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Kewanee, Illinois facts for kids

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City of Kewanee, Illinois
Kewanee Ill 09.jpg
Hog Capital of the World
Location of Kewanee in Henry County, Illinois.
Location of Kewanee in Henry County, Illinois.
Country United States
State Illinois
County Henry
Incorporated 1854
 • Total 6.61 sq mi (17.12 km2)
 • Land 6.60 sq mi (17.09 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)
803 ft (244 m)
 • Total 12,509
 • Density 1,896.16/sq mi (732.10/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
FIPS code 17-39727

Kewanee is a city in Henry County, Illinois, United States. "Kewanee" is the Winnebago word for greater prairie chicken, which lived there. The population was 12,509 at the 2020 census, down from 12,944 in 2000.


Kewanee is located at 41°14′N 89°56′W / 41.233°N 89.933°W / 41.233; -89.933 (41.241, -89.926).

According to the 2010 census, Kewanee has a total area of 6.722 square miles (17.41 km2), of which 6.71 square miles (17.38 km2) (or 99.82%) is land and 0.012 square miles (0.03 km2) (or 0.18%) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 2,704
1890 4,569 69.0%
1900 8,382 83.5%
1910 9,307 11.0%
1920 16,026 72.2%
1930 17,093 6.7%
1940 16,901 −1.1%
1950 16,821 −0.5%
1960 16,324 −3.0%
1970 15,762 −3.4%
1980 14,508 −8.0%
1990 12,969 −10.6%
2000 12,944 −0.2%
2010 12,916 −0.2%
2015 (est.) 12,533 −3.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 12,944 people, 5,353 households, and 3,377 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,062.1 people per square mile (795.8/km²). There were 5,879 housing units at an average density of 936.6 per square mile (361.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 90.27% White, 3.68% African American, 0.06% Native American, 0.35% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 3.69% from other races, and 1.95% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.10% of the population.

There were 5,353 households out of which 28.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.0% were married couples living together, 12.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.9% were non-families. 32.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the city, the population was spread out with 24.8% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 25.4% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 20.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 88.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $29,895, and the median income for a family was $37,730. Males had a median income of $29,065 versus $19,792 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,746. About 10.7% of families and 13.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.0% of those under age 18 and 8.9% of those age 65 or over.

Kewanee water tower as seen from N. Tremont St.

2010 Census

According to the 2010 census, the city had a population of 12,916. Of this, 11,241 (87.03%) were white, 633 (4.90%) were black or African American, 624 (4.83%) were some other race, 325 (2.52%) were two or more races, 51 (0.39%) were Asian, 38 (0.29%) were American Indian or Alaska Native. 1,350 (10.45%) were Hispanic or Latino of any race.


Kewanee has many different types of parks in the immediate area, offering a variety of activities such as boating, camping, hunting, fishing, playgrounds, baseball fields, and more. Parks inside the city limits are run by the Kewanee Park District. Outside of Kewanee there is one city park named Francis Park which has picnic and camping facilities. Also outside of Kewanee is Johnson's Sauk Trail State Park which offers hunting, boating, camping, picnicking, and other seasonal activities. Below is a listing of the parks in and nearby Kewanee:

  • Baker Park - 18 hole Golf Course & Pro Shop, Disc Golf Course, scenic drive through the park, home of the Twin Hills which is a local hotspot for sledding in the winter.
  • Windmont Park - Fitness trail around the pond, fishing, playground equipment, baseball diamond, three open air shelters, and an enclosed shelter. This park is known in the winter for its lighting display which is entirely volunteer driven.
  • Northeast Park - Pool, baseball diamonds, soccer, and playground.
  • Chautauqua Park - Horseshoes, Disc Golf Course, Playground, small baseball diamond.
  • West Park - Playground equipment.
  • McKinley Park - Playground equipment
  • Veterans Park - Memorials for local veterans and gazebo in which concerts are held from time to time.
  • Francis Park - Picnicking, Camping, Woodland Palace Museum, Shelter House, Fourth of July Festival.
  • Johnson's Sauk Trail State Park - Hunting, Camping, Fishing, Boating, Hiking, Ryan's Round Barn, and other seasonal activities. The park has both a large lake and smaller pond for fishing.


The most notable festival held in the community is Hog Days. It is held annually on Labor Day weekend. Events include a carnival, mud volleyball, a parade, and more. More information including a history of the event is available at

Notable people

  • Walter T. Bailey (1882–1941), architect. Born and raised in Kewanee, Bailey was the first African-American graduate of the University of Illinois' School of Architecture.
  • B. Frank Baker (1864–1939), member of the Illinois Senate, was a resident of Kewanee and served as its mayor.
  • Neville Brand (1920-1992), actor and decorated World War II veteran
  • Mike Cernovich (born 1977), media personality.
  • W. K. Davidson (1904-1974), Illinois state representative, senator and restaurateur.
  • Edward Robb Ellis (1911-1998), journalist and diarist
  • Richard Estes (born 1932), artist
  • Frederick Dilley Glidden (pen name Luke Short), Western writer, known for Ramrod (1947) and Blood on the Moon (1948)
  • Bill Goffrier, guitarist for The Embarrassment
  • Belden Hill (1864-1934), MLB third baseman for the Baltimore Orioles
  • Em Lindbeck (1934-2008), MLB outfielder for the Detroit Tigers, mayor of Kewanee
  • Amber McReynolds (born 1979), chief executive of the National Vote at Home Institute and member of the Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service, was raised in Kewanee.
  • Albinus Nance (1848-1911), 4th governor of Nebraska, was raised in Kewanee
  • Dennis Nelson, professional football player
  • Sod Ryan (1905-1964), NFL tackle for the Chicago Bears
  • Lindsay Stalzer (born 1984), professional volleyball player, was raised in Kewanee.
  • Marjabelle Young Stewart (1924–2007), writer and expert on etiquette, moved to Kewanee in 1965 and resided there until her 2007 death.
  • Teresa Sullivan (born 1949), President of the University of Virginia (2010–2018), was raised in Kewanee.
  • Dale Whittaker, fifth President of the University of Central Florida


The Kewanee Amtrak station serves trains on the Carl Sandburg and Illinois Zephyr daily. The current station was completed April 13, 2012.

Miscellaneous information

  • Despite its relatively small size, Kewanee maintains two separate school districts, Kewanee district #229 and Wethersfield district #230, reflecting the fact that the city sits in two different townships, Kewanee Township, and Wethersfield Township. The two school districts were formerly Township High School districts. Wethersfield was founded by former residents of Wethersfield, Connecticut The former Village of Wethersfield eventually merged with the City of Kewanee. Kewanee Wethersfield recently co-oped with a town ten miles away from Kewanee in football, track, softball, track, cross country and golf.
  • Kewanee is acknowledged as the Hog Capital of the World. This fact was even mentioned in an episode of Law and Order: SVU.
  • Every Labor Day weekend, Kewanee holds a parade, flea market and a carnival to celebrate the title "Hog Capital of the World"
  • Kewanee was used as a setting for an episode in the ninth and final season of the CBS television drama, "Touched By An Angel". The episode first aired on the CBS Television Network on April 12, 2003, and is entitled, "The Show Must Not Go On".

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Kewanee para niños

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Notable Hispanic authors
Gustavo Gac-Artigas
Lucia M. Gonzalez
Meg Medina
R. J. Palacio
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