of which 10.60 square miles (27.45 km2) are land and 0.43 square miles (1.11 km2), or 3.91%, are water.[1]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[16]

As of the census[17] of 2000, there were 18,558 people, 6,575 households, and 2,952 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,884.2 inhabitants per square mile (727.5/km2). There were 7,037 housing units at an average density of 714.5 per square mile (275.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 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 were 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



Major Manufacturers:

Arts and Culture


Macomb is home to the annual McDonough County Fair, which typically runs for a week in the summer. The fair includes animal showings, and more. The fair is held at the fairgrounds located at 3022 W Jackson St.

Museums and Libraries

  • Macomb Public Library
  • Spoon River College Library
  • WIU Malpass Library
  • WIU Curriculum Library
  • WIU Music Library
  • Western Illinois Museum[18]
  • WIU Museum of Geology
  • WIU University Art Gallery

Parks and recreation

  • Harry Mussatto Golf Course
  • Lakeview Nature Center
  • Macomb Park District
    • Glenwood Pool
    • Ball Fore
  • Spring Lake Park


Sherman Hall, 2006



  • St. Paul Catholic School (PreK-6)





Filmings in Macomb










Macomb is served by the Macomb Municipal Airport. Which is approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) north of Macomb.

Mass Transit





  • McDonough District Hospital, is located in Macomb and has been serving McDonough County and surrounding counties since 1958.[23]

Historical Road Names


Following suit from its being named after General Alexander Macomb,[6] a general in the War of 1812, Macomb makes tributes to other historical generals in its street names. The town has a Grant, Lafayette, McArthur, and Johnson Streets.

Notable people


See also



  1. ^ a b "2022 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Illinois". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 2, 2023.
  2. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Macomb, Illinois
  3. ^ a b "P1. Race – Macomb city, Illinois: 2020 DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171)". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved March 2, 2023.
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  5. ^ "About Western Illinois University - About Western - Western Illinois University". www.wiu.edu. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 195.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Morgan, Joanne Scobee (2000). "McDonough County, Illinois, Reminiscences of a Pioneer: Noted Visitors and Residents". Archived from the original on July 23, 2011. Retrieved December 6, 2010.
  9. ^ 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
  10. ^ "St. Louis Rams to Train at Home". Macomb, Illinois: Western Illinois University. April 8, 2005. Archived from the original on April 14, 2017. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
  11. ^ "International World Class Finalist and Drum and Bugle Corps to Train at WIU Summer 2023 - WIU News". www.wiu.edu. Retrieved November 28, 2023.
  12. ^ "International World Class Finalist and Drum and Bugle Corps to Train at WIU Summer 2023". www.wiu.edu. Retrieved July 6, 2023.
  13. ^ a b c "Macomb Potters – Western Illinois Museum".
  14. ^ "1908 Illinois-Missouri League". Baseball-Reference.com.
  15. ^ "Voice Vault: The day the Cubs took over Macomb". The McDonough County Voice.
  16. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  17. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  18. ^ "Western Illinois Museum". www.wimuseum.org. Retrieved July 6, 2023.
  19. ^ "The McDonough County Voice: Local & World News, Sports & Entertainment in Macomb, IL". The McDonough County Voice. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
  20. ^ Hicks, Jonathan (March 26, 2004). "Macomb gets 'Cast in Gray'". Western Courier. Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. Retrieved January 30, 2007.
  21. ^ "Cast in Gray (2005) - Filming locations". Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Retrieved December 6, 2010.
  22. ^ McDougall, Chelsea (November 24, 2006). "Macomb family featured on reality show". Macomb Eagle. Retrieved January 30, 2007.
  23. ^ "McDonough District Hospital About Us". McDonough District Hospital. July 12, 2023. Retrieved July 12, 2023.
  24. ^ Fox, Margalit (October 8, 2010). "William M. Birenbaum, college leader, dies at 87". New York Times. Retrieved October 10, 2010.
  25. ^ "Theatre Alumnus Michael Boatman to Visit WIU - University Relations - Western Illinois University". Retrieved February 2, 2012.
  26. ^ "Author Interview with Joe Garner on his book We Interrupt This Broadcast". Retrieved February 2, 2012.
  27. ^ 'The Green Bag.' 1891, volume III, edited by Horace W. Fuller, Boston Book Company: 1891, pg. 236
  28. ^ "Dr. Henry Wells, Political Science". University of Pennsylvania Almanac, Volume 54, No. 8, October 16, 2007. 2007. Retrieved May 23, 2011.