"Blessed with a river for power and surrounded by rich agricultural lands, Batavia grew rapidly. By mid-century, it had bloomed as an industrial center and attracted the nickname, 'The Windmill City,' because as many as a dozen Batavia companies were producing wind powered mills. Among these were Challenge Windmill and Feed Company, U.S. Wind Engine and Pump Company, and the Appleton Manufacturing Company.

Limestone was another asset that spurred Batavia's growth. In the aftermath of the Great Chicago Fire, builders looked to Batavia's 10 quarries to supply the stone for new construction. The city's quarry history is evidenced by several buildings in the downtown area made from rough cut Batavia stone.

The city attracted notoriety following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln when his widow, Mary Todd Lincoln, spent three months in Batavia's Bellevue Place, a sanitarium and rest home for the mentally ill. The circumstance of her commitment to Bellevue is a much debated topic among Lincoln historians..."

Continue reading on the Batavia Chamber Website


Estimated zip code population in 2013: 26,394
Houses and condos: 8,815
Renter-occupied apartments: 2,432
% of renters here: 26%
% of renters for Illinois: 34%

For Population 25 Years and Over:

High school or higher: 94.1%
Bachelor's degree or higher: 49.9%

Graduate or professional degree: 18.6%
Unemployed: 2.3%
Mean travel time to work (commute): 27.3 minutes

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