kids encyclopedia robot

Macomb, Illinois facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Macomb, Illinois
Macomb Square, 2006
Macomb Square, 2006
Location of Macomb in McDonough County, Illinois.
Location of Macomb in McDonough County, Illinois.
Country United States
State Illinois
County McDonough
Incorporated 1830
 • Total 11.03 sq mi (28.57 km2)
 • Land 10.60 sq mi (27.46 km2)
 • Water 0.43 sq mi (1.12 km2)  3.87%
 • Total 15,051
 • Density 1,419.77/sq mi (548.19/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 309
FIPS code 17-45889

Macomb is a city in and the county seat of McDonough County, Illinois, United States. It is situated in western Illinois, southwest of Galesburg. The city is about 75 miles (121 km) southwest of Peoria and 77 miles (124 km) south of the Quad Cities. A special census held in 2014 placed the city's population at 21,516. Macomb is the home of Western Illinois University.



Macomb Public Library
A Carnegie library, Macomb, Illinois

First settled in 1829 on a site tentatively named Washington, the town was officially founded in 1830 as the county seat of McDonough County and given the name Macomb after General Alexander Macomb, a general in the War of 1812. War veterans were given land grants in the Macomb area, which was part of the "Military Tract" set aside by Congress. In 1855 the Northern Cross Railroad, a predecessor to the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, was constructed through Macomb, leading to a rise in the town's population. In 1899 the Western Illinois State Normal School, later Western Illinois University, was founded in Macomb. Representative Lawrence Sherman was instrumental in locating the school in Macomb. In 1903 the Macomb and Western Illinois Railway was built from Macomb to nearby Industry and Littleton by local financier Charles V. Chandler, though this railroad was abandoned in 1930. In 1918, construction on Illinois Route 3 was begun as a state financed highway from Cairo to Rock Island through Macomb; in the late 1920s U.S. Route 67 was extended along this route to Dubuque, Iowa.

Presidential visits

Macomb has been visited by several US Presidents over the years. Ulysses S. Grant, Andrew Johnson, Rutherford B. Hayes, William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt have all made short addresses in Macomb. On two occasions, Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama addressed large audiences prior to their election as president. Obama was actually stumping for state senate at the time, meaning a president or presidential nominee has not visited Macomb in 109 years and counting.

St. Louis Rams Summer Camp

Macomb was home to the St. Louis Rams' football summer training camp from 1996-2004. In 2005, the Rams decided to move summer training to their own facilities in St. Louis, Missouri, ending the nine-year relationship.


Macomb is located at 40°27′38″N 90°40′27″W / 40.46056°N 90.67417°W / 40.46056; -90.67417 (40.460501, -90.674048). The East Fork Lamoine River flows past the northern part of the city.

According to the 2010 census, Macomb has a total area of 11.121 square miles (28.80 km2), of which 10.69 square miles (27.69 km2) (or 96.12%) is land and 0.431 square miles (1.12 km2) (or 3.88%) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 756
1860 1,834 142.6%
1870 2,748 49.8%
1880 3,140 14.3%
1890 4,052 29.0%
1900 5,375 32.7%
1910 5,774 7.4%
1920 6,714 16.3%
1930 8,509 26.7%
1940 8,764 3.0%
1950 10,592 20.9%
1960 12,135 14.6%
1970 19,643 61.9%
1980 19,863 1.1%
1990 19,952 0.4%
2000 18,558 −7.0%
2010 19,288 3.9%
2020 15,051 −22.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 18,558 people, 6,575 households, and 2,952 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,884.2 people per square mile (727.4/km2). There were 7,037 housing units at an average density of 714.5 per square mile (275.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 88.73% White, 5.93% African American, 3.06% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.69% from other races, and 1.40% from two or more races. 2.10% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 6,575 households, out of which 19.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.9% were married couples living together, 7.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 55.1% were non-families. 38.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.10 and the average family size was 2.77.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 12.6% under the age of 18, 42.9% from 18 to 24, 18.2% from 25 to 44, 14.0% from 45 to 64, and 12.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 23 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,994, and the median income for a family was $42,069. Males had a median income of $27,663 versus $21,780 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,470. 29.1% of the population and 12.2% of families were below the poverty line. 22.8% of those under the age of 18 and 8.1% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

Map highlighting Macomb City Township, McDonough County, Illinois
Outline of the Township area and the City of Macomb in McDonough County


  • Macomb (Amtrak station)
  • Go West Transit
  • Go West Transit Live Bus Tracking

Attractions and entertainment

  • The Forum Music Concerts
  • WIU Sporting Events
  • Geology Museum
  • The Old Bailey House
  • University Art Gallery Museum
  • Western Illinois Museum
  • Convention Bureau
  • Macomb Community Theater
  • Starry Night Repertory Theatre
  • Macomb Balloon Rally


Heritage Days A01 7848 640x427
Heritage Days Parade, 2005
  • February - WIU Ag Mech Show, WIU Jazz Festival
  • June - Macomb Heritage Days
  • September - Macomb Balloon Rally, Al Sears Jazz Festival
  • October - WIU Homecoming Parade, WIU Dad's Weekend Fishing Tournament
  • November - Festival of Trees
  • December - Dickens on the Square

Outdoor recreation

Higher education

Sherman Hall
Sherman Hall, 2006
  • Western Illinois University
  • Spoon River College, Macomb campus

Notable people

  • William Birenbaum (1923–2010), college administrator who served as president of Antioch College
  • Michael Boatman, actor, attended Western Illinois University
  • Phil Bradley, Major League Baseball player (1983–1990)
  • Helen Tunnicliff Catterall (1870–1933), lawyer, writer
  • Charles Clarke Chapman (1853–1944) businessman; first mayor of Fullerton, California; founder of Chapman University
  • Marcus Dunstan, screenwriter and director
  • Harry Gamage, University of Kentucky football head coach 1927-33
  • Joe Garner, six-time New York Times Bestselling author of non-fiction pop culture history
  • Elizabeth Magie, inventor of The Landlord's Game, precursor to Monopoly
  • John Mahoney (1940–2018), actor. Alumnus of Western Illinois University
  • Ty Margenthaler, assistant coach with Wisconsin Badgers women's basketball team
  • Kenneth G. McMillan, Illinois State Senator and educator
  • Red Miller, former head coach of NFL Denver Broncos and USFL Denver Gold
  • Michael Norman, author of the "Haunted" book series
  • Donald C. Pogue, judge
  • Todd Purdum, correspondent, editor, Vanity Fair, New York Times
  • Al Sears, jazz tenor saxophonist and bandleader
  • Damon G. Tunnicliff, Illinois Supreme Court justice; practiced law in Macomb.
  • Ruth May Tunnicliff (1876–1946), medical researcher
  • Sarah Bacon Tunnicliff (1872–1957), clubwoman and reformer in Chicago
  • Howard Turner, football player
  • Rev. C.T. Vivian (1924-2020), minister and civil rights leader
  • Dr. Henry Wells, author, professor and expert on Latin America politics
Black History Month on Kiddle
Famous African-American Civil Rights Activists:
Rosa Parks
Martin Luther King Jr.
Malcolm X
Harriet Tubman
Sojourner Truth
kids search engine
Macomb, Illinois Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.