Bellflower, Illinois

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Coordinates: 40°20′26″N 88°31′36″W / 40.34056°N 88.52667°W / 40.34056; -88.52667
Bellflower
Village
Country United States
State Illinois
County McLean
Township Bellflower
Elevation 784 ft (239 m)
Coordinates 40°20′26″N 88°31′36″W / 40.34056°N 88.52667°W / 40.34056; -88.52667
Area 0.37 sq mi (1 km2)
 - land 0.37 sq mi (1 km2)
 - water 0.00 sq mi (0 km2)
Population 357 (2010)
Density 1,118.1 / sq mi (432 / km2)
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Postal code 61724
Area code 309
Location of Bellflower within Illinois
Location of Bellflower within Illinois
Wikimedia Commons: Bellflower, Illinois

Bellflower is a village in McLean County, Illinois, United States. The population was 357 at the 2010 census. It is part of the BloomingtonNormal Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Geography[edit]

Bellflower is located at 40°20′26″N 88°31′36″W / 40.34056°N 88.52667°W / 40.34056; -88.52667 (40.340504, -88.526741).[1]

According to the 2010 census, the village has a total area of 0.37 square miles (0.96 km2), all land.[2]

The Town was named for the Bellflower Apple. Students from Bellflower attend the Blue Ridge School District.

History[edit]

Founding[edit]

Bellflower was laid out on 26 August 1871 by George Nelson Black (15 March 1833 – 22 April 1908) and his wife Louisa J. Black (22 December 1840 – 23 December 1909). George was born in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, and had come to Springfield, Illinois in 1850 where he became wealthy through manufacturing, mining, and railroads.[3] Bellflower Township had subscribed $30,000 in twenty-year bonds toward the construction of what was then called the Gilman, Clinton and Springfield Railroad. A condition of the funding was that the township would have a station on the railroad. Black purchased 100 acres (0.40 km2) of land, laid 40 acres (160,000 m2) out into town lots and then transferred the title to the Railroad. When the railroad became property of the Illinois Central Railroad, town lots in Bellflower were not transferred to that railroad. The name of the town came from the name of the township and was selected by Jesse Richards, who was particularly fond of the Bellflower apple. It is perhaps the only town in Illinois named for an apple. In the 1870s it was often spelled Belle Flower or Belle-Flower.[4]

Original plan and growth[edit]

The original plan of the town consisted of two square blocks of land. Most of the western square was divided into sixteen blocks, each usually containing twelve lots, and this part of the town was split diagonally by the 100-foot-wide (30 m) path of the railroad. Unlike many towns found in the 1870s, there was no Depot Ground. The eastern square of land and a strip along the north edge of the western square was divided into out lots, each of which were several times the size the lots in the western square. The combination of in lots and out lots was fairly common in central Illinois and may be found, for example, at Hudson and Chenoa. The small triangle of landcut off by the railroad from the remainder of block ten became thelocation of the town jail. The station was located on the south side of the tracks and the two early elevatorswere on railroad land. By 1895 both in lots and out lots held residences.[5] R. E. Moreland established the first business. Bellflower quickly became a major grain shipping center serving the fertile surrounding land. By 1879 it was shipping over 350,000 bushels of grain a year.[6] In 1900 the population was 356 and it is only slightly larger today.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 356
1910 394 10.7%
1920 441 11.9%
1930 442 0.2%
1940 425 −3.8%
1950 413 −2.8%
1960 389 −5.8%
1970 400 2.8%
1980 421 5.3%
1990 405 −3.8%
2000 408 0.7%
2010 357 −12.5%
Decennial US Census

As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 408 people, 162 households, and 117 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,118.1 people per square mile (437.6/km²). There were 171 housing units at an average density of 468.6 per square mile (183.4/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 100.00% White.

There were 162 households out of which 32.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.6% were married couples living together, 6.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.2% were non-families. 24.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the village the population was spread out with 24.8% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 28.2% from 25 to 44, 23.3% from 45 to 64, and 15.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 96.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.1 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $41,442, and the median income for a family was $45,625. Males had a median income of $34,375 versus $28,250 for females. The per capita income for the village was $16,200. None of the families and 0.5% of the population were living below the poverty line, including no under eighteens and 3.8% of those over 64.

Notable people[edit]

Events[edit]

Bellflower Country Opry—Located at the Bellflower Community Center, the monthly show features music, skits, raffles, prizes, and a fundraiser dinner for local organizations. Each month highlights different guest musicians along with a unique costume theme.

Koinonia at St. John's—The St. John's Catholic Newman Center located at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign hosts four annual Catholic retreats as part of a college outreach program called Koinonia, based in the Catholic faith and the community. The retreat takes place on four weekends throughout the school year at the Bellflower Community Center. There have been over 100 retreats over the course of the past 30 years and the town of Bellflower has become iconic to the K-Community.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  2. ^ "Places: Illinois". 2010 Census Gazetteer Files. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-10-13. 
  3. ^ Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McLean County (Edited by Ezra M. Prince and John H. Burnham; 2 Vols; Chicago: Munsell, 1908) p. 2:902.
  4. ^ History of Mclean County, Illinois (Chicago: LeBaron 1879) p.738.
  5. ^ Combined Indexed Atlas 1856 - 1914, McLean County, Illinois (Bloomington: McLean County Historical Society and McLean County Genealogical Society, 2006) p. 106, 155.
  6. ^ History of McLean County, 1879, p. 739.
  7. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.