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Geneva, Illinois
City of Geneva
Geneva City Hall as viewed from Illinois Route 31
Geneva City Hall as viewed from Illinois Route 31
Location of Geneva in Kane County, Illinois
Location of Geneva in Kane County, Illinois
Location of Illinois in the United States
Location of Illinois in the United States
Country United States
State Illinois
County Kane
Founded 1835
Incorporated (As Village) 1867
Incorporated (As City) 1887
 • Type Council-Manager
 • Total 10.20 sq mi (26.43 km2)
 • Land 9.97 sq mi (25.81 km2)
 • Water 0.24 sq mi (0.62 km2)
725 ft (221 m)
 • Total 21,393
 • Density 2,146.60/sq mi (828.84/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 630 & 331
FIPS code 17-28872

Geneva is a city in and the county seat of Kane County, Illinois, United States. It is located on the western side of the Chicago suburbs.

Geneva is part of a tri-city area, located between St. Charles and Batavia. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 21,495, and in 2019 the estimated population was 21,809. The area experienced rapid population growth from the late 1980s through the mid-2000s as the Chicago suburbs spread to the west.

Geneva is a popular tourist destination with its scenic location along the Fox River and numerous shops and restaurants. There is an extensive bike trail system in Geneva including portions of the Fox River Trail and the Illinois Prairie Path. Geneva has an active historical society, the Geneva History Center, located in downtown Geneva as well as the Fabyan Windmill, an old Dutch windmill dating back to the 1850s. In 2013 it was nominated by Bloomberg Business Week as the best place to raise a kid in Illinois.


Geneva is located at 41°53'9" North, 88°18'42" West (41.885722, -88.311771), 36 miles (58 km) west of downtown Chicago.

According to the 2010 census, Geneva has a total area of 9.994 square miles (25.88 km2), of which 9.75 square miles (25.25 km2) (or 97.56%) is land and 0.244 square miles (0.63 km2) (or 2.44%) is water.


Geneva was first settled in the 1830s on an important route from Chicago. Daniel Shaw Haight was the first settler in Geneva. Haight sold his claim in 1835 to James and Charity Herrington, who were influential in the creation of the town of Geneva. A local's connections with Col. Richard Hamilton, a prominent Cook County politician, led to the naming of Geneva as county seat in 1836. The town was platted a year later and was probably named after Geneva, New York. Before the name Geneva was chosen, the names LaFox, Big Spring, and Herrington's Ford were used. A courthouse and jail were among the first major works. Geneva was incorporated as a village in 1867. While its site as a county seat attracted attention, the village's location on the Fox River provided the most economic opportunities. Early goods manufactured in Geneva included cheese, butter, milled grains, and packed meat. The connection of the railroad in 1853 provided increased demand for industry, and by 1900, Appleton Manufacturing, Howell Foundry, Bennet Milling Co., and Pope Glucose Co. became major employers. This resulted in major civic improvement projects such as a pumping stations and water mains in 1896. Geneva was particularly noted for its flux of Swedish immigrants, who comprised half of the population by 1900. A year later, Geneva was connected to other Fox Valley communities through the Aurora, Elgin and Fox River Electric Company.

Historical sites

Fabyan Windmill

The Fabyan Windmill is an authentic, working Dutch windmill dating from the 1850s located in Geneva, Kane County, Illinois, just north of Batavia, Illinois, off Illinois Route 25. The five-story wooden smock mill with a stage, which stands 68 feet (21 m) tall, sits upon the onetime estate of Colonel George Fabyan, but is now part of the Kane County Forest Preserve District.

On June 4, 1979, the windmill was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Dutch Mill. The following year, the windmill was selected to be on a U.S. postage stamp, as part of a series of five windmills in a stamp booklet called "Windmills USA." It originally operated as a custom grinding mill.

Riverbank Laboratories

Riverbank Laboratories (Geneva, IL) 03
Riverbank Laboratories

Riverbank Acoustical Laboratories is a NVLAP accredited acoustical testing agency founded by Wallace Clement Sabine in 1918. The acoustical laboratory building was funded and built by Colonel George Fabyan on his vast Riverbank Estate in Geneva, IL. In the facility's early days, It also housed a cryptology team that worked to decipher codes from the works of Sir Francis Bacon, Shakespeare, and enemy military communications. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 28, 2003.

Elizabeth Place

Elizabeth Place, or the Henry Bond Fargo House, is a historic residence in Geneva, Illinois in the Mission Revival style. The house was owned by Henry Bond Fargo, a prominent local businessmen who brought several early industries to Geneva. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 12, 2008.


Geneva Metra 071020
Geneva METRA Station

Geneva is served by Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW), Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD), and Dupage Airport (DPA). The city also benefits from highways running through the city, including State Routes 25, 31, 38 with easy access to Interstate 88.


Geneva is also served by the Pace bus system run by Chicago's suburbs. The following bus routes run through this city:

  • Route 529 - Randall Rd / 5th Street
  • Route 801 - Elgin / Geneva
  • Route 802 - Aurora / St. Charles


As a part of the Chicago metropolitan area, Geneva has a station on the Union Pacific/West line of the Metra commuter rail system; it provides frequent service to downtown Chicago, 36 miles (58 km) away, and extends west to Elburn.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 997
1880 1,239
1890 1,692 36.6%
1900 2,446 44.6%
1910 3,006 22.9%
1920 3,327 10.7%
1930 4,607 38.5%
1940 4,101 −11.0%
1950 5,139 25.3%
1960 7,646 48.8%
1970 9,049 18.3%
1980 9,881 9.2%
1990 12,617 27.7%
2000 19,515 54.7%
2010 21,495 10.1%
2020 21,393 −0.5%
U.S. Decennial Census
Kane Co Courthouse
Kane County Courthouse
Kane County Government Center

2010 Census

As of the 2010 United States Census there were 21,495 people, 7,865 households, and 5,927 families residing in the city.

The racial makeup of the city was 94.80% White, 0.5% African American, 0.1% Native American, 2.20% Asian, 1.20% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.90% of the population.

There were 8,278 households, out of which 37.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.8% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.6% were non-families. 20.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.18.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 27% under the age of 18, 6.8% from 18 to 24, 21.9% from 25 to 44, 33% from 45 to 64, and 11.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42.4 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.0 males.

As of 2011 the median income for a household in the city was $93,588. Males had a median income of $65,103 versus $38,520 for females. The per capita income for the city was $42,995. About 3.7% of families and 4.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.5% of those under the age of 18 and 3.8% of those ages 65 and older.

Parks and recreation

The following fitness/recreation centers are part of the Geneva Park District

  • Sunset Racquetball and Fitness Center
  • Stephen D. Persinger Recreation Center
  • Peck Farm Interpretive Center

Also containing over 30 parks for recreation use.

Annual events

  • Dancing with the Geneva Stars
  • Geneva Film Festival

Sister cities

  • Croissy-sur-Seine (Western Suburb of Paris, France)


Geneva has been home to the Kane County Cougars since 1991 when the Wausau Timbers relocated from Wausau, Wisconsin. The Cougars currently play at Northwestern Medicine Field. Originally members of the Midwest League, in 2021 they will join the American Association of Professional Baseball. In 2015 the Chicago Steel of the United States Hockey League moved to Geneva from Bensenville, Illinois and play at Fox Valley Ice Arena.


Geneva School District 304 includes the following schools:

Elementary education schools

  • Harrison Street Elementary School (built in 1929)
  • Williamsburg Elementary School (built in 2008)
  • Heartland Elementary School (built in 2002)
  • Mill Creek Elementary School (built in 1996)
  • Fabyan Elementary School (built in 2008)
  • Western Avenue Elementary School (built in 1964)

Middle schools

  • Geneva Middle School South (built in 1994)
  • Geneva Middle School North (built in 2006)

High schools

  • Geneva High School (built in 1958)

Notable people


  • E. Philip Howrey, economist and professor


  • Gower Champion, theater director, choreographer, and dancer
  • Diego Cortez, art curator
  • Niykee Heaton, singer.
  • Stu Linder, Academy Award-winning film editor (Grand Prix and Rain Man)
  • Michael J. Nelson, head writer and star of cult TV show Mystery Science Theater 3000, and current leader of Rifftrax
  • Joan Taylor, an Italian-American television and film actress


  • George Fabyan, (1867) wealthy cloth merchant and inventor of Riverbanks Laboratories
  • Jervis Langdon, Jr., railroad executive and president of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad.
  • John W. Scherer, founder and face of the software tutorial company Video Professor
  • Dale Shewalter, founder and promoter of the Arizona Trail; born in Geneva



  • James Graham Fair, US Senator and wealthy mine operator known as the Bonanza King
  • S. Louis Rathje, Illinois Supreme Court justice



  • Elizebeth Smith Friedman, author and cryptologist

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