Effingham, Illinois facts for kids
Former Effingham County Courthouse
|Motto: "Crossroads of Opportunity"|
|Elevation||590 ft (180 m)|
|Area||9.92 sq mi (26 km²)|
|- land||9.86 sq mi (26 km²)|
|- water||0.06 sq mi (0 km²)|
|Density||1,428.9 /sq mi (552 /km²)|
|- summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|Wikimedia Commons: Effingham, Illinois|
The city bills itself as "The Crossroads of Opportunity" because of its location at the intersection of two major Interstate highways: I-57 running from Chicago to Miner, Missouri, and I-70 running from Utah to Maryland. It also is served by U.S. Route 45, which runs from Ontonagon, Michigan to Mobile, Alabama, U.S. Route 40, the historic National Road, which stretches from Cumberland, Maryland to Vandalia, Illinois, and Illinois Route 33 and Illinois Route 32 also run through the city. It is also a major railroad junction, the crossing of the Illinois Central main line from Chicago to Memphis with the Pennsylvania Railroad line from Indianapolis to St. Louis. Thus, Effingham has a broad range of restaurants, and lodging facilities.
Effingham is located at (39.120903, −88.545909).
According to the 2010 census, Effingham has a total area of 9.921 square miles (25.70 km2), of which 9.86 square miles (25.54 km2) (or 99.39%) is land and 0.061 square miles (0.16 km2) (or 0.61%) is water.
As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 12,384 people, 5,330 households, and 3,187 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,428.9 people per square mile (551.5/km²). There were 5,660 housing units at an average density of 653.0 per square mile (252.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.79% White, 0.36% African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.59% Asian, 0.38% from other races, and 0.69% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.04% of the population.
There were 5,330 households out of which 29.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.0% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.2% were non-families. 36.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.96.
In the city, the population was spread out with 24.9% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 27.7% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 18.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 89.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $34,761, and the median income for a family was $45,902. Males had a median income of $31,442 versus $21,543 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,132. About 6.5% of families and 9.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.9% of those under age 18 and 7.9% of those age 65 or over.
Effingham was first settled in 1814, and was known from then until 1859 as Broughton.
On April 4, 1949, St. Anthony's hospital caught fire and burned to the ground, killing 74 people. As a result, fire codes nationwide were improved. Due to extensive media coverage, including a "Life Magazine" cover story, donations for rebuilding the hospital came from all 48 states and several foreign countries.
A 198-foot (60 m) steel cross erected by The Cross Foundation is located in Effingham. The Cross is made out of over 180 tons of steel and cost over $1 million. The Cross Foundation claims that the cross is the "largest" in the United States standing at 198-foot (60 m) with a span of 113-foot (34 m). While the 208-foot (63 m) Great Cross in St. Augustine, Florida is believed to be the tallest freestanding cross in the western hemisphere, it is thinner than the cross in Effingham and has a narrow span.
One resident complained that using a Christian symbol to attract tourism "reeks of avarice and hypocrisy." Another pointed out that the money that built the cross, which was collected through private donations, could have fed the poor and done other good for the community that wasn't simply "over-the-top symbolism." Philip Coats of the Cross Foundation said there was barely a ripple of criticism in the town. John Schultz, the donor who put up most of the money for the project, said, "I guess you can't satisfy everybody."
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