Lyons, Illinois

Lyons, Illinois

name = Lyons
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category = Village
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country = United States
state = Illinois
region = Cook
region_type = County
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district_type = Township
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area_imperial = 2.2
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population = 10255
population_date = 2000
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map_caption = Location of Lyons within Illinois
map_background = Illinois - background map.png map_locator = Illinois2
commons = Lyons, Illinois
statistics =
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Lyons is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 10,255 at the 2000 census.


Incorporated in 1888, Lyons is steeped in earlier historical roots. In 1673 French Explorer Louis Joliet and Jesuit missionary Father Pierre Marquette left Green Bay, Wisconsin by canoe in search of a western passage to the Pacific. As they traveled into the Spanish controlled area of Louisiana, they realized that the mighty Mississippi drained into the already well known Gulf of Mexico. With winter approaching, they headed north as quickly as possible. To save time the Pottawatomie Indians that were with them encouraged a change in the course to the Illinois River. This short cut led to the Des Plaines River and caused these travelers to discover “Le Portage”. This half mile wide area of land connecting the Chicago River and the Des Plaines River, over which they could carry their canoes and supplies, was to become the discovery that they would both become famous for. Later known as the Chicago Portage, this small area became the “Gateway to the West”, and was used by thousands of early settlers and traders traveling both east and west. The discovery of “Le Portage” was the impetus that led to Chicago becoming a center for the world trade.

Louis Joliet conceived the idea of constructing a canal to connect the two waterways. This idea was to become a reality 200 years later with the opening of the Illinois—Michigan Canal. Today, a statue stands in Lyons at the Chicago Portage National Historic Sight just north of Interstate 55 along Harlem Avenue, commemorating this historic National Heritage Corridor which stretches southwest thru LaSalle, Illinois.

Through the 1980s Lyons was known for its notorious links to organized crime. Mayor William Smith, for whom a village park was named, was being subjected to a federal corruption investigation when he died from cancer in 1989. During the 1970s and 1980s the small town was littered with strip clubs and bars along its Ogden Avenue corridor. However, the Village changed dramatically in the 1990s and all of the strip clubs and the majority of the bars no longer exist.

Lyons is a working class area, though much of the nearby manufacturing work has dried up (e.g., Electro-Motive & Reynolds). The city has historically been home to a large Polish American community since the turn of the century, which is reflected in three of the town's street names: Pulaski after Revolutionary War hero Casimir Pulaski as well as Warsaw and Cracow. Lyons is the subject of a recently published book by Mark Athitakis, a native of Lyons, detailing the town's rich and colorful history.


Lyons is located at coor dms|41|48|48|N|87|49|19|W|city (41.813258, -87.821812)GR|1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 2.2 square miles (5.8 km²), of which, 2.2 square miles (5.7 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (2.22%) is water.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 10,255 people, 4,032 households, and 2,556 families residing in the village. The population density was 4,646.8 people per square mile (1,791.6/km²). There were 4,219 housing units at an average density of 1,911.7/sq mi (737.1/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 86.89% White, 1.00% African American, 0.24% Native American, 1.39% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 6.86% from other races, and 3.57% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 16.27% of the population, including 13.1% of Mexican descent.

The top five non-Hispanic ancentries reported in Lyons as of the 2000 census were Polish (15.6%), German (15.0%), Irish (14.0%), Czech (11.4%) and Italian (11.3%). [PDFlink| [ Profile of General Demographic Characteristics, Lyons, Illinois] |38.9 KiB . U.S. Census Bureau. Accessed 2007-04-03.]

There were 4,032 households out of which 30.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.8% were married couples living together, 12.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.6% were non-families. 30.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.21.

In the village the population was spread out with 24.2% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 32.7% from 25 to 44, 21.1% from 45 to 64, and 13.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 99.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.3 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $44,306, and the median income for a family was $51,384. Males had a median income of $37,076 versus $28,627 for females. The per capita income for the village was $20,172. About 4.4% of families and 6.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.6% of those under age 18 and 4.3% of those age 65 or over.


Lyons is in Illinois' 3rd congressional district.


Lyons is served by the Lyons Elementary School District 103, which operates 5 elementary schools, two of which are in Lyons (Costello, and Robinson Elementary Schools). Middle school students attend George Washington Middle School.

High school students from District 103 move onto 1 of 2 high schools depending on their residency.Riverside Brookfield High School district 208,is located in the neighboring village of Riverside or J. Sterling Morton High School District 201's Morton West located in Berwyn

Lyons operates the [ Lyons Public Library] .


External links

* [ Village of Lyons]
* [ Lyons Public Library]

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