Main Births etc
City of Jacksonville
none Civil War monument in Central Park
Civil War monument in Central Park
Motto: "Where People Make The Difference"[1]
Nickname: The Athens Of The Midwest[2]
Country United States
State Illinois
County Morgan
Elevation 610 ft (185.9 m)
Coordinates 39°43′55″N 90°14′4″W / 39.73194, -90.23444
Area 10.67 sq mi (27.6 km²)
 - land 10.47 sq mi (27 km²)
 - water 0.19 sq mi (0 km²), 1.8%
Population 19,446 (2010)
Density 805.5 / sq mi (311 / km²)
Founded 1825
Government Mayor-Council
Mayor Andy Ezard
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP Code 62650
Area code 217
Location of Jacksonville within Illinois
Locator Red.svg
Location of Jacksonville within Illinois


Jacksonville is a city in Morgan County, Illinois, United States. The population was 19,446 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Morgan County.[3]

Jacksonville is the principal city of the Jacksonville Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Morgan and Scott counties.


In 1851, Illinois opened its first state mental hospital in Jacksonville, which was a major employer for the area.[4] The institution, now named the Jacksonville Developmental Center, serves developmentally challenged individuals.[5]

Abraham Lincoln occasionally had legal business in Jacksonville, frequently acting either as co-counsel or opposing counsel with David A. Smith, a Jacksonville resident.[6] In what is now Central Park Plaza, Lincoln delivered a very strong antislavery speech in support of the presidential campaign of John C. Frémont over the course of two hours on September 6, 1856.[7] A mural depicting the event is now painted on the side of a building at the southwest corner of the Park.[8] Jacksonville was a major stopping point on the historic Underground Railroad. An Annual Civil War reenactment celebration is named for Jacksonville resident U.S. Army General Benjamin Grierson.

In the summer of 1965, in order to keep up with demand for Beatles records,[9] Capitol Records opened a vinyl record pressing plant located at 1 Capitol Way on the western outskirts of Jacksonville. The plant produced a number of highly collectible pressings. This plant eventually serviced the Capitol Records Club, producing vinyl LPs and later audiocassettes, CDs, and DVDs of a number of artists. At its peak, operating as EMI Records (owner of Capitol), the plant employed over 1,000 and was a significant location in the music industry. For example, all seven albums released by country western artist Garth Brooks sold over 50 million copies, in celebration of which a thank you luncheon for 1,000 was held at the Jacksonville plant March 10, 1995.[10] EMI ceased manufacturing operations at Jacksonville in 2004.[11]


Jacksonville is located at 39°43′55″N 90°14′4″W / 39.73194, -90.23444 (39.731936, -90.234394).[12]

According to the 2010 census, the city has a total area of 10.67 square miles (27.6 km2), of which 10.47 square miles (27.1 km2) (or 98.13%) is land and 0.19 square miles (0.49 km2) (or 1.78%) is water.[13]


As of the census[14] of 2000, there were 18,940 rural people, 7,336 households, and 4,416 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,869.1 rural inhabitants per square mile (721.9/km²). There were 8,162 housing units at an average density of 805.5 per square mile (311.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 90.33% White, 6.66% African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.69% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.70% from other races, and 1.40% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.54% of the population.

There were 7,336 households out of which 27.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.4% were married couples living together, 12.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.8% were non-families. 34.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.89.

In the city the population was spread out with 22.0% under the age of 18, 14.2% from 18 to 24, 25.1% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 16.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 91.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,117, and the median income for a family was $45,595. Males had a median income of $31,474 versus $22,615 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,482. About 7.2% of families and 12.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.2% of those under age 18 and 9.0% of those age 65 or over.



Big Eli Wheel on corner of E. Morton and S. Main

Jacksonville is the home of the Eli Bridge Company, manufacturer of Ferris wheels and other amusement rides such as the Scrambler. W.E. Sullivan founded the firm with the introduction of his first portable "Big Eli" Wheel on the Jacksonville Square on May 23, 1900. Jacksonville was once home to the J. Capps & Son Company, one of the largest manufacturers of textiles and clothing in the United States, and owned by the Capps family, which was intermarried with the family of Jacob Bunn and John Whitfield Bunn of Springfield, Illinois, and Chicago.

Pactiv (formerly a Mobil Textile plant) and Nestlé Beverage Co. have facilities in Jacksonville. Bound to Stay Bound is a prime book Processing company and is located in Jacksonville.


Illinois School for the Deaf

Jacksonville is home to two private four-year colleges, Illinois College and MacMurray College. Illinois College is the second oldest[15] college in Illinois, founded in 1829 (and the first to grant a degree - 1835) by one of the famous Yale Bands—students from Yale University who traveled westward to found new colleges. It briefly served as the state's first medical school from 1843–1848, and became co-educational (Jacksonville Female Academy was founded in 1836 by John Adams) in 1903. Beecher Hall, the first college building erected in Illinois, is named after its first president,[16] Edward Beecher, sibling to Henry Ward Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe.

Jacksonville is also home to three state-run institutions, including the Illinois School for the Deaf,[17] the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired,[18] and the Jacksonville Correctional Center. Lincoln Land Community College's Western Region Education Center[19] is also located in Jacksonville.

Jacksonville is home to three high schools, two private, and one public, including Routt Catholic High School. Jacksonville is part of School District 117 and Has one public Junior high school And 7 Elementary schools. An elementary school by the name of "franklin Elementary" has been recently been Shut Down do to Budget-Cuts.


The city's daily newspaper, the Journal-Courier,[20] is the oldest continuously published newspaper in Illinois (since 1830).

Several radio stations operate out of Jacksonville- WCIC 90.7-FM, WLDS 1180-AM, WEAI 107.1-FM, WJVO 105.5-FM, and WJIL, which simulcasts on 102.9-FM and 1550-AM.


Health care[]

Passavant Area Hospital is the prime source of Medical treatment While others like Prompt-Care serve Others who are Slightly less Ill.

The Jacksonville Developmental Center, a state facility, operated here from 1851 to November 2012.[21]

Notable people[]


In 2005, Sufjan Stevens released Illinois, a concept album making reference to various people and places associated with the state. Its fifth track, "Jacksonville," refers to various landmarks in the town, such as Nichols Park. It also contains a story about A. W. Jackson, a "colored preacher" urban legend supposes the town is named after, as well as President Andrew Jackson (President from 1829–1837) after whom the town's officials say it is actually named.[22]

The Grammy-winning album Stones in the Road by singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter features the song "John Doe #24" that describes a series of events that occurred in Jacksonville relating to the person on whose life the song is based. The song tells the story of a blind and deaf man who was found wandering the streets in Jacksonville in 1945. The man was hospitalized for diabetes and kept in various institutions until he died nearly 50 years later in 1993. During his 48 years of institutionalization, nobody ever found out his name, nor did anyone who knew or was related to him come to Jacksonville to establish his identity. It was speculated that he was originally from New Orleans, but this was never verified. Likewise, how he came to Jacksonville remains a mystery to this day.

Cultural offerings include the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, the Jacksonville Theatre Guild, the Art Association of Jacksonville and its David Strawn Art Gallery, as well as many public events and activities hosted by MacMurray College and Illinois College. Recent additions to the cultural scene include the Imagine Foundation and the Eclectic art gallery, both located in the city's downtown.

Jacksonville also holds the unusual distinction of having a large number of pipe organs for a city of its size - eleven in all - found at various local churches, as well as both of its four-year colleges.


  1. ^ "City of Jacksonville, Illinois". City of Jacksonville, Illinois. Retrieved August 31, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Jacksonville Visitor's Guide". City of Jacksonville, Illinois. Retrieved December 16, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ Briska, William (1997). The History of Elgin Mental Health Center: Evolution of a State Hospital. Crossroads Communications. p. 12. ISBN 0-916445-45-3. 
  5. ^ Retrieved 2009-10-06
  6. ^ accessed March 11, 2013.
  7. ^ Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Vol. 2 pp. 369-373. as reported in The Illinois Sentinel September 12, 1856. Online at:;view=fulltext accessed March 11, 2013.
  8. ^ accessed March 11, 2013.
  9. ^ accessed March 11, 2013
  10. ^ Billboard, April 8, 1995 p. 44.
  11. ^ "EMI employment down to two dozen in Jacksonville" State-Journal Register, Nov. 11, 2011 accessed march 11, 2013.
  12. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  13. ^ "Places: Illinois". 2010 Census Gazetteer Files. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-10-13. 
  14. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ Edward Beecher
  17. ^ "Illinois School for the Deaf". Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Education Service Areas". 2010-11-23. Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  20. ^ "". Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  21. ^ Reynolds, John (Nov 29, 2012). "Last of Jacksonville Developmental Center residents moved out". The State Journal-Register (Springfield, Illinois: GateHouse Media). 
  22. ^ "History of Jacksonville - Jacksonville". 1955-08-26.{A69B0752-CE5B-46E8-8CA9-E297734325BB}. Retrieved 2012-05-01. 

Further reading[]

  • Don H. Doyle, The Social Order of a Frontier Community: Jacksonville, Illinois, 1825-70, 1978
  • Vernon R.Q. Fernandes, The People of Jacksonville—A Pictorial History, 1991
  • Vernon R.Q. Fernandes, Faces & places—a Morgan County family album, 1995
  • Vernon R.Q. Fernandes, Passavant Area Hospital : 125 years of caring, 1999

External links[]

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