Griggsville, Illinois

Griggsville is a city in Pike County, Illinois, United States. The population was 1,258 at the 2000 census.

Downtown Griggsville
Location of Griggsville in Pike County, Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
Coordinates: 39°42′32″N 90°43′28″W[1]
CountryUnited States
  Total1.08 sq mi (2.79 km2)
  Land1.08 sq mi (2.79 km2)
  Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation705 ft (215 m)
  Density1,086.35/sq mi (419.58/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
  Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code(s)
FIPS code17-31771
Wikimedia CommonsGriggsville, Illinois


Griggsville was named for its founder, Richard Griggs.[4]


The community is in northeast Pike County approximately four miles west of the Illinois River. Pittsfield lies about seven miles to the southwest along Illinois Route 107.[5]

According to the 2010 census, Griggsville has a total area of 1.08 square miles (2.80 km2), all land.[6]


Historical population
Est. 20161,170[3]−4.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 1,258 people, 500 households, and 360 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,215.0 people per square mile (467.0/km2). There were 548 housing units at an average density of 529.3 per square mile (203.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 99.21% White, 0.16% African American, 0.08% Asian, 0.24% from other races, and 0.32% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.24% of the population.

There were 500 households out of which 36.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.2% were married couples living together, 10.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.8% were non-families. 24.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 2.92.

In the city, the population was spread out with 27.9% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 26.9% from 25 to 44, 22.1% from 45 to 64, and 16.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,875, and the median income for a family was $36,071. Males had a median income of $27,454 versus $18,182 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,578. About 10.2% of families and 12.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.3% of those under age 18 and 10.8% of those age 65 or over.


Griggsville hosts an Apple Festival on the third weekend of each September, along with the Western Illinois Fair, traditionally held during the third week of June. The Western Illinois Fair, in its 120th year, is one of the oldest fairs in the state of Illinois.[9]

Purple martins

Griggsville is located between the Mississippi River and the Illinois River and the hot muggy summers are the perfect habitat for mosquitoes. Amid growing concern over the use of pesticides to control mosquitoes, the town came up with an alternate abatement method. J.L. Wade, a Griggsville resident and owner of a local antenna manufacturing factory realized that Griggsville was right in the migration path of the purple martin, the largest bird in the swallow family, supposedly able to eat 2,000 mosquitoes in a single day.[10] J.L. Wade quickly realized that to get the purple martins to stay, he simply needed to give them a reason to stay, so he converted his antenna factory into a bird house building factory. The mosquito population dwindled, which lead the town to adopt the nickname "The Purple Martin Capital of the Nation", as well as labeling the purple martin "America's Most Wanted Bird." Additionally, Wade's purple martin business, formerly Trio Manufacturing, published a newsletter called The Nature Society News. The purple martin factory has been recently been sold to a Chicago businessman. Griggsville has installed over 5,000 birdhouses along the city streets, including a 562-apartment high rise, reaching a height of 70 ft.

Notable people

  • Lew Hitch, basketball player for the Minneapolis Lakers (1951–1957)
  • From 1999-2014 Griggsville had a thriving music scene. Popular acts include: The Junior Varsity, Take It To Tony Little, New Prairie Identity, Tyler & Asa, and Everett Craven.
  • Wendy J. (Craven) Hartlieb, (b. 1966-d. 2015) Griggsville High School Valedictorian, Class of 1984; Miss Pike County Fair Queen 1983; Miss Illinois County Fair Queen 1984.
  • Charles Wallace Parker, notable manufacturer of carousels in Leavenworth, Kansas.

Points of interest

  • The Purple Martin High-Rise is located in central Griggsville on Illinois Route 107.
  • Ray Norbut State Fish and Wildlife Area
  • Many visitors arrive in Griggsville annually for hunting the abundant wild life such as deer and turkey with hunting season beginning in late summer/early fall.
  • Summer visitors can find entertainment during the Western Illinois Fair 3rd week of June that hosts harness racing with cash prizes, farm related activities, music, carnival rides, beer tent, and camping facilities.
  • For those doing research on ancestors The Skinner House hosts a collections of books, photos, and cemetery records as well as genealogical records maintained by families since the town's founding. Local history is documented at The Skinner House as well as the legendary painting of Bethel Church by artist John Skelton who was raised in Griggsville.
  • The Lighthouse Baptist Church is thought to be one of the oldest continuous operating churches in the state.
  • Autumn activities include Fall Color Drive hosted during 3rd weekend in October for scenic driving tour, crafts, food, and yard sales throughout the county.

See also


  1. U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Griggsville, Illinois
  2. "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jun 29, 2017.
  3. "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  4. Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 145.
  5. Griggville, IL, 7.5 minute Topographic Quadrangle, USGS, 1998 (2001 rev.)
  6. "G001 - Geographic Identifiers - 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-12-27.
  7. "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  8. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  9. "Western Illinois Fair - About Us". Archived from the original on 6 March 2018. Retrieved 2018-03-06.
  10. The Nature Society

Stead, George A. "Prologue to the Genealogy of the Steads" [transcribed by JN Mahon - 1999] "Griggsville--Boom, Town on the Frontier" retrieved from archives at the Skinner House in Griggsville, IL. November 29, 2007

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