Chicago Heights, Illinois

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Chicago Heights
City
Looking east across Chicago Road
2009 U.S. Census Bureau map of Chicago Heights
Coordinates: 41°30′43″N 87°38′25″W / 41.51194°N 87.64028°W / 41.51194; -87.64028Coordinates: 41°30′43″N 87°38′25″W / 41.51194°N 87.64028°W / 41.51194; -87.64028
Country United States
StateIllinois
CountyCook
TownshipBloom
Incorporated1893
Government
 • TypeCouncil-manager
 • MayorDavid A. Gonzalez
Area
 • Total10.09 sq mi (26.1 km2)
 • Land10.08 sq mi (26.1 km2)
 • Water0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)  0.10%
Population (2010)
 • Total30,276
 • Density3,003.6/sq mi (1,159.7/km2)
Standard of living (2009–11)
 • Per capita income$17,548
 • Median home value$125,400
ZIP code(s)60411, 60412, 60413
Area code(s)708
Geocode17-14026
Websitechicagoheights.net
 
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Chicago Heights
City
Looking east across Chicago Road
2009 U.S. Census Bureau map of Chicago Heights
Coordinates: 41°30′43″N 87°38′25″W / 41.51194°N 87.64028°W / 41.51194; -87.64028Coordinates: 41°30′43″N 87°38′25″W / 41.51194°N 87.64028°W / 41.51194; -87.64028
Country United States
StateIllinois
CountyCook
TownshipBloom
Incorporated1893
Government
 • TypeCouncil-manager
 • MayorDavid A. Gonzalez
Area
 • Total10.09 sq mi (26.1 km2)
 • Land10.08 sq mi (26.1 km2)
 • Water0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)  0.10%
Population (2010)
 • Total30,276
 • Density3,003.6/sq mi (1,159.7/km2)
Standard of living (2009–11)
 • Per capita income$17,548
 • Median home value$125,400
ZIP code(s)60411, 60412, 60413
Area code(s)708
Geocode17-14026
Websitechicagoheights.net
Demographics (2010)[1]
WhiteBlackAsian
38.0%41.5%0.4%
IslanderNativeOtherHispanic
(any race)
0.03%0.6%19.5%33.9%

Chicago Heights is a city in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 30,276 at the 2010 census.[2] Chicago Heights is nicknamed "Crossroads of the Nation".[3]

History[edit]

The first European settler in the area was Absalom Wells in 1833. He built a log cabin where the Vincennes Trail crossed Thorn Creek, but then moved farther west to where Chicago Road is now. The first permanent settlers were Adam and Phoebe Brown who built an inn at the intersection of Sauk Trail and the Vincennes Trace. In 1835, a large group from Ireland arrived. At this time, the town was known as Thorn Grove.

The first school was built in 1836. The Reformed Presbyterian Church of Thorn Grove was formed in December 1843. The Batchhelder and McCoy homes in Thorn Grove were stops on the Underground Railroad. The first railroad arrived in 1853. The village was renamed Bloom. It was then renamed again in 1892 to Chicago Heights and incorporated as a village. In 1897, the village had twenty factories. By 1901, Chicago Heights had a population of over 5,000 and became a city. Its population nearly tripled in the next ten years.

At the time of its incorporation as a city in 1900, the original residents of Chicago Heights were German settlers. In following years, the city became a haven for Italian, Polish, and Irish immigrants. Later, many African Americans and Hispanics called Chicago Heights home. The city's economic and ethnic diversity is reflected in the variety of its residential neighborhoods.

Geography[edit]

Chicago Heights is located at 41°30′43″N 87°38′25″W / 41.512034°N 87.640201°W / 41.512034; -87.640201.[4] The city lies on the high land of the Tinley Moraine, with the higher and older Valparaiso Moraine lying just to the south of the city.

According to the 2010 census, the city has a total area of 10.09 square miles (26.1 km2), of which 10.08 square miles (26.1 km2) (or 99.90%) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.026 km2) (or 0.10%) is water.[5]

The city's major crossroads are at Dixie Highway (Illinois Route 1) and Lincoln Highway (U.S. Route 30).

Demographics[edit]

Historical populations
CensusPop.
19005,100
191014,525184.8%
192019,65335.3%
193022,32113.6%
194022,4610.6%
195024,5519.3%
196034,33139.8%
197040,90019.1%
198037,026−9.5%
199033,072−10.7%
200032,776−0.9%
201030,276−7.6%

As of the census of 2010, there were 30,276 people, 9,587 households, and 7,077 families in the city. The population density was 3,003.6 people per square mile (1,160.0/km²). There were 11,060 housing units at an average density of 1,097.2 per square mile (423.8/km²). The racial makeup was 38.0% White, 41.5% African American, 0.6% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 16.6% some other race, and 2.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 33.9% of the population.[1]

There were 9,587 households, out of which 44.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.0% were headed by married couples living together, 26.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.2% were non-families. 22.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.2% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.09, and the average family size was 3.62.[1]

The population was spread out with 30.7% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 26.4% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 10.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31.2 years. For every 100 females there were 95.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.6 males.[1]

For the period 2009–11, the estimated median annual income for a household in the city was $43,941, and the median income for a family was $46,463. Male full-time workers had a median income of $35,695 versus $30,039 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,548. About 21.3% of families and 26.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 39.8% of those under age 18 and 10.2% of those age 65 or over.[6]

Healthcare[edit]

St. James Hospital is located in Chicago Heights at the intersection of Chicago Road and Lincoln Highway. There is a Well Group Clinic (part of St. James) located on Dixie Highway. Well Group was previously known as Suburban Heights Medical Center. There are also two Aunt Martha's health centers in Chicago Heights.[7]

Education[edit]

Schools[edit]

Chicago Heights School District 170 operates eleven schools, with a student population of 3,600. Highland is the district's pre-school for children aged three and four; Garfield, Grant, Greenbriar, Jefferson, Kennedy, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Washington-McKinley, and Wilson are neighborhood schools that serve students from kindergarten through eighth grade.

In 1901, the Board of Education decreed that the school day would run from 9:00 a.m. – 12 noon, and from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. with a 15 minute recess each session. On July 30, 1903, the first telephone in School District 170 was placed in the office of the Superintendent of Schools at a cost of $18 per year. In May 1907, School District 170 students collected money for victims of the San Francisco earthquake. On October 1, 1908, telephones were ordered for Garfield and Franklin Schools, the first schools to have access to "this marvel of communication". In 1912, the Board of Education decreed that non-resident students "shall pay tuition in advance, at the rate of $2 per month" and required all its teachers to live in the district. In December 1912, the Board of Education voted to authorize a reward of $10 for "evidence that will convict any parties who willfully deface or destroy school property." In 1913, School District 170 served 2,238 students. In January 1917, the Board of Education authorized the installation of electric gongs in three schools. In January 1917, the Board of Education endorsed a nationwide "Plan for Preparedness", setting aside specific times for girls and boys to drill under the supervision of a member of the National Guard. From October 22 to November 14, 1917, District 170 schools were closed because of an influenza outbreak.

In 1919, the average enrollment of students per classroom was 44; in 1953, the average enrollment of students per classroom was 30; and in 2002, the average enrollment of students per classroom was 20.

In 1953, School District 170 served 2,833 students, and in 2004 the district served 3,550 students.

Chicago Heights is home to Bloom High School, where all students of district 170 attend after 8th grade.

Parts of Chicago Heights are part of Flossmoor School District 161 which includes Serena Hills Elementary School in Chicago Heights. After Serena, students attend Parker Jr. High School—also a part of Flossmoor School District 161. Only some students who went to Parker Jr. High School move on to Homewood-Flossmoor High School; the rest attend Bloom High School.

Parts of Chicago Heights are also served by Park Forest – Chicago Heights School District 163,[8] and Beacon Hill Primary Center is located in the Beacon Hill neighborhood. Students from this neighborhood attend Rich East High School, part of Rich Township High School District 227.[9]

Marian Catholic High School is a private high school located in city.

Prairie State College is a community college located in Chicago Heights.

There are also many elementary schools that operate at church locations.

Chicago Heights Public Library[edit]

On May 20, 1901, many Chicago Heights residents signed a petition asking for the mayor and aldermen to select a board of directors that were responsible for founding and running a free public library in Chicago Heights. On June 28, 1901, the first library board members were sworn in, including Sam W. Lea, F.W. Schact, W.E. Canady, James Bowie, David Wallace, Joseph Caldwell, C.W. Salisbury, A.J. Sorensen, and A.W. McEldowney. The library was opened in a small room in the new city building on February 20, 1902. That month, the library board wrote to industrialist Andrew Carnegie seeking funds to build a library building in Chicago Heights. In July, the board was notified that Andrew Carnegie had proposed $15,000 toward the cost of a library building as long as the city could provide a free site for the building and if the council could promise $1,500 a year to keep the library running. The Carnegie Library in Chicago Heights was designed by Richard E. Schimdt. The library was located at 1627 Halsted Street and opened on September 11, 1903, with a staff of two and 1,643 volumes. A bigger library was eventually needed, and on August 5, 1972, the present building at 15th Street and Chicago Road was opened. The Chicago Heights Free Public Library was a million-dollar building that opened with 60,000 books, records, and other materials.

Notable people[edit]

US 30 in Chicago Heights

References[edit]

External links[edit]