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Morrison, Illinois facts for kids

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Paint the Town, Morrison's signature event
Paint the Town, Morrison's signature event
Location of Morrison within Whiteside County
Location of Morrison within Whiteside County
Location of Illinois in the United States
Location of Illinois in the United States
Country United States
State Illinois
County Whiteside
 • Total 2.52 sq mi (6.52 km2)
 • Land 2.52 sq mi (6.52 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
 • Total 4,085
 • Density 1,622.32/sq mi (626.45/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code(s)
Area code(s) 815
FIPS code 17-50530
Wikimedia Commons Morrison, Illinois

Morrison is a city in Whiteside County, Illinois, United States. The population was 4,188 at the 2010 census, down from 4,447 in 2000. It is the county seat of Whiteside County. It is located on the Historic Lincoln Highway, the nation's first transcontinental highway and in Morrison was the site of two concrete "seedling miles", which served as prototypes of what an improved highway could do for the nation.


In 1854, Lyman Johnson and H. S. Vroom were already in what would become the City of Morrison as contractors and builders for the Air-line railroad, now the Union Pacific Railroad. Johnson and Vroom, along with several other entrepreneurs, acquired the land that would surround the rail station that was planned here. They managed the work of surveyor W.S. Wilkinson in the layout of the future town in 1855. Among these entrepreneurs were W.H. Van Epps. Lyman Johnson decided to call the town Morrison, in honor of Charles Morrison, a friend of Van Epps and a wealthy merchant from New York, who promised financial support in the way of loans for the town’s development. Shortly thereafter, Morrison suffered severe financial losses and he was unable to participate, yet his name remained.


Morrison is located at 41°48′33″N 89°58′5″W / 41.80917°N 89.96806°W / 41.80917; -89.96806 (41.809258, -89.967953), placing it near the 90 degrees west line of longitude.

According to the 2010 census, Morrison has a total area of 2.46 square miles (6.37 km2), all land.


Morrison is located at the intersection of U.S. Route 30 and Illinois Route 78. It is 7 miles north of Interstate 88 (west) and 12 miles east of the Mississippi River. The Union Pacific Railroad runs through the town.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 1,981
1890 2,088 5.4%
1900 2,308 10.5%
1910 2,410 4.4%
1920 3,000 24.5%
1930 3,067 2.2%
1940 3,187 3.9%
1950 3,531 10.8%
1960 4,159 17.8%
1970 4,387 5.5%
1980 4,605 5.0%
1990 4,363 −5.3%
2000 4,447 1.9%
2010 4,188 −5.8%
2020 4,085 −2.5%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 4,188 people, 1,713 households, and 1,086 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,703 people per square mile. There were 1,870 housing units at an average density of 761 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 96.8% White, 0.8% African American, 0.6% Native American, 0.10% Asian, 0.7% from other races, and 1.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.6% of the population.

There were 1,713 households, out of which 27.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.4% were married couples living together, 10.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.6% were non-families. 31.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.84.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 25.8% 19 and under, and 21.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.9 years.

The median income for a household in the city was $45,164, and the median income for a family was $54,394. The per capita income for the city was $24,385. About 5.0% of families and 8.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.0% of those under age 18 and 7.6% of those age 65 or over. The mean travel time to work is 22.7 minutes.


Morrison has numerous churches representing many denominations and the town’s strong Dutch heritage. Churches within the city limits include: Bethesda Lutheran Church, Crossroads Community Church, Ebenezer Reformed Church, Emmanuel Reformed Church, Episcopal Church of St. Anne, First Baptist Church, First Presbyterian Church, Morrison Brethren in Christ Church, Morrison Christian Church, Morrison Christian Reformed Church, Morrison United Methodist Church, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, and Open Bible Fellowship and Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, which are on the outskirts of town.


There are many parks and nature areas within and near the town.

  • Morrison-Rockwood State Park – The state park features Lake Carlton, a stream-fed reservoir, and offers a variety of recreational opportunities. Located north of Morrison off Highway 78, the park comprises 1,150 acres, including the 77-acre lake.
  • Morrison Sports Complex – Morrison’s newest park is this 35 acre sports complex, located on the east edge of town along Route 30 and the intersection of Bishop Road. The park features four fast-pitch softball/little league diamonds, one baseball diamond, and a junior tackle and football field.
  • French Creek Park
  • Veteran’s Park & Memorial
  • Kelly Park
  • Kiwanis Park
  • Waterworks Park

Whiteside County Fairgrounds

Morrison is home to the Whiteside County Fairgrounds, which is the site of the Whiteside County Fair, agricultural show. The Whiteside County Central Agricultural Society was formed 28 May 1872 to promote all the industrial pursuits of the county, especially the agricultural, horticultural, floricultural, and mechanical interests and also the fine arts and domestic manufactures. The fairgrounds are home to the Round Barn, a century old barn—which actually has 14 sides—and is only one of a few remaining barns from the turn of the century with such a historic link to the past. It was built as an auction pavilion, housing cows and horses.

Points of Interest

Morrison Il Malvern Mill2
Malvern Roller Mill
Image Odell Building
Odell Building

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places


Morrison High School is part of the Big Rivers Conference, a high school football-only athletic conference currently comprising ten teams (eight schools competing independently and two athletic co-operatives) in the northwest and north-central portions of Illinois. It is a member of the Illinois High School Association, while its sister conference for other sports is the Three Rivers Conference. The Big Rivers is a historically successful smaller-school football conference, having produced several state championships.


The Morrison Community Unit School District operates two grade schools: one for grades K-2 and one for 3–5; a junior high school; and a high school. High school students may earn high school and college credit at the same time through the dual enrollment program. Juniors and seniors at Morrison High School may participate in career and technical education training, held at the Whiteside Area Career Center in Sterling, IL. Morrison is in close proximity to a variety of advanced educational institutions. The community is home to the Morrison Institute of Technology, which offers a two-year curriculum in engineering and drafting. Sauk Valley Community College, located on Illinois Route 2 between Dixon and Sterling, is a two-year college. Other nearby institutions of higher learning include Ashford University and Clinton Community College (Iowa) in Clinton, Iowa; Augustana College (Illinois), St. Ambrose University, and Western Illinois University-Quad Cities all located in the Quad Cities.

Notable people

  • Frank R. Adams (1883-1963), songwriter, screenwriter, journalist and author
  • Gertrude Foster Brown (1867-1956), suffragette, teacher and concert pianist
  • Dean Cameron, (born 1962), actor, musician, comedian
  • Norbert Davis, novelist
  • Lafe McKee, actor
  • Robert Andrews Millikan, Nobel Prize–winning physicist
  • Ann Nardulli, endocrinologist and longtime University of Illinois professor

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See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Morrison (Illinois) para niños

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