Macomb, Illinois

Macomb /məˈkm/ is a city in and the county seat of McDonough County, Illinois, United States.[3] It is situated in western Illinois, southwest of Galesburg. The city is about 75 miles southwest of Peoria and 77 miles south of the Quad Cities.[4] The population at the 2010 census was 19,288.[5] Macomb is the home of Western Illinois University.

Macomb, Illinois
Macomb Square, 2006
Location of Macomb in McDonough County, Illinois.
Coordinates: 40°27′37.81″N 90°40′26.57″W
CountryUnited States
  MayorMichael J. Inmam
  Total11.36 sq mi (29.33 km2)
  Land10.89 sq mi (28.21 km2)
  Water0.46 sq mi (1.12 km2)  3.87%
  Density1,684.60/sq mi (650.45/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
  Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
Area code(s)309
FIPS code17-45889



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,[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. 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.[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 actually stumping for state 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 1996-2004. In 2005, the Rams decided to move summer training to their own facilities in St. Louis, Missouri, ending the nine-year relationship.[9][10]


Macomb is located at 40°27′38″N 90°40′27″W (40.460501, -90.674048).[11] The East Fork Lamoine River flows past the northern part of the city.

According to the 2010 census, Macomb has a total area of 11.121 square miles (28.80 km2), of which 10.69 square miles (27.69 km2) (or 96.12%) is land and 0.431 square miles (1.12 km2) (or 3.88%) is water.[12]


Historical population
Est. 201817,559[2]−9.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[13]

As of the census[14] 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.

Filmings in Macomb



Attractions and entertainment

  • The Forum Music Concerts
  • WIU Sporting Events
  • Geology Museum
  • The Bailey House
  • University Art Gallery Museum
  • Western Illinois Museum
  • Convention Bureau
  • Macomb Community Theater
  • Starry Night Repertory Theatre
  • Macomb Balloon Rally
  • Macomb Arts Center


  • February - WIU Ag Mech Show, WIU Jazz Festival
  • June - Macomb Heritage Days, Randolph Street Rendezvous, Movies in the Park (Veterans Park)
  • July - Randolph Street Rendezvous, Movies in the Park (Veterans Park)
  • August - Flatland Summer Jam, Randolph Street Rendezvous, Movies in the Park (Veterans Park)
  • September - Macomb Balloon Rally, Al Sears Jazz Festival, Gazebo Art Festival, PAS Beer Fest
  • October - WIU Homecoming Parade, WIU Dad's Weekend Fishing Tournament
  • November - Festival of Trees
  • December - Dickens on the Square, Art and Gift Market

Outdoor recreation

Higher education


Notable people

See also


  1. "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jun 29, 2017.
  2. "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  3. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  4. "About Western Illinois University - About Western - Western Illinois University". Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  5. Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 195.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. "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.
  10. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  11. "G001 - Geographic Identifiers - 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-12-27.
  12. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  13. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  14. Hicks, Jonathan (March 26, 2004). "Macomb gets 'Cast in Gray'". Western Courier. Retrieved January 30, 2007.
  15. "Cast in Gray (2005) - Filming locations". Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Retrieved December 6, 2010.
  16. McDougall, Chelsea (November 24, 2006). "Macomb family featured on reality show". Macomb Eagle. Retrieved January 30, 2007.
  17. "The McDonough County Voice: Local & World News, Sports & Entertainment in Macomb, IL". The McDonough County Voice. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  18. Fox, Margalit (October 8, 2010). "William M. Birenbaum, college leader, dies at 87". New York Times. Retrieved October 10, 2010.
  19. "Theatre Alumnus Michael Boatman to Visit WIU - University Relations - Western Illinois University". Retrieved 2 February 2012.
  20. "Author Interview with Joe Garner on his book We Interrupt This Broadcast". Retrieved 2 February 2012.
  21. 'The Green Bag.' 1891, volume III, edited by Horace W. Fuller, Boston Book Company: 1891, pg. 236
  22. "Dr. Henry Wells, Political Science". University of Pennsylvania Almanac, Volume 54, No. 8, October 16, 2007. 2007. Retrieved 2011-05-23.
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