Dixon, Illinois

Dixon, Illinois
The Dixon Memorial Arch.
Nickname: Petunia City
Country United States
State Illinois
County Lee
Coordinates 41°50′46″N 89°29′6″W / 41.84611°N 89.485°W / 41.84611; -89.485
Area 6.8 sq mi (18 km2)
 - land 6.8 sq mi (18 km2)
Population 15,733 (2010)
Density 2,519.8 / sq mi (973 / km2)
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Postal code 61021
Area code 815
Location of Dixon within Illinois
Location of Dixon within Illinois
Wikimedia Commons: Dixon, Illinois

Dixon is a city in Lee County, Illinois, United States. The population was 15,733 as of the 2010 census, down from 15,941 at the 2000 census. Named for its founder, John Dixon (Dixon's Ferry), it is the county seat of Lee County[1]. Located on the Rock River, Dixon was the boyhood home of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

Dixon is also the site of the Lincoln Monument State Memorial, marking the spot where Abraham Lincoln joined the Illinois militia at Fort Dixon in 1832 during the Black Hawk War. The memorial is located on the west side of Dixon's main north-south street, Galena Avenue, (U.S. Highway 52 also U.S. 26), just north of the Rock River.[citation needed]



Dixon is located at 41°50′46″N 89°29′6″W / 41.84611°N 89.485°W / 41.84611; -89.485 (41.846130, -89.485115)[2].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.8 square miles (18 km2), of which 6.3 square miles (16 km2) are land and 0.4-square-mile (1.0 km2) (6.22%) is water.


Around 1828, Joseph Ogee, a man of mixed French and Native American descent, established a ferry and a cabin along the banks of the Rock River. In 1829, an employee of Ogee was named postmaster at the newly constructed post office. John Dixon, the eponymous founder, bought Ogee's Ferry in the spring of 1830. Father Dixon brought his family to his new establishment on April 11 of the same year. Shortly after, the name of the post office was changed to Dixon's Ferry as well.[3]

Located on the Rock River, Dixon was the boyhood home of the 40th president of the USA, Ronald Reagan. In his teen years, Reagan lifeguarded along the banks of the Rock River. His family house is preserved at 816 South Hennepin Avenue, and authorized by Congress to become Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home National Historic Site. (Reagan was born in nearby Tampico, Illinois and moved to Dixon when he was 9 years old.)[4]



Every summer Dixon holds the annual Petunia Festival, featuring a parade, carnival (Farrow shows), country concert, fireworks show, and a 5k (approximately 3.1 miles) race—the Reagan Run.[5] The parade features a multitude of floats from surrounding businesses, politicians, and other area groups. A carnival is also held in Dixon during this time, and the festival ends with the Fourth of July fireworks.

The Petunia Festival was conceived after Dutch Elm Disease and highway expansion wiped out the trees along the major roads in the late 1950s. In response to the dramatic change the streetscape underwent, the Dixon Mens Garden Club first planting petunias along Galena Avenue to regain some sort of streetscape identity once again in the early 1960s. Before the festival, volunteers plant thousands of pink petunias all along the main streets. The flowers are watered and maintained by the combined efforts of city workers and volunteers.[6]

Abraham Lincoln Monument, located in Dixon Illinois

The city has an arch along Galena Ave., just south of the Rock River, that has the word "Dixon" in neon glasswork. Though commonly referred to as the Dixon Arch, the proper name for the structure is the War Memorial Arch.[7]


As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 15,941 people, 5,681 households, and 3,488 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,519.8 people per square mile (972.3/km²). There were 6,138 housing units at an average density of 970.3 per square mile (374.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 86.33% White, 10.48% African American, 0.14% Native American, 0.82% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.10% from other races, and 1.09% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.30% of the population.

There were 5,681 households out of which 29.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.7% were married couples living together, 11.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.6% were non-families. 32.6% 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 2.32 and the average family size was 2.94.

In the city the population was spread out with 20.9% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 34.6% from 25 to 44, 20.7% from 45 to 64, and 14.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 110.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 112.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,720, and the median income for a family was $45,088. Males had a median income of $32,511 versus $21,777 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,630. About 5.7% of families and 10.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.7% of those under age 18 and 12.0% of those age 65 or over.

See also


External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Dixon — /dik seuhn/, n. 1. Jeremiah, died 1777, English astronomer and surveyor. Cf. Mason Dixon line. 2. a city in N Illinois. 15,659. 3. a male given name. * * * (as used in expressions) Cowell Henry Dixon Dixon Joseph Dixon Willie William James Dixon… …   Universalium

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  • Dixon Township, Lee County, Illinois — Dixon Township   Township   Location in Lee County …   Wikipedia

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