|City of Beloit, Wisconsin|
|Nickname(s): Gateway To Wisconsin|
Location in Rock County and the state of Wisconsin.
|Incorporated||February 24, 1846 (village)
March 31, 1856 (city)
|• Manager||Larry Arft|
|• City Attorney||Tom Casper|
|• City Council||Mark Spreitzer (President)
Charles Haynes (Vice President)
Sheila De Forest
David F. Luebke
|• Total||17.70 sq mi (45.84 km2)|
|• Land||17.37 sq mi (44.99 km2)|
|• Water||0.33 sq mi (0.85 km2)|
|Elevation||751 ft (228.9 m)|
|• Estimate (2012)||36,842|
|• Density||2,128/sq mi (821.7/km2)|
Beloit was a New England settlement. The original founders of Beloit consisted entirely of settlers from New England. These people were "Yankees", that is to say they were descended from the English Puritans who settled New England in the 1600s. They were part of a wave of New England farmers who headed west into what was then the wilds of the Northwest Territory during the early 1800s. Most of them arrived as a result of the completion of the Erie Canal. When they arrived in what is now Beloit there was nothing but dense virgin forest and wild prairie, the New Englanders laid out farms, constructed roads, erected government buildings and established post routes. They brought with them many of their Yankee New England values, such as a passion for education, establishing many schools as well as staunch support for abolitionism. They were mostly members of the Congregationalist Church though some were Episcopalian. Due to the second Great Awakening some of them had converted to Methodism before moving to what is now Beloit and some had become Baptist. Beloit, like much of Wisconsin, would be culturally very continuous with early New England culture for most of its early history.
Twelve men in Colebrook, New Hampshire created the "New England Emigrating Company" in October 1836. They sent a man named Dr. Horace White to find a suitable region of Wisconsin to settle. The level fields and the water power of Turtle Creek, as well as the "unlimited gravel" in the area around what is now Beloit fixed the site of the intended village and farms. Dr. White purchased the land. At the same time as the Colebrook settlers, six families from Bedford, New Hampshire arrived and settled in the region as well. They said that the Rock River Valley had a "New England look", which made them feel at home. The village was planted in 1838 and was planned with wide streets which built on the New England model.
Beloit was originally named New Albany (after Albany, Vermont) in 1837 by its founder, Caleb Blodgett. The name was changed to Beloit in 1838. The name Beloit was coined to be reminiscent of Detroit.
Beloit lays claim to such inventions as the speedometer, Korn Kurls, and John Francis Appleby's twine binder. Korn Kurls, which resemble Cheetos, are credited with the founding of the snack food industry.
Downtown Beloit and the riverfront
Downtown Beloit is the historical economic, cultural and social center of the community. Located north of the confluence of the Rock River and Turtle Creek, the downtown is anchored by a core of historic buildings and the Ironworks office and industrial campus. Beloit's riverfront park system, mainly Riverside Park, extends north of the downtown along the east bank toward the Town of Beloit.
Downtown Beloit is one of two inaugural members of the Wisconsin Main Street designation.
Beloit was served by the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad, better known as the Milwaukee Road, and the Chicago & North Western Railroad (C&NW). In its 1980 bankruptcy, the Milwaukee Road disposed of the Southwestern Line. The Union Pacific Railroad, which took over the C&NW, operates in Beloit today over a remnant of the former Milwaukee Road, providing a rail connection to Fairbanks-Morse.[clarification needed] The Canadian Pacific Railway operates other trackage in Beloit. The city also had an electric interurban railroad.[when?]
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 17.70 square miles (45.84 km2), of which 17.37 square miles (44.99 km2) is land and 0.33 square miles (0.85 km2) is water. Location: .
Most of Beloit's development is occurring on the east side, adjacent to Interstates 39/90 and Interstate 43, where the city annexed rural land for the extensive Beloit Gateway Industrial Park, as well as in the newly revitalized downtown located along the Rock River.
As of the census of 2010, there were 36,966 people, 13,781 households, and 8,867 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,128.2 inhabitants per square mile (821.7/km2). There were 15,177 housing units at an average density of 873.7 per square mile (337.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 68.9% White, 15.1% African American, 0.4% Native American, 1.1% Asian, 10.0% from other races, and 4.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 17.1% of the population.
There were 13,781 households of which 36.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.6% were married couples living together, 18.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 35.7% were non-families. 29.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.16.
The median age in the city was 33.1 years. 27.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 12.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.7% were from 25 to 44; 23.1% were from 45 to 64; and 12% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.9% male and 52.1% female.
Beloit is represented by Neal Kedzie and Tim Cullen in the Wisconsin State Senate, Amy Loudenbeck and Janis Ringhand in the Wisconsin State Assembly, Mark Pocan in the United States House of Representatives, and Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin in the United States Senate.
Beloit's major industries:
- ABC Supply Company †
- Beloit Daily News
- Bio-Systems International †
- Broaster Company †
- Frito Lay
- Genecor International Wisconsin, Inc. (A Danisco Division)
- Kerry Ingredients & Flavours Americas (A Kerry Group Division)
- Kettle Foods
- Murmac Paint Manufacturing, Inc. †
- Patch Products †
- Regal-Beloit †
- Staples, Inc. Online Fulfillment Center
† indicates Beloit is home to the company's world headquarters.
Downtown Beloit is a dense cluster of mostly small shops and boutiques. The area has been recognized for increased investment and renewal since the 1990s. Upscale downtown condominiums and hotels were introduced post-2000 with the construction of the Hotel Hilton Apartments (2001), the Beloit Inn (2003), Heritage View (2005), and the Phoenix Project (2013).
From the 1990s to 2011, downtown Beloit has received direct public and private investment totaling more than $75 million. In 2011 Beloit was a Great American Main Street Award winner. In 2012 Beloit was listed #17 on Travel and Leisure's list of America's Greatest Mainstreets.
The School District of Beloit serves close to 7,000 students in 10 elementary schools, 3 middle schools and 1 high school, with alternative programming and charter schools. Beloit Memorial High School is the city's public high school. The Roy Chapman Andrews Academy, a project-based charter school, is part of the School District of Beloit and serves grades 6 through 12.
Beloit College, a private liberal arts college with undergraduate enrollment around 1,300, is located in the city. The campus has a number of prehistoric Indian mounds.
- Beloit Janesville Symphony
- Beloit Civic Theatre
- Beloit International Film Festival
- Wright Museum of Art
- Logan Museum of Anthropology
- The Angel Museum
Beloit's main festivals include:
- Beloit International Film Festival
- Southern Wisconsin AirFest
- Beloit Heritage Days
- Beloit Autorama
- Beloit Riverfest
Beloit is home to a professional minor league baseball team, the Beloit Snappers. The Snappers are a part of the Oakland Athletics organization.
- Beloit is the only city in Rock County to have been named an All-America City.
- Beloit was one of Travel + Leisure's top 20 Greatest American Main Streets for 2014.
- Thomas Ryum Amlie, U.S. Representative
- Danica Patrick, Auto racing driver and model
- Roy Chapman Andrews, adventurer and naturalist
- Fred Ascani, U.S. Air Force Major General
- Alan E. Ashcroft, Jr., Illinois State Representative
- Clinton Babbitt, U.S. Representative
- George B. Belting, Wisconsin State Assemblyman
- Jim Breton, MLB player
- Jason W. Briggs, leader in the development of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
- Richard Burdge, Wisconsin State Senator
- Jim Caldwell, Beloit Memorial High School Alumnus and head coach of the Detroit Lions
- Thomas Chrowder Chamberlin, geologist
- Franklin Clarke, professional football player for the Dallas Cowboys (1960–1967) and the Cleveland Browns (1957–1959)
- Delmar DeLong, Wisconsin State Assemblyman
- Burger M. Engebretson, Wisconsin State Assemblyman
- John E. Erickson, NBA executive
- Betty Everett, rock and jazz singer ("The Shoop Shoop Song")
- Patsy Gharrity, MLB player
- The Felix Culpa, post-hardcore band
- Danny Gokey, American Idol contestant, choir director at a Beloit church
- Bernie Graham, professional baseball player
- John Hackett, businessman and politician
- Jim Hall, professional boxer
- Bill Hanzlik, NBA player and coach
- Jonathan Harr, journalist and author of (A Civil Action)
- Ken Hendricks, founder of ABC Supply, listed on the Forbes 400
- Gary Johnson, elected majority leader of the Wisconsin Assembly in 1980 and 1983
- Jerry Kenney, major league baseball player for the New York Yankees (1967, 1969–1972) and the Cleveland Indians (1973)
- John Baxter Kinne, Medal of Honor recipient
- Gene Knutson, NFL player
- Richard LaPiere, sociologist at Stanford University
- Eugene Lee, Tony Award-winning set designer, (Wicked, Saturday Night Live)
- Wallace Leschinsky, Wisconsin State Assemblyman
- Juan Conway McNabb (John Conway McNabb), Roman Catholic bishop, missionary-Peru
- Max Maxfield, Wyoming Secretary of State
- Dr. Edward Strong Merrill, Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame, legendary multi-sport athlete, Beloit College, '02
- Elmer Miller, MLB player
- Tommy Mills, head coach of the Creighton Bluejays, Georgetown Hoyas and Arkansas State Indians football teams; Creighton Bluejays and Arkansas State Indians men's basketball teams and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish baseball team
- Orsen N. Nielsen, U.S. diplomat
- Russ Oltz, NFL player
- George Perring, MLB player
- Alan S. Robertson, Wisconsin State Assemblyman
- Robert P. Robinson, Wisconsin State Senator
- Judy Robson, former majority leader, Wisconsin Senate
- Jane Sherman, actress, writer, composer
- Richard Shoemaker, Wisconsin State Senator
- Tracy Silverman, violinist
- Robert C. Strong, U.S. diplomat
- William Barstow Strong, former president of Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway
- Dean Sturgis, MLB player
- Tyree Talton, NFL player
- Rusty Tillman, NFL player and assistant coach, XFL head coach
- Arthur Pratt Warner, aviator and inventor
- Kyle Weaver, professional basketball player for the Oklahoma City Thunder
- Floyd E. Wheeler, Wisconsin State Assemblyman and lawyer
- John D. Wickhem, Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court
- Zip Zabel, MLB player
- Robin Zander, musician (Cheap Trick)
Beloit Water Tower, constructed in 1889
Middle College, on the Beloit College campus, Wisconsin's oldest academic building still in use
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-06-24.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Southeastern Wisconsin: a history of Old Milwaukee County, Volume 3 John Goadby Gregory S.J. Clarke, 1932
- The Expansion of New England: The Spread of New England Settlement and Institutions to the Mississippi River, 1620-1865 by Lois Kimball Matthews Rosenberry, 1909 page 240, 241 and 242
- Callary, Edward. 2009. Place Names of Illinois. Champaign: University of Illinois Press, p. 326.
- "Frank Blodgett Dies at Age 82". Janesville Daily Gazette. March 21, 1949. p. 1. Retrieved August 26, 2014 – via Newspapers.com.
- Arthur Warner
- Beloit Historical Society
- Appleby, John Francis 1840 - 1917
- "Wisconsin Main Street map and founding years" (PDF). Wisconsin Main Street Association. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- Beloit Railroad History and Photos
- "The 2011 Great American Main Street Award Winners". Preservation Nation. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- Stewart, Erica (23 May 2011). "The 2011 Great American Main Street Award Winners: Places You’ll Want to Know (and Visit!)". PreservationNation Blog. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "America's Greatest Mainstreets 2012".
- Adams, Barry. "Downtown Beloit an Emerging Destination". Wisconsin State Journal. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame, 1964 inductee
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