- Freeport, Illinois
name = Freeport
other_name = Winneshiek
other_name_note - [http://genealogytrails.com/ill/stephenson/historystephenson.html History of Stephenson County] Retrieved on
August 18, 2007]
category = City
nickname = Pretzel City, USA
image_caption = The Civil War era Soldiers' Monument and the Stephenson County Courthouse in Freeport.
country = United States
state = Illinois
region_type = County
region = Stephenson
district_type = Township
district = Freeport
elevation_imperial = 778
lat_d = 42
lat_m = 17
lat_s = 31
lat_NS = N
long_d = 89
long_m = 37
long_s = 49
long_EW = W
highest_location = | highest_region = | highest_state =
highest_lat_d = | highest_lat_m = | highest_lat_s = | highest_lat_NS =
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lowest_location = | lowest_region = | lowest_state =
lowest_lat_d = | lowest_lat_m = | lowest_lat_s = | lowest_lat_NS =
lowest_long_d = | lowest_long_m = | lowest_long_s = | lowest_long_EW =
length_imperial = | length_orientation =
area_imperial = 11.4
area_land_imperial = 10.3
area_water_imperial = 0.7
population = 26443 | population_date = 2000
population_density_imperial = 2316.9
established = 1827
date = 1838
government_location = | government_region = | government_state =
government_lat_d = | government_lat_m = | government_lat_s = | government_lat_NS =
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leader_type = Mayor
George W. Gaulrapp
timezone = | utc_offset =
timezone_DST = | utc_offset_DST =
postal_code = 61032
area_code = 815/779
free = | free_type =
map_caption = Location of Freeport within Illinois
map_locator = Illinois
commons = Freeport, Illinois
website = http://www.ci.freeport.il.us/
Freeport is the
county seatof Stephenson County, Illinois, United States. The population was 26,443 at the 2000 census.GR|6 The mayor of Freeport is George W. Gaulrapp, elected in 2005.
Originally called Winneshiek, the municipality when it was incorporated took its name from the generosity of
Tutty Baker, who was credited with running a "Free Port" on the Pecatonica River. The name 'Winneshiek' was later adopted, and is preserved to this day, by the Freeport Community Theatre Group.
In 1837, Stephenson County was formed and in 1838, Freeport became its seat of government. Linked by a stagecoach with
Chicago, the community grew rapidly. In 1840, a frame courthouse was erected and the first school was founded. Within two years, Freeport had two newspapers and in 1853, the two were joined by a third which published in German. By then, the community had a population of 2,000.
On August 27, 1858, the second debate between
Abraham Lincolnand Stephen A. Douglastook place in Freeport and gave the nation direction in the following years. Although Stephen Douglas won the election and retained his U.S. Senateseat, his reply to a question on slavery alienated the South, which called it the "Freeport Heresy," and split the Democratic Party. This enabled Abraham Lincoln to win the Presidency in 1860.A monument to the debate was dedicated in 1903 by President Theodore Rooseveltand stands at this site. A life size statue recreating the event was dedicated in 1992. Another renowned statue, "Lincoln the Debator." by Leonard Crunelle, is a focal point in the city's Taylor Park. Each year there is also a reenactment of the debate, which has been shown on CSPAN television.
Freeport is known as the "
PretzelCity", and its high school's teams are named the Pretzels. The nickname is a reminder of Freeport's ethnic heritage; in the late 1850s, many Germans, both from Pennsylvania and from their European homeland, resettled in Stephenson County. They brought with them their love of pretzel snacks, and a pretzel bakery started up.
Freeport is home to the oldest Carnegie Library in Illinois and one of the first Carnegie Libraries designed by the famous
Chicagoarchitectural firm of Patton and Miller.
Freeport is located at coor dms|42|17|31|N|89|37|49|W|city (42.292003, -89.630377)GR|1. It is located approximately 20 miles south of the Wisconsin Border, and at the center of a large agricultural area, located about 25 miles west of Rockford. According to the
United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.4 square miles (29.6 km²), of which, 11.4 square miles (29.6 km²) of it is land and 0.09% is water. U.S. Route 20is a four-lane divided highway that skirts the community's northern edge. At Rockford, it links with Interstate 90and Interstate 39, giving Freeport residents easy access to the entire Interstate system. I-90 is the major route between Chicagoand Minneapolis-St. Paul. I-39 extends from Rockford to Bloomington, where it links with I-74 and I-55. From Freeport, U.S. Route 20 continues west to historic Galena, Illinois, and the metropolitan area of Dubuque, Iowa.
According to the
United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.4 square miles (29.6 km²), of which, 11.4 square miles (29.6 km²) of it is land and 0.09% is water.
area codefor Freeport is 815 with an overlay area code of 779 as of March 17, 2007.
location = Freeport, Illinois
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source =weather.comcite web
url = http://www.weather.com/outlook/travel/businesstraveler/wxclimatology/monthly/graph/USIL0434?from=search| title = Monthly Averages for Freeport, IL | accessmonthday = | accessyear = 2008
publisher = ]
accessdate = 2008-02-28
footnote= [http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/17/1727884.html Census Quickfacts] [http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/decennial/index.htm] As of the
censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 26,443 people, 11,222 households, and 6,845 families residing in the city. The population densitywas 2,316.9 people per square mile (894.8/km²). There were 12,471 housing units at an average density of 1,092.7/sq mi (422.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 81.77% White, 13.81% African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.97% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.00% from other races, and 2.22% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.12% of the population.
There were 11,222 households out of which 28.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.1% were married couples living together, 12.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.0% were non-families. 33.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.1% 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 2.93.
In the city the population was spread out with 24.5% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 27.8% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 18.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 87.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $35,399, and the median income for a family was $43,787. Males had a median income of $35,870 versus $25,095 for females. The
per capita incomefor the city was $18,680. About 9.9% of families and 13.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.6% of those under age 18 and 9.5% of those age 65 or over.
Claim to fame
Freeport has three claims to fame (or infamy). First, it was the site of the second of the
Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858and where Stephen A. Douglasarticulated his Freeport Doctrine. Second, Freeport is the birthplace of Charles Guiteau, the assassin of U.S. President James Garfieldin 1881. Third, William Avery Rockefeller, father of John D. Rockefeller, lived in Freeport; he died and was buried there.
Freeport is the birthplace of several celebrities. Among them are:
Calista Flockhart, the star of " Ally McBeal"
Louella Parsons, the famous Hollywood gossip columnist.
Robert L. Johnson, founder of BET.
Preston Pearson, NFL football running back with the Baltimore Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Dallas Cowboys.
Ken Behring, former owner of the Seattle Seahawks.
Gerald McClellan, who was considered one of the best pound for pound boxers in the world before being permanently injured by Nigel Benn.
Dan Balz, National Political Reporter Washington Post
* Eric Oellerich, Online Business Developer CEO & founder of GoPublik
* James M. Torrisi - executive assistant producer of CSI (CBS) for 3 episodes in 2001
* Manuel Seal, Jr. is a Grammy Award winning Songwriter and producer, formerly of Jermaine Dupri's So So Def Recordings. He has co-written & produced many hit singles and they include, but are not limited to Mariah Carey's 1996's "Always Be My Baby" and 2005's "We Belong Together," as well as Usher's 1997's "You Make Me Wanna..., Nice & Slow" and 2004's "My Boo." Has written songs for artist such as Tyrese, Xscape, Jagged Edge, Bow wow.. and has 5 platinum selling singles under his beltfact|date=October 2007
* Jimmie Mattern, aviation pioneer, was born in Freeport on
March 8, 1905. Jimmie undertook many aviation world records, including twice attempting to set the around the world record set by Wiley Post and Harold Gatty. Both attempts failed, the second in 1933 resulting in crash landing and rescue by Eskimos in Siber
* Highland Community College is located in the city.
Points of interest
* Stephenson County Historical Society & Museum
* Krape Park
Don Opel Arboretum
* The Pretzel Bowl
* Jeannette Lloyd Theatre
* Willow Lake
* Little Cubs Field
* [http://www.ci.freeport.il.us/index.htm City Of Freeport Chamber of Commerce]
* [http://www.epodunk.com/cgi-bin/popInfo.php?locIndex=6160 Demographics Report from epodunk]
* [http://www.highland.cc.il.us Highland Community College]
* [http://www.freeport-il-econ-dev.com Freeport Area Economic Development Foundation]
* [http://www.stephcohs.org/ Stephenson County Museum]
* [http://www.mrlincolnandfreedom.org/inside.asp?ID=23&subjectID=2 Mr. Lincoln and Freedom: Lincoln-Douglas Debate in Freeport]
* [http://www.ci.freeport.il.us/ City of Freeport]
* [http://www.freeport-il.com/ Freeport,Illinois ]
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