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Valmeyer
Village
Name origin: Valley of the Meyers
Country United States
State Illinois
County Monroe
Precinct 20
Coordinates 38°18′0″N 90°18′30″W / 38.3°N 90.30833°W / 38.3; -90.30833
Area 3.3 sq mi (9 km2)
 - land 3.3 sq mi (9 km2)
Density 182.7 /sq mi (71 /km2)
Founded 1909
Date December 4
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Postal code 62295
Area code 618
Location of Valmeyer within Illinois
Location of Valmeyer within Illinois
Wikimedia Commons: Valmeyer, Illinois


Valmeyer is a village in Monroe County, Illinois, United States, on the Mississippi River. The population was 1200 at the 2006 census.

History

Valmeyer was named after a German immigrant who settled there, Val-Meyer, literally:"The valley of the Meyers". Many of his relations and descendants live in the area to this day. The original site of the village in the American Bottom floodplain was inundated by the Great Flood of 1993 of the Mississippi River. After the flood receded, the village accepted federal government assistance to relocate to higher ground about 2 miles (3 km) to the east atop the bluffs, on the north side of the eponymous valley.

Valmeyer's history has been marked by the periodic flooding of the Mississippi River and efforts to control it, the town having been flooded in 1910, 1943, and 1944. In the 1940s and 1950s, the Army Corps of Engineers constructed a levee system to protect the village and surrounding area. This levee system 1973.successfully protected the area from flooding for almost 50 years, even as floods occurred upstream from Valmeyer, the most significant threat having come in

The Great Flood of 1993

It was not until the Great Flood of 1993 that the levees protecting Valmeyer and its environs were overtopped by floodwater. Though the village was largely destroyed, the flooding of the American Bottom floodplain relieved pressure upstream from Valmeyer, and very likely saved downtown St. Louis from a major flood event. This was an intentional design element in the original levee plan, to use the sparsely populated agricultural areas surrounding Valmeyer to relieve threat against the more valuable real estate in the levee districts north of Valmeyer, including St. Louis. Valmeyer's story was well-documented in both the national and international media, most notably on public television's Nova program and as a front-page article in the New York Times in 1996.

After the Great Flood of 1993

After the Great flood of 1993 the residents of Valmeyer decided to relocate the town. Two miles from the original town, known now as New Valmeyer. New Valmeyer is 400 feet higher, located on top of the bluffs of Old Valmeyer. To rebuild, Valmeyer families had to rely on proceeds from the sale of their damaged homes to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, payments from national flood insurance, Small Business Administration loans and their savings. The “Great Flood” caused many to have to start over, even elder couples who did not have a mortgage, had to start over, like newlyweds. The town of Valmeyer received thirty-five million dollars"[New York Times]]" of government money, to help pay for the school, streets, sewer systems, and many other buildings and important things a town needs, including the community center, which is used for the fire and police department. Not everybody left their homes, however, a few decided to stay and rebuild or fix their homes, others decided to just move out of Valmeyer, all together. For many though, they have been kept their (farm) land, which each had in their families for years. The look and feel of the new town was planned by 80 people on seven committees, each committee did something different for the town, weather it had been street names, or lights, where the roads were paved, or how many lots in each section of the town. Houses were built, some next to the same neighbors as down in Old Valmeyer, others chose to build away from their old neighbors. When the committee decided the rules and regulations of their new town they wanted Valmeyer to feel like a town again, instead of a subdivision, like it was set up. There are not many crazy rules set for the residents, just a few, so the new town would not look too tacky. The school was rebuilt right in the middle of town, the school was the most important thing to the residents of Valmeyer, and their children had lost so much, having to be schooled in trailers at the Monroe County Fair Grounds. They just wanted the kids to feel like they were home again, and when it was all said and done, they could really tell the difference in all the children. They had all been through so much they wanted them to feel happy again.

1995 to present

The small school has been wonderful. Every student knows each other, and every teacher knows every student. The small town life can be difficult, though, especially when it comes down to academics. Valmeyer does not have some of the academic classes some students would like to take, but many students through out the years have gone to college others have gone straight into the work force, most of the graduating students making a really good life for themselves. Valmeyer has gone through a lot since the flood of 1993. Deaths of those that helped a great deal in the relocation, the mayor switched hands from Mr. Knobloch to Mr. Heavner, plus just other losses, friend’s, homes, and games everything a real town has to go through. Valmeyer is a real town, not just a cul-de-sac, like many were worried about. The graduating class of 2008 was the first class to go from kindergarten to graduation in the New Valmeyer School. The school has done a great job, in remembering Old Valmeyer. Some have found ways to receive new trophies and plaques from all the years that got destroyed in the flood; they also built a water fountain. The bricks and exterior lettering of the fountain came from the old school building. The flowing water is meant to represent the flood of 1993, and the columns represent the devastating series of floods that affected Valmeyer through out the years. Every part of the fountain represents something about Valmeyer, and the fountain is located right outside the main entrance of the High school. Since the great flood of 1993, and the relocation of Valmeyer, the town and community are doing very well. Since the new school opened in 1995, the school, students, faculty, and community have been doing great. With Valmeyer being such a small school, and district, it really makes it hard for sports teams to go too far, but in 2008 the girl’s volleyball team was declared to be the first-ever Sectional victory for a Valmeyer sports team. The sports choices have declined from the days in the old town. Valmeyer has volleyball, basketball, softball and baseball, as well as soccer that was just started in the 2006/ 2007. Valmeyer is a great little town, and 2009 is Valmeyer’s Centennial year, many things have been done to represent this. The community held a play about Valmeyer in the old town, the forth of July parade was a little larger and a book was written about Valmeyer’s history, from beginning to present. Valmeyer is a very strong community that is still going strong, even after everything that has been thrown at them. Valmyer really does suck and is not a good town.

Demographics

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 608 people, 222 households, and 166 families residing in the village. The population density was 182.7 people per square mile (70.5/km²). There were 241 housing units at an average density of 72.4/sq mi (27.9/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 98.68% White, 0.33% African American, 0.33% Asian, 0.16% Pacific Islander, and 0.49% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.82% of the population.

There were 222 households out of which 39.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.0% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.2% were non-families. 24.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.74 and the average family size was 3.29.

In the village the population was spread out with 27.8% under the age of 18, 10.0% from 18 to 24, 28.1% from 25 to 44, 21.1% from 45 to 64, and 13.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 87.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.9 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $53,214, and the median income for a family was $58,646. Males had a median income of $38,500 versus $26,838 for females. The per capita income for the village was $20,420. None of the families and 3.0% of the population were living below the poverty line, including no under eighteens and 10.2% of those over 64.

Geography

Valmeyer is located at 38°18′00″N 90°18′30″W / 38.299904°N 90.308334°W / 38.299904; -90.308334.[2]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 3.3 square miles (8.7 km²), of which, 3.3 square miles (8.6 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.90%) is water.

References

  1. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  2. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. http://www.census.gov/geo/www/gazetteer/gazette.html. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  

External links

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