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Breese, Illinois facts for kids

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Breese water tower along U.S. Route 50
Breese water tower along U.S. Route 50
"Proud of our past, planning for our future"
Location of Breese in Clinton County, Illinois.
Location of Breese in Clinton County, Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
Location of Illinois in the United States
Country United States
State Illinois
County Clinton
Named for Sidney Breese
 • Total 2.70 sq mi (6.99 km2)
 • Land 2.67 sq mi (6.92 km2)
 • Water 0.03 sq mi (0.07 km2)
456 ft (139 m)
 • Total 4,641
 • Density 1,736.90/sq mi (670.50/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
Area code(s) 618
FIPS code 17-07913
Wikimedia Commons Breese, Illinois
Website Official Website:

Breese is a city in Clinton County, Illinois, United States. Breese is the most populous city completely within Clinton County. As of the 2020 census, the population was 4,641, the majority of whom are of German ancestry. Breese is part of the Metro-East region of the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area.


The town is named after Sidney Breese, a United States Senator and a contemporary of President Abraham Lincoln. Breese was founded in 1855.

Even though the area around Breese, Illinois was first settled in 1816, it was not until 1835 that Germans came to the town to farm because of the flat fertile land there. Twenty years after the Germans' first immigration, the Mississippi and Ohio Railroad was completed. The early pioneers were enthralled by the thought of transportation by railroad. The Chicago-based company Sanger Kamp & Co. bought 80 acres of land near the railroad. Twenty-four acres were laid out with the railroad splitting the original town with some acres on the north side and south side creating Breese Township, February 3, 1855. Today citizens of Breese use the terms north side and south side in determining a certain location. Most roads in Breese are also based on which side of the railroad the street is.

Late in 1855, forty Catholic immigrants, wanting to fulfill their religious needs, had the idea of constructing a church. Their desires were realized when two years later the Sanger Kamp & Co. gave half of one of its 80 acres (32 ha) to the Catholics’ project. By December 1869, St. Dominic’s Catholic Church was completed. Breese was first recognized as a town on April 11, 1871, and later became a village on September 23, 1876. As a result, the construction of the village hall had begun. This project was completed in 1885. Seven years later a volunteer fire department was organized. The ever-growing population was then acknowledged as a city on January 19, 1905. The mayor of this new city was Henry Hummert.

Realizing that Breese would need some improvements, the mayor authorized the construction of an electric light plant that was completed in 1906. The streets of Breese were also topped with road oil in 1911. The next year improvements to the city’s water works facility were also made.

However, things took a turn for the worse when, in 1914, a scarlet fever swept the community and its surrounding area and forced all the schools to close. Only four years later, still in the wake of the scarlet fever, the flu epidemic spread through the area. After the diseases ended, further improvements to the city were made and are still occurring.


Breese is located at 38°36′37″N 89°31′36″W / 38.61028°N 89.52667°W / 38.61028; -89.52667 (38.610317, -89.526705).

According to the 2010 census, Breese has a total area of 2.645 square miles (6.85 km2), of which 2.62 square miles (6.79 km2) (or 99.05%) is land and 0.025 square miles (0.06 km2) (or 0.95%) is water.

Breese is located on U.S. Route 50 40 miles east of St. Louis, Missouri.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 489
1880 574 17.4%
1890 808 40.8%
1900 1,571 94.4%
1910 2,128 35.5%
1920 2,399 12.7%
1930 1,957 −18.4%
1940 2,206 12.7%
1950 2,181 −1.1%
1960 2,461 12.8%
1970 2,885 17.2%
1980 3,516 21.9%
1990 3,567 1.5%
2000 4,048 13.5%
2010 4,442 9.7%
2020 4,641 4.5%
U.S. Decennial Census

At the 2000 census there were 4,048 people in 1,513 households, including 1,078 families, in the city. The population density was 1,779.1 people per square mile (685.5/km2). There were 1,573 housing units at an average density of 691.3 per square mile (266.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.57% White, 0.10% African American, 0.05% Native American, 0.35% Asian, 0.54% from other races, and 0.40% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.28%.

Of the 1,513 households 37.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.8% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.7% were non-families. 25.2% of households were one person and 12.6% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.15.

The age distribution was 28.1% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 29.0% from 25 to 44, 19.6% from 45 to 64, and 15.6% 65 or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.5 males.

The median household income was $47,639 and the median family income was $54,242. Males had a median income of $37,979 versus $23,231 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,530. About 1.2% of families and 3.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.8% of those under age 18 and 4.0% of those age 65 or over.

Notable people

Women's History Month on Kiddle
Women Scientists of Antiquity
Mary the Jewess
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