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Port Byron
Port Byron Illinois Street Scene.jpg
"Honoring the past and Building the future" "Just Down the Stream..."
Location of Port Byron in Island County, Illinois.
Location of Port Byron in Island County, Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
Location of Illinois in the United States
Country United States
State Illinois
County Rock Island
Founded 1828
 • Total 2.48 sq mi (6.43 km2)
 • Land 2.43 sq mi (6.29 km2)
 • Water 0.06 sq mi (0.14 km2)
 • Total 1,668
 • Density 686.99/sq mi (265.30/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP Code(s)
Area code(s) 309
FIPS code 17-61223
Wikimedia Commons Port Byron, Illinois

Port Byron is a village in Rock Island County, Illinois, United States and part of the Quad Cities Metropolitan Area. The population was 1,647 at the 2010 census.


Port Byron is located at 41°37′5″N 90°19′58″W / 41.61806°N 90.33278°W / 41.61806; -90.33278 (41.618051, -90.332789).

According to the 2010 census, Port Byron has a total area of 2.48 square miles (6.42 km2), all land. Portbyronwelcomesign.jpg This is one of two welcome signs entering Port Byron. This logo is also used for the City Hall and Public Works by replacing "Welcomes You" with one of those two departments, matching the font "Port Byron" is written in.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 652
1870 576 −11.7%
1880 799 38.7%
1890 775 −3.0%
1900 732 −5.5%
1910 642 −12.3%
1920 510 −20.6%
1930 587 15.1%
1940 861 46.7%
1950 1,050 22.0%
1960 1,153 9.8%
1970 1,222 6.0%
1980 1,289 5.5%
1990 1,002 −22.3%
2000 1,535 53.2%
2010 1,647 7.3%
2020 1,668 1.3%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 1,676 people, 623 households, and 419 families residing in the village. The population density was 664.3 people per square mile (256.6/km2). There were 659 housing units at an average density of 285.2 per square mile (110.1/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 98.83% White, 0.07% African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 0.07% from other races, and 0.78% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.63% of the population.

There were 623 households, out of which 30.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.9% were married couples living together, 6.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.6% were non-families. 28.6% 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 2.46 and the average family size was 3.08.

In the village, the age distribution of the population shows 25.6% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 27.4% from 25 to 44, 25.5% from 45 to 64, and 13.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 102.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.0 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $47,768, and the median income for a family was $59,000. Males had a median income of $44,926 versus $26,208 for females. The per capita income for the village was $24,363. About 2.1% of families and 4.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.0% of those under age 18 and 8.8% of those age 65 or over.

Tug Fest

The event of the year in this small town is the Great River Tug Fest, held since 1987 on the second full weekend in August. Following a fireworks display on Friday night, the Mississippi River is closed on Saturday afternoon. The tug-of-war is made up of 10 men teams of 20 and one woman's team of 25. After a large rope is pulled across the river to Le Claire, Iowa, a tug of war takes place. The side with the most wins gets bragging rights for the year, along with the traveling alabaster trophy. Port Byron, the 2016 champion, holds an overall record of 19-11 in the competition. The rope used for the tug is 2700 feet in length and weighs about 700 lbs. Tug Fest is the only event in the United States that allows the Mississippi River to be closed down. The women on the Illinois side are the only undefeated team in Tug Fest history.

For more information on the Port Byron Great River Tug Fest please visit.

Will B. Rolling

Will B. Rolling is the name of a 30' high statue of a rider perched atop his Penny-farthing. Erected on November 13 along the Great River Trail in Port Byron, the statue was a gift to the village from former mayor Lawrence Bay and his wife Carol.

On April 25, 2014 River Action awarded Will B. Rolling the 2014 Eddy Award for Art.

Art: Larry Bay, "Will B. Rolling" Sculpture. Mr. Bay and his wife, Carol, self-financed the large public sculpture as a landmark for their hometown of Port Byron. The sculpture, depicting a man riding a bicycle, was inspired by and created from the same mold as "Ben Biking", in Sparta, Wis.

Notable person

  • Bill Malarkey, MLB pitcher for the New York Giants

Images for kids

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