Waterloo, Illinois

Waterloo, Illinois

name = Waterloo
native_name =
other_name =
category = City
etymology = Battle of Waterloo
official_name =
motto = City Convienience, Rural Advantages
nickname =

image_caption =

symbol =
country = United States
state = Illinois
region = Monroe
region_type = County
district = 16, 17, 18, 19, 26, and 27
district_type = Precincts
municipality =
location =
elevation_imperial = 709
prominence_imperial =
lat_d = 38
lat_m = 20
lat_s = 7
lat_NS = N
long_d = 90
long_m = 9
long_s = 10
long_EW = W
coordinates_no_title = 1
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length_imperial =
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area_imperial = 5.6
area_land_imperial = 5.6
area_water_imperial =
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population = 7614
population_date = 2000
population_urban =
population_metro =
population_density =
population_density_imperial = 1367.8
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established = 1818
date =
established1_type = Chartered as town
established1 = 1849
established2_type = Chartered as city
established2 = 1888
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mayor = Tom Smith
leader =
leader_type = Mayor
timezone = CST
utc_offset = -6
timezone_DST = CDT
utc_offset_DST = -5
postal_code = 62298
area_code = 618
code =
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map_caption = Location of Waterloo within Illinois
map_background = Illinois - background map.png map_locator = Illinois2
commons = Waterloo, Illinois
statistics =
website = http://www.waterloo.il.us/
footnotes =

Waterloo is a city in Monroe County, Illinois, United States. The population was 7,614 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Monroe County.GR|6


Waterloo is located at coor dms|38|20|7|N|90|9|10|W|city (38.335243, -90.152685).GR|1

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.6 square miles (14.6 km²), of which, 5.6 square miles (14.4 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.89%) is water. Illinois Route 3 and Illinois Route 156 intersect within its bounds, and it is along the historic trail from Kaskaskia to St. Louis.


Early History

Waterloo's history dates back to French explorers during the 1600s, who travelled through and settled in the region. Its settlement by Americans began when James Moore, Larken Rutherford, and James Garretson, settlers from Maryland and Virginia travelled to Kaskaskia, Illinois in 1781 and after wintering there, settled at or near Bellefontaine (French for Beautiful Spring) the next spring, in 1782. This name had been supplied by the French to a spring of water a mile south of the site of Waterloo, at which they had doubtless often camped on their journeys between Kaskaskia, Cahokia, and St. Louis. This marked the first permanent American settlement in the entire Northwest Territory. Moore, who had been a member of Colonel George Rogers Clark's 1778 Illinois campaign, (he shared this distinction with several other of the early settlers) established himself at the site of the spring, this tract remained in possession of the Moore family for over a century, until at least the 1900s. The Bellefontaine House, situated a short distance west of the southern end of Main Street, the kitchen of which is believed to be Moore's original log cabin, was restored and stands there to this day. Rutherford settled in the vicinity, while Garretson selected a location a mile northeast of Waterloo's present location. Judge Shadrach Bond, uncle and namesake of Illinois first governor, was also a part of the Moore party of settlers, however, he settled on the Bottoms. It had been assumed that when these immigrants left the country east of the Alleghenies, that the settlers need fear no trouble from the Indians. It was not long, however before the native residents began to threaten, and James Moore was elected captain of the company which came to be raised for the protection of the colony.

Illinois at that time was a county of Virginia, and the commission which Captain Moore received was from the Governor of Virginia, Patrick Henry. He was directed to establish a military post and command the Illinois militia. A fort, or blockhouse was accordingly built at Bellfontaine, and afterward, during the Indian Wars this was one of the most frequent and noted places of resort. Captain Moore’s efforts were of great value in establishing amicable relations with the Indians, so that it was not until 1786 that serious trouble began with the hostile tribes. With Gabriel Cerré, a wealthy merchant of St. Louis, he entered into trade with the Indians, and for some time maintained his headquarters on the site of Nashville, TN. Three of his sons, John, James B., and Enoch, the latter being the first American child known to be born within Monroe County, being born in the Bellefontaine blockhouse in 1783, served in the War of 1812. John as a lieutenant of rangers in the Illinois militia, James raising and commanding a company of rangers as its captain, and Enoch as a private in his elder brother's company. Moore's company was one of four raised from Illinois, which along with six others raised elsewhere that would later become the 17th U.S. Infantry [Pioneer History of Illinois, Reynolds, John, 1889, pg.406] . James B. Moore later was a delegate to the convention which framed the first Illinois Constitution, and was elected to the State Legislature. Before the war he had owned and managed what was perhaps the largest tanning yard west of the Alleghenies at a site three miles northeast of present day Waterloo.

on November 16, 1977.

A town and a name

The tract of land on which the original town of Waterloo was laid out was purchased in 1818 by George Forquer later an Illinois State Senator, 5th Secretary of State of Illinois (1825-1828), 5th Illinois Attorney General (1829-1832) and most famously an early political enemy of Abraham Lincoln. The projectors of the town were Forquer and Daniel P. Cook. The latter was a prominent lawyer, a resident of Kaskaskia and afterward a member of Congress, and gave his name to Cook County. Forquer was born in Pennsylvania in 1794, and came to Illinois with his mother, Mrs. Ford, and his younger half brother, Thomas Ford, (afterwards Gov. Ford), in 1804. Much of the land on which the town is now built was, previous to the laying out of the town, owned by David H. Ditch, whose log home, which stood until 1881, was used as a hotel, and later in 1825, when Waterloo was declared the country seat, courts were held there.

In 1836 the town contained not more than twenty buildings, including a small, two-story brick courthouse, a Methodist church, a log building used as a schoolhouse, a wind-powered mill, and a blacksmith's shop. [" [http://www.rootsweb.com/~ilmonroe/1883/waterloo.htm History of the City of Waterloo] ". excerpts from Combined History of Randolph, Monroe and Perry Counties, Illinois, J. L. McDonough & Co.,Philadelphia, 1883 Retrieved on January 19, 2008.]

The Germans

The town experienced a marked population increase after 1840, and that is when the German population got its impetus, the original German settlers having arrived in the 1830s or even earlier. Some came from populations in the former colonies, but many came directly from Germany, either overland from the East Coast ports, or upriver from New Orleans. These came in search of their own land, and to escape the widespread political unrest in Germany at the time. Many of the city's buildings, its citizens, and especially its local character still reflect the heritage left by those German settlers. Many calques and idioms, such as those found in Pennsylvania Dutch English persist, and there are a number of German words which commonly sprinkle casual conversation.

Waterloo received its charter as a town February 12, 1849, and the charter was amended in 1855 and 1859. It was chartered as a city on August 29, 1888.

20th Century

On December 1, 1978, its historic district was recognized and placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The City of Waterloo also has been recognized for its work through Sister Cities International. On October 2, 1980, Waterloo announced a Sister Cities partnership (officially recognized April 1981) with Porta Westfalica in (then) West Germany. Due primarily to the efforts of Vera Kholmeier of Waterloo and Helmut Macke of Porta Westfalica, it came about as a result of genealogical research, which concluded that perhaps two-thirds of Monroe County's German population could trace their ancestry back to this region of northern Germany..]


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 7,614 people (8,945 as of 2003 special census [Saathoff, Corey (Nov 7, 2007), "Waterloo to conduct special census", Republic-Times 121(45): 1A] ), 2,912 households, and 2,076 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,367.8 people per square mile (527.8/km²). There were 3,015 housing units at an average density of 541.6/sq mi (209.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.78% White, 0.01% African American, 0.29% Native American, 0.33% Asian, 0.17% from other races, 0.42% from two or more races, and 0.68% of the population were Hispanic or Latino.

There were 2,912 households out of which 37.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.3% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.7% were non-families. 25.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.1% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 30.4% from 25 to 44, 19.3% from 45 to 64, and 16.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 88.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $46,938, and the median income for a family was $57,894. Males had a median income of $40,892 versus $24,685 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,081. About 2.1% of families and 3.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.8% of those under age 18 and 9.0% of those age 65 or over.


* Main Street Saloon
* BoBecks Sports Bar and Grill
* O'Shadys Sports Bar and Gril
* Willy's West End
* Randy's Double RR Bar
* [http://www.gallagherswaterloo.com/ Gallagher's]
* Fireside Bar
* Outsider's Bar
* JV's Bar and Grill
* Applebee's


Waterloo has a number of public and parochial schools. All public schools are a part of Waterloo Community Unit District #5.


*Zahnow Elementary School (Public K-2) Home of the 'Lil Dawgs (formerly Bears)
*Rogers Elementary School (Public 3-5) Home of the Bulldogs
*SS Peter and Paul Grade School (Catholic K-8) Home of the Falcons

Junior High

*Waterloo Junior High School (Public 6-8) Home of the Bulldogs (formerly Indians)

High School

*Waterloo High School (Public) Home of the Bulldogs
*Gibault Catholic High School (Catholic) Home of the Hawks

According to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, schools in Waterloo had a total combined enrollment of 3,284 students being instructed by 210 total teachers. [ " [http://www2.illinoisbiz.biz/communityprofiles/profiles/WATERLOO.htm#education] ".ILDCEO Community Profile. Retrieved on November 9, 2007.]

Registered Historic Places

* Capt. James Moore Farmstead
* Fountain Creek Bridge near Waterloo
* Peterstown House
* Waterloo Historic District (Illinois)


External links

* [http://www.waterloo.il.us/ City of Waterloo]
* [http://www.wcusd5.net/ Waterloo Community Unit District #5]
* [http://www.waterloo.il.us/WelcomeToWaterloo/MapOfWaterloo/CityMap.pdf Download map of Waterloo in .pdf]

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