Marseilles, Illinois

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Buildings in the city's business district
Buildings in the city's business district
Etymology: Marseille, France
Location of Marseilles in LaSalle County, Illinois.
Location of Marseilles in LaSalle County, Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
Location of Illinois in the United States
Coordinates: 41°19′40″N 88°42′4″W / 41.32778°N 88.70111°W / 41.32778; -88.70111Coordinates: 41°19′40″N 88°42′4″W / 41.32778°N 88.70111°W / 41.32778; -88.70111
CountryUnited States
TownshipsManlius, Rutland, Brookfield
 • MayorJim Hollenbeck[1]
 • Total9.55 sq mi (24.74 km2)
 • Land9.07 sq mi (23.48 km2)
 • Water0.49 sq mi (1.26 km2)
504 ft (154 m)
 • Total5,094
 • Estimate 
 • Density533.14/sq mi (205.85/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code(s)
Area code(s)815
FIPS code17-47150
Wikimedia CommonsMarseilles, Illinois

Marseilles (/mɑːrˈslz/ mar-SAYLZ[4]) is a city in LaSalle County, Illinois, United States. An Illinois River town, the population was 5,094 at the 2010 census, and was estimated to be 4,873 by July 2018.[5] It is part of the Ottawa, IL Micropolitan Statistical Area.


1938 WPA mural, "Industrial Marseilles" by Avery Johnson. in Marseilles Post Office

Lovell Kimball arrived at the area along the Illinois River known as the Grand Rapids in 1833 from Watertown, New York. Kimball, aware that the Illinois-Michigan Canal Bill had passed and the canal would eventually reach the rapids, hired a surveyor to lay out a town. Kimball called the town Marseilles in reference to the French city of Marseille as he hoped it would become a similar industrial center in Illinois. Marseilles, pronounced the same as the French city, was officially platted on June 3, 1835; the plat was revised twice for railroad and canal right-of-ways.[6]

Nabisco Building[edit]

In 1921 the National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) built an eight-story corrugated cardboard box production plant in Marseilles, the largest industrial building in the state (outside of Chicago) at the time, and the first air-conditioned factory in the Midwest. Nabisco was a major employer in the area but ceased production at the plant in 2002.[7]

Middle East Conflicts Wall Memorial[edit]

In 2004 the Middle East Conflicts Wall Memorial was dedicated to the service men and women who gave their lives fighting in US wars anywhere in the Middle East.[8] The Middle East Conflicts Wall Memorial is the first US memorial to servicemen dedicated while an actual war is ongoing. Currently, the earliest names on the wall are from 1967 commemorating the deaths during the USS Liberty incident.[9]

Andrew Bacevich felt that all presidential candidates should visit Marseilles, commenting that "Just as there are all-but-mandatory venues in Iowa and New Hampshire where candidates are expected to appear, why not make Marseilles, Illinois, one as well. Let all of the candidates competing to oust Donald Trump from the White House (their ranks now approaching two dozen) schedule at least one campaign stop at the Middle East Conflicts Wall, press entourage suitably in tow." Andrew Bacevich lost his son in Iraq, his son's name is included in the monument.[10]


In 2016 Marseilles resident Seattle Sutton founded a community museum, located in the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad building. Its collection includes historical items from the Nabisco factory other Marseilles businesses, and archived recordings of Marseilles war veterans.[11]


Marseilles is located at 41°19′40″N 88°42′4″W / 41.32778°N 88.70111°W / 41.32778; -88.70111 (41.327795, −88.701121).[12] The city is at the head of rapids along the Illinois River historically known as "the Grand Rapids" or the "Rapids of Maninumba".[6]

According to the 2010 census, Marseilles has a total area of 9.206 square miles (23.84 km2), of which 8.72 square miles (22.58 km2) (or 94.72%) is land and 0.486 square miles (1.26 km2) (or 5.28%) is water.[13]


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)4,834[3]−5.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[14]

As of the 2010 Census[15] there were 5,094 people, 2,045 households, and 1,327 families residing in the city. The population density was 584 people per square mile (225/km2). There were 2,422 housing units at an average density of 278 per square mile (107/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.2% White, 0.04% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 1.4% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.6% of the population.

There were 2,045 households, out of which 30.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.8% were married couples living together, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present. 29.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 26.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.00.

The city's age distribution consisted of 23.9% under the age of 18, and 14.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.5 years, and females made up 50.7% of the population.

During the period of 2009–2013 the median income for households was $37,558, per capita income was $20,931, and 12.8% of the population was below poverty level.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "City Officials – Marseilles, Illinois". Retrieved January 2, 2020.
  2. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  4. ^ Brown, Donald E.; Schooley, Frank E. (1957). Pronunciation guide for Illinois place names. Urbana, Ill.: Division of University Broadcasting, College of Journalism and Communications, University of Illinois. p. 25. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Marseilles, Illinois". State and County Quick Facts. US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on December 13, 2014. Retrieved December 13, 2014.
  6. ^ a b Jakupcak, Joseph M. "Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Depot[permanent dead link]" (PDF), National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, June 5, 1995, Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, accessed May 20, 2008.
  7. ^ Balynas, Joe (January 18, 2007). "Former Nabisco Plant, located in Marseilles,IL". Flickr. Retrieved October 8, 2015.
  8. ^ "Middle East Conflicts Memorial Wall – Memorials". Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  9. ^ "About the Middle East Conflicts Wall Memorial in Marseilles, Illinois". Middle East Conflicts Wall Memorial. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  10. ^ Bacevich, Andrew J. "The Town Where Presidents Should Be Forced to Confront "Forever Wars"". Truthout. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
  11. ^
  12. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  13. ^ "G001 – Geographic Identifiers – 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved December 27, 2015.
  14. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  15. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010". United States Census Bureau. US Census Bureau. Retrieved December 12, 2014.

External links[edit]