|Area||7.59 sq mi (20 km2)|
|- land||6.55 sq mi (17 km2)|
|- water||1.04 sq mi (3 km2)|
|Density||1,514 / sq mi (585 / km2)|
|Mayor||Joseph R. Michaelis|
|- summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|Wikimedia Commons: Highland, Illinois|
Highland, Illinois was settled in the early 19th century by Swiss-German settlers. The town was founded in 1837 and is celebrating its 175th Jubilee in 2012 with a Festival for the occasion planned in September. It was first named Helvetia (pronounced hellveesha) in accordance with the Heritage of the town's Swiss-German founding members. The town voted to change its name to the English version - Highland, in the early 20th century, as well as stopping production of its German language newspaper, in part to avoid negativity towards those of Germanic heritage at the advent of the First World War. Around the same time, a small town in northern Illinois also started calling itself Highland. Eventually, the town in northern Illinois became Highland Park. Highland also has been home to many well-known businesses including the inventor of Pet Milk and the Wicks Organ Company. For the past 60 years, Highland Supply Corporation has been producing and selling Floral Grass - a traditional decorative product used to line Easter baskets. Highland is also home to The Korte Company (builder of many large and well-known buildings including Universal Studios in Florida). Highland has a rich history including extended visits by such notables as Abraham Lincoln.
On November 21, 1915, the Liberty Bell passed through Highland on its nationwide tour returning to Pennsylvania from the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. After that trip, the Liberty Bell returned to Pennsylvania and will not be moved again.
The current mayor is Joseph R. Michaelis.
According to the 2010 census, the city has a total area of 7.59 square miles (19.7 km2), of which 6.55 square miles (17.0 km2) (or 86.30%) is land and 1.04 square miles (2.7 km2) (or 13.70%) is water.
The following highways run through or around Highland: IL-160, IL-143, US-40, and I-70 (slightly north).
The Highland Community Unit School District serves Highland area students including those from Alhambra, Illinois, Grantfork, Illinois, and New Douglas, Illinois. Kindergarten through sixth grade schools are located in each of the districts municipalities while the district's middle and high schools are located in Highland. Starting in August 2014 6th grade is located at the Highland Middle School. In September 2014, the district's teachers staged a strike for the first time in the district's history.
Additionally, Highland has a local parochial school named St. Paul Catholic School offering Kindergarten through eighth grade education.
The Louis Latzer Memorial public library has a collection of more than 48,000 print volumes, a substantial media collection, and public computer access along with access to subscription databases and a genealogy collection. It is also a member of the Louis and Clark Library system.
As of the census of 2010, there were 9,919 people, 4,013 households, and 2,633 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,561.1 people per square mile (602.2/km²). There were 3,610 housing units at an average density of 667.9 per square mile (257.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.00% White, 0.2% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.4% of the population.
There were 4,013 households and 2,633 families. 50.3% of the families have children 18 years old or younger. There are 2,017 husband-wife families. 29.5% of all the households were made up of one individual and 16.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.99.
In the city the population was spread out with 24.8% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 23% from 45 to 64, and 16.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36.8 years. Of the total population 4,714 are males and 5,205 are females.
The median income for a household in the city was $39,524, and the median income for a family was $52,240. Males had a median income of $36,536 versus $25,620 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,101. About 3.6% of families and 6.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.9% of those under age 18 and 8.3% of those age 65 or over.
Mentions in popular media
Highland was the basis for the first song on the Illinois album by Sufjan Stevens, titled 'Concerning the UFO sighting near Highland, Illinois', in which Stevens mentioned a 21st-century UFO sighting by the owner of the local mini-golf course.
Highland was also mentioned on The Daily Show on 9 Feb 2006. A report mentioned local pharmacist and state legislator Ron Stephens, who protested an executive order by then Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich requiring a pharmacist to fill emergency contraception prescriptions.
- Kaspar Köpfli (1774–1854), Swiss doctor, founder of the town. The twin town partnership with Sursee, home of Köpfli, reminds of him.
- Heinrich Bosshard (1811−1877), Swiss teacher, musician, poet, naturalist and farmer. Composer of the Sempacherlied. There is a monument for him in Highland.
- Ken Oberkfell, third baseman with six Major League Baseball teams; World Series champion (1982); born in Highland
- Jake Odorizzi, Major league baseball pitcher for the Kansas City Royals and Tampa Bay Rays, high school
- Harry Parker, pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Mets and Cleveland Indians; born in Highland
- Aaron Rakers, relief pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles and San Diego Padres; born in Highland
- James Head (fighter), mixed martial artist in the Ultimate Fighting Championship
- Allan H. Keith, Historical Stories: About Greenville and Bond County, IL. Consulted on August 15, 2007.
- "Liberty Bell Attracts Crowd in Greenville During 1915 Stop". Greenville Advocate. July 3, 2007.
- "Mayor's Office". City of Highland, Illinois. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
- "Highland Communications Services". City of Highland, Illinois. Retrieved 2011-08-16.
- "2010 Census U.S. Gazetteer Files for Places – Illinois". United States Census. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
- Associated Press (10 September 2014). "Southwestern Illinois teachers vote to strike". WAND. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- "Library Information". Louis Latzer Memorial Public Library. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Kozemko, Jared. "Sufjan Stevens' Illinoise is a new state of mind". the Lafayette.
- Stage, Wm. "Space Case". Riverfront Times.
- "Ill. governor confused by 'Daily Show' bit". Associated Press (USA Today). 2006-02-23. Retrieved 2007-07-17.
- City of Highland Official Website
- Swiss Settlers in SW Illinois—includes searchable English translations of 19th-century works by Swiss settlers in Highland.