Beloit, Wisconsin

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This article is about the city. For the adjacent town, see Beloit (town), Wisconsin.
City of Beloit, Wisconsin
Downtown Beloit
Downtown Beloit
Flag of City of Beloit, Wisconsin
Flag
Nickname(s): Gateway To Wisconsin
Location in Rock County and the state of Wisconsin.
Location in Rock County and the state of Wisconsin.
Coordinates: 42°30′30″N 89°01′54″W / 42.50833°N 89.03167°W / 42.50833; -89.03167
Country  United States
State  Wisconsin
County Rock
Founded 1836
Incorporated February 24, 1846 (village)
March 31, 1856 (city)
Government
 • Manager Larry Arft
 • City Attorney Tom Casper
 • City Council Mark Spreitzer (President)
Charles Haynes (Vice President)
Sheila De Forest
Ana Kelly
Chuck Kincaid
Kevin Leavy
David F. Luebke
Area[1]
 • 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)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 36,966
 • Estimate (2012[3]) 36,842
 • Density 2,128/sq mi (821.7/km2)
Website www.ci.beloit.wi.us

Beloit is a city in Rock County, Wisconsin, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 36,966.[4][5]

History[edit]

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.[6][7]

Twelve men in Colebrook, New Hampshire created the "New England Emigrating Company" in October of 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.[8]

Beloit was originally named New Albany (after Albany, Vermont) in 1837 by its founder, Caleb Blodgett. The name was changed to Beloit in 1838.[9][10] The name Beloit was coined to be reminiscent of Detroit.[9]

Beloit lays claim to such inventions as the speedometer,[11] Korn Kurls,[12] and John Francis Appleby's twine binder.[13] Korn Kurls, which resemble Cheetos, are credited with the founding of the snack food industry.[citation needed]

Historic buildings[edit]

Beloit's Water Tower Place began demolition in 1935, which was halted because of the cost. A historic pump station is located nearby.

The Fairbanks Flats were built in 1917 to house the rush of African Americans moving to the area from the Southern United States.

Pearsons Hall of Science was designed by the architectural firm Burnham and Root for Beloit College to use as a science center.

Downtown Beloit and the riverfront[edit]

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.[14]

Railroad heritage[edit]

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.[15] The city also had an electric interurban railroad.[when?]

Geography[edit]

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.[1] Location: 42°30′30″N 89°01′54″W / 42.50833°N 89.03167°W / 42.50833; -89.03167.

The city is located adjacent to the Town of Beloit, Town of Turtle, and the Illinois municipality of South Beloit.

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.

Demographics[edit]

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[2] 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.

Government[edit]

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.

Economy[edit]

Beloit's major industries:

† 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.[16] 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.[17] In 2011 Beloit was a Great American Main Street Award winner.[18] In 2012 Beloit was listed #17 on Travel and Leisure's list of America's Greatest Mainstreets.[19][20]

Education[edit]

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 entrance

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.

Blackhawk Technical College, a public technical school, has a campus in downtown Beloit.

National Louis University, an online (distance learning) college, has a campus in Beloit.

Culture[edit]

Festivals[edit]

Beloit's main festivals include:

Recreation[edit]

Beloit is home to a professional minor league baseball team, the Beloit Snappers. The Snappers are a part of the Oakland Athletics organization.

Recognition[edit]

  • Beloit is the only city in Rock County to have been named an All-America City.[21]
  • Beloit was one of Travel + Leisure's top 20 Greatest American Main Streets[22] for 2014.

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  3. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-06-24. 
  4. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=DEC_10_DP_DPDP1&prodType=table
  6. ^ Southeastern Wisconsin: a history of Old Milwaukee County, Volume 3 John Goadby Gregory S.J. Clarke, 1932
  7. ^ 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
  8. ^ 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
  9. ^ a b Callary, Edward. 2009. Place Names of Illinois. Champaign: University of Illinois Press, p. 326.
  10. ^ "Frank Blodgett Dies at Age 82". Janesville Daily Gazette. March 21, 1949. p. 1. Retrieved August 26, 2014 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  11. ^ Arthur Warner
  12. ^ Beloit Historical Society
  13. ^ Appleby, John Francis 1840 - 1917
  14. ^ "Wisconsin Main Street map and founding years". Wisconsin Main Street Association. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  15. ^ Beloit Railroad History and Photos
  16. ^ "The 2011 Great American Main Street Award Winners". Preservation Nation. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  17. ^ "The 2011 Great American Main Street Award Winners". Preservation Nation. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  18. ^ 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. 
  19. ^ "America's Greatest Mainstreets 2012". 
  20. ^ Adams, Barry. "Downtown Beloit an Emerging Destination". Wisconsin State Journal. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  21. ^ http://www.ci.beloit.wi.us/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC={AA77531B-C0D5-4BC2-A0AE-B58551C3F8C7}
  22. ^ name=http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/americas-greatest-main-streets/17
  23. ^ http://www.legis.state.wi.us/spotlight/spotl339.htm
  24. ^ Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame, 1964 inductee

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°30′30″N 89°01′54″W / 42.50833°N 89.03167°W / 42.50833; -89.03167