Belvidere, Illinois: Wikis

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Belvidere
City
Nickname: Illinois' City of Murals
Country United States
State Illinois
County Boone
Coordinates 42°15′17″N 88°50′39″W / 42.25472°N 88.84417°W / 42.25472; -88.84417
Area 9.1 sq mi (24 km2)
 - land 9.1 sq mi (24 km2)
 - water 0.1 sq mi (0 km2)
Population 20,820 (2000)
Density 2,295.3 /sq mi (886 /km2)
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Postal code 61008
Area code 815
Location of Belvidere within Illinois
Wikimedia Commons: Belvidere, Illinois

Belvidere pronounced /ˈbɛlvɨˌdɪər/ is a city in Boone County, Illinois, United States. The population was 20,820 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Boone County[1]. 2005 population estimates show a large increase, as the population rose to 24,593.

Belvidere is part of the Rockford, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

Geography

Belvidere is located at 42°15′17″N 88°50′39″W / 42.25472°N 88.84417°W / 42.25472; -88.84417 (42.254758, -88.844093)[2], and sits at an altitude that is approximately 800 feet (240 m) above sea level. Located in north central Illinois, Belvidere is approximately 75 miles (121 km) northwest of the downtown of Chicago, and approximately 12 miles (19 km) east of Rockford. Belvidere is divided by the Kishwaukee River.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.1 square miles (23.6 km²), of which, 9.1 square miles (23.5 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.55%) is water.

Demographics

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 20,820 people, 7,531 households, and 5,324 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,295.3 people per square mile (886.3/km²). There were 7,970 housing units at an average density of 878.6/sq mi (339.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 64.53% White, 1.15% African American, 0.37% Native American, 0.45% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 11.57% from other races, and 1.92% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race are 26.07% of the population.

There were 7,531 households out of which 38.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.9% were married couples living together, 11.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.3% were non-families. 24.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.26.

In the city the population was spread out with 29.7% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 31.2% from 25 to 44, 18.1% from 45 to 64, and 12.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 97.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.7 males.

Belvidere Curfews

--- weekdays 12:00 a.m.- 5:00 a.m. --- weekends 1:00 a.m.- 5:00 a.m.

The median income for a household in the city was $42,529, and the median income for a family was $50,601. Males had a median income of $37,116 versus $24,454 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,804. About 7.8% of families and 10.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.0% of those under age 18 and 8.0% of those age 65 or over.

History

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Early Belvidere

The location where Belvidere now sits was first settled in 1835 by a Mr. Whitney, who in tribute named the place Elysian Fields. The name was later changed to Belvidere by a Mr. Peck.

Belvidere was originally built on the north side of the Kishwaukee River. In 1851, a railroad was built south of the river, the business section followed to the south side of the river, where Belvidere's "downtown" is now located.

Belvidere used to have two hospitals, St. Joseph Hospital and Highland Hospital. Both have since closed with the latest closing being that of St. Joseph's in 1999. In early 2008, SwedishAmerican Hospital opened the hospital. In early 2009, SwedishAmerican renovated and reopened the old Highland Hospital as part of its healthcare system. This hospital again provided Belvidere with an emergency room, and other services are planned to be added to the hospital in the near future.

1967 Tornado

On April 21, 1967, a devastating tornado struck Belvidere. Twenty-four lives were lost in the tornado, many of whom were school children. The F4 tornado struck at the end of the school day of Belvidere High School, while many children including those that attended area grade schools were waiting on school buses outside of the high school. Out of sixteen school buses outside of the high school, twelve were overturned or thrown. The tornado did US$ 22 million in damage, demolished over 100 homes, and injured over 300. In 2007 a statue was erected in front of Belvidere High School in memorial of the lives lost. Many citizens and students of Belvidere were infuriated that the statue resembled a tornado.

2009 NDK building falls

On December 7, 2009 The NDK Building was blown up by a furnace that had an oil brake. A man at the Belvidere Oasis was killed by flying debris. He was a truck driver from Indiana.

Miss America

In 1969 Belvidere native Judith Anne Ford won the Miss America pageant as Miss Illinois. Judith Anne Ford graduated from Belvidere High School where she was a cheerleader and Homecoming Queen. Her talent in the Miss America Pageant was trampoline and she was the first Miss America to go to Vietnam as part of a USO tour. Miss Ford won the Miss Boone County Fair Pageant (and contrary to a past posting there was more than one contestant) and the Miss Illinois County Fair Queen title before going on to become Miss Illinois on her way to the Miss America title. She had two things going against her according to the odds makers in her quest for Miss America. Her age, only being 18 at the time and her trampoline talent as it was considered "too athletic" by some. During her talent competition in the pageant no other person was to be allowed on the stage and to be safe in performing her trampoline routine she should have had several spotters, but Ford performed the trampoline routine without spotters perfectly. It is to be noted that although the Miss America pageant was often put down by feminists during the late 1960s, Miss Ford competed trampoline in college before Title IX with the men's team and was the first woman to receive a varsity college letter for the sport.

Murals

Belvidere is known as "The city of murals."

Registered Historic Places

Businesses in Belvidere

Chrysler operates Belvidere Assembly an auto assembly plant, originally constructed in the mid-1960s, in Belvidere. The Belvidere plant manufactured the Dodge Neon until the spring of 2006. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the plant manufactured Chrysler Newports and Plymouth Furys. After a massive restructuring of the Belvidere plant, the plant is now one of the most modern auto assembly plants in the USA. It produces the Dodge Caliber, Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot. Recent years have seen significant growth in local industry and employment. Businesses that have located facilities in Belvidere include: Belvedere Company(Beauty Salon Equipment), CamCar/Textron Inc. (Fastener Manufacturing), Carpenter Components Of Illinois (Carpentry), Chrysler Group LLC (Automotive Plant), Dean Foods (Ice Cream Factory), Franklin Wire Works (Wire Products Manufacturing), General Mills (Food Distribution Facility), Cassens Transportation Company (Transportation), PACTIV Corporation, (Manufacturing of Paperboard and Trays), Physicians Immediate Care (Urgent Care / Healthcare), and Practice Velocity, (Electronic Medical Records), Infrastructure Defense Technologies (military defense).

References

External links


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