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presettlement

LaSalle, Illinois

The city of LaSalle, mistakenly spelled La Salle, is located in LaSalle County, Illinois, at the intersection of Interstate 80 and Interstate 39. It is part of the OttawaStreator Micropolitan Statistical Area. Originally platted in 1837 over one square mile, the city has grown to 12 square miles. City boundaries extend from the Illinois River and Illinois and Michigan Canal to a mile north of Interstate 80 and from the city of Peru on the west to the village of North Utica on the east. Starved Rock State Park is located approximately 5 miles to the east. The population was 9,796 at the 2000 census. LaSalle's industries include cement and potassium permanganate products.

Geography

LaSalle is located at (41.341056, -89.090834).

Centrally located along the Illinois and Michigan Canal at the crossroads of I-39 and I-80, LaSalle is just six miles from Starved Rock Park.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.4 square miles (16.7 km²), of which, 6.3 square miles (16.4 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (1.40%) is water.

History

LaSalle was named in honor of the early French explorer, Robert de LaSalle. In presettlement times the Illinois River was navigable upstream only to LaSalle; beyond LaSalle were a series of portages, in which boats had to be carried around rapids. During the 1830s, the Illinois and Michigan Canal was built to connect the Illinois River with Lake Michigan. LaSalle was the southwestern terminus of the Canal; Chicago the northeastern. At first LaSalle was the larger of the two cities, but it was soon dwarfed by its partner on the Lake.

Although the original town of LaSalle was platted in the 1830s, the city was not incorporated until 1852. Six years after incorporation, two men - Frederich W. Matthiessen and Edward C. Hegeler - established the Matthiessen and Hegeler Zinc Company in LaSalle. This company would remain one of the largest employers in the city until its closure in the 1960s. Edward Hegeler built the world famous Hegeler Carus Mansion near his company's site. His daughter, Mary, married Paul Carus - the founder of Carus Chemical Company, another of LaSalle's large industries.

Economy

LaSalle is home to the Carus Chemical Company, Illinois Cement Company, Air Products, and the J.C. Whitney Retail Store, Machelle's Backstreet, along with many other local industries and businesses.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 9,796 people, 4,161 households, and 2,471 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,543.6 people per square mile (595.6/km²). There were 4,510 housing units at an average density of 710.7/sq mi (274.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.73% White, 1.28% African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.48% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 3.07% from other races, and 1.24% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.22% of the population.

There were 4,161 households out of which 27.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.0% were married couples living together, 11.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.6% were non-families. 35.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.1% 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 2.98.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.4% under the age of 18, 9.4% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 18.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 98.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,491, and the median income for a family was $44,638. Males had a median income of $37,095 versus $21,334 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,099. About 12.1% of families and 15.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.2% of those under age 18 and 8.3% of those age 65 or over.

Revival

Downtown LaSalle is seeing a revival in business, with the introduction of new businesses with city style in the early 2000s.

The arrival of the Volunteer (canal boat) on 06-07-2008 is expected to draw over 70,000 visitors a year and pump $5 million into the local economy in the next 3 years.

Notable residents

References

External links

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