Mendota (IL)

Mendota, Illinois

Mendota is a city located in north-central Illinois in LaSalle County, Illinois, United States. The city has 7,272 residents, and is the fifth largest city in LaSalle County. It is part of the OttawaStreator Micropolitan Statistical Area. The current mayor is David W. Boelk, an independent elected to a four year term in April 2005.

Mendota is served by U.S interstate 39, U.S. Route 34, U.S. Route 52, and by many state highways including Illinois Route 251. There is also daily train service by Amtrak at the Mendota (Amtrak station) to Chicago and also to points west on the Illinois Zephyr, Carl Sandburg, and Southwest Chief routes.

Helen E. Hokinson, cartoonist for The New Yorker from 1925 until her death in 1949, was born and raised in Mendota. Former Minnesota Vikings runningback Bill Brown was also born and raised in Mendota. Wartburg College (now located in Waverly, Iowa) was located in Mendota from 1875 to 1885.

Geography & Climate

Mendota is located at (41.549397, -89.118377).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.9 square miles (10.0 km²), of which, 3.8 square miles (9.8 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²) of it (2.58%) is water.


As of the census of 2000, there were 7,272 people, 2,748 households, and 1,901 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,924.3 people per square mile (742.8/km²). There were 2,939 housing units at an average density of 777.7/sq mi (300.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 89.37% White, 0.40% African American, 0.30% Native American, 0.45% Asian, 8.42% from other races, and 1.06% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 18.15% of the population.

There were 2,748 households out of which 32.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.5% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.8% were non-families. 27.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.10.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.6% under the age of 18, 9.4% from 18 to 24, 25.0% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 18.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 90.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $39,354, and the median income for a family was $46,279. Males had a median income of $35,344 versus $20,556 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,731. About 7.6% of families and 11.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.6% of those under age 18 and 4.4% of those age 65 or over.


The Mendota Sweet Corn Festival attracts thousands of visitors each August; it features a parade, carnival, beer garden with live bands, free sweet corn cooked in a vintage steam engine, and other special events. The city closes down several streets in the downtown area to host the annual event. The Mendota Tri-County Fair is held every Labor Day weekend at the Mendota Fairgrounds. The Fair hosts a carnival, beer garden, and several other events.

The city has two lakes, Lake Mendota and Lake Kakusha, used for boating and fishing. Mendota also maintains a community swimming pool as well as several parks including Snyders Grove, a reserve/park.

Mendota also has 3 museums. The Hume-Carnegie Museum showcases arifacts of local history including items manufactured in Mendota as well as a small collection pertaining to Wild Bill Hickock who was born in nearby Troy Grove. The Union Depot Railroad Museum houses the current Amtrak station, several vintage railroad artifacts as well as actual train cars from the 30s and 40s. The Breaking the Prairie Museum is a small barn replica showcasing a rotating display with one large item (a vintage tractor or large item of farm husbandry) and several smaller items.


Mendota has two weekly newspapers, The Mendota Reporter and The Mendota Shopping Guide.

Mendota has two radio stations.

FM radio stations
Frequency Call sign Name Format Owner City
100.1 FM WGLC World's Greatest Little City Country Music The Radio Group Mendota, Illinois
102.9 FM WMKB Classic Rock 102.9 Classic Rock KM Broadcasting Mendota, Illinois


Mendota has four public schools and one private school. Three of which are grade schools and middle schools and one being a high school. The three grade schools are Lincoln, Blackstone, and Northbrook, which are zoned and only hold certain grades. The private school is Holy Cross and contains students K-8th, after which all the schools incorporate into the high school. A new Mendota Township High School was built in 2002 and is now located at 2300 Main Street (U.S. Route 52). The current enrollment of the high school is 632 students and growing.


External links

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