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Plano, Illinois

Coordinates: 41°40′33″N 88°31′46″W / 41.67583°N 88.52944°W / 41.67583; -88.52944
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Plano, Illinois
City of Plano
Buildings in downtown Plano, 2007.
Buildings in downtown Plano, 2007.
Flag of Plano, Illinois
Official seal of Plano, Illinois
Official logo of Plano, Illinois
Etymology: From plano, Spanish for plain[1]
Birthplace of the Harvester, Home of the Reapers
Location of Plano in Kendall County, Illinois.
Location of Plano in Kendall County, Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
Location of Illinois in the United States
Coordinates: 41°40′33″N 88°31′46″W / 41.67583°N 88.52944°W / 41.67583; -88.52944[2]
CountryUnited States
TownshipLittle Rock
FoundedApril 10, 1872
 • MayorMike Rennels
 • Total9.02 sq mi (23.37 km2)
 • Land8.98 sq mi (23.26 km2)
 • Water0.04 sq mi (0.11 km2)
Elevation633 ft (193 m)
 • Total11,847
 • Density1,319.41/sq mi (509.43/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area codes630/331
FIPS code17-60352
GNIS feature ID2396223[2]
Wikimedia CommonsPlano, Illinois

Plano is a city near Aurora in Kendall County, Illinois, United States, with a population of 11,847 as of the 2020 census. It is part of the Chicago metropolitan area, being about 55 miles (90 km) from Chicago. The city was home to the Plano Harvester Company in the late 19th century, as well as the Plano Molding Company more recently. In 2011, downtown Plano was used as a set for Man of Steel.


The Plano Binder produced by the Plano Manufacturing Company

In the early 1860s, the Marsh brothers began producing their Marsh Harvester in Plano. From 1863 to the beginning of the twentieth century the Plano Manufacturing Company, as it became known, provided the foundation for Plano's development.[4][5] Because of this, Plano High School has adopted the reaper as its mascot.

Plano was the one-time headquarters for the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Joseph Smith III, son of slain LDS movement founder Joseph Smith, Jr., moved to Plano in 1866 and ran the church's printing operation from there.[6] As the schism with the Utah branch of the Latter Day Saints deepened, he moved with the church headquarters to Lamoni, Iowa in 1880 to be closer to what the Community of Christ believed to be the true church headquarters at Temple Lot in Missouri rather than in Utah.[7]

Community development has been centered around a strong agricultural setting, with the only inhabitants of the area before its incorporation being the owners of grist mills.[8] This development was supported by the city's location along US Route 34 and the Illinois Zephyr Amtrak passenger rail service.[9]

The Plano Molding Company, manufacturer of fishing tackle equipment as well as other plastic domestic containment units, has its headquarters in Plano.[10] Both of its original factories within Plano are still in operation, but the main bulk of production is now in nearby cities Sandwich and Mendota.

Plano and Sandwich have developed a sibling-like relationship. Both deeply agricultural cities are situated along a major trading route and rail artery. The two cities' high schools have developed a rivalry that has become known to the local press as the "War on 34",[11][12] due to their location along US Route 34.

In the early twenty-first century, multiple new housing developments were constructed in Plano. Due to the following economic downturn, however, many of the houses in both the new developments and older parts of town have experienced foreclosures. Nonetheless, Waubonsee Community College opened a satellite campus in Plano in late 2011.[13]

In the summer of 2011, the City of Plano was used for exterior filming for the Superman movie, Man of Steel.[14] Various farms around the city were also used with one being used for the Kent family farm, and the downtown area was remodeled and turned into a set for downtown Smallville.[15] Other areas used for filming were nearby, and part of IL 56, north of Sugar Grove was shut down for two days for filming despite being closed for "Road Repair".[16] Plano declared itself Smallville during the filming.[17] Signs have been erected at either end of town, as well as on the end of one building on Main Street,[18] proclaiming a similar declaration. Additionally, a "Smallville Superfest" was organized the following summer, and has since been held annually in August.[19]

The Farnsworth House

The Farnsworth House in July 2011

Master Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe had worked on a retreat for Dr. Edith Farnsworth, a doctor from Chicago, whose complicated relationship with the architect soured the project. Cost overruns as well as questions on the house's actual usefulness led to a lawsuit between the two parties, with van der Rohe winning the suit.[20] In later years, the County Board decided to buy some of Farnsworth's land in order to straighten Fox River Drive (Ben Street in Plano), which would need a new bridge as well. Farnsworth pleaded her case to the County Board, citing evidence that the Board would be doing construction on an old Indian Site, but to no avail. The road was straightened and the new bridge built; however, to this day, the old bridge piers are still visible.[21] Around the same time, Silver Springs State Park and Wildlife Area was designated, down the road and across the river from Farnsworth's house, forever protecting the land from development.[22]



According to the 2010 census, Plano has a total area of 7.503 square miles (19.43 km2), of which 7.46 square miles (19.32 km2) (or 99.43%) is land and 0.043 square miles (0.11 km2) (or 0.57%) is water.[23]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[24]

As of the census[25] of 2010, there were 10,856 people, 3,549 households, and 2,656 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,020/sq mi (1,164/km2). There were 3,886 housing units at an average density of 1,079/sq mi (417/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 74.6% White, 7.3% African American, 0.3% Native American, 1.8% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 13.0% from other races, and 3.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 31.2% of the population.

There were 3,549 households, from which 45.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them; 56.6% were married couples living together, 12.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.2% were non-families; 19.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.06 and the average family size was 3.54.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 29.8% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 38.5% from 25 to 44, 17.7% from 45 to 64, and 6.3% age 65 years or older. The median age was 29.8 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $58,132, and the median income for a family was $62,438. Males had a median income of $49,164 versus $37,933 for females. The per capita income for the city was $24,336. About 4.9% of families and 6.94% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.0% of those under age 18 and 4.2% of those age 65 or over.





In 1974, Plano residents Larry and Pam Nelson founded Nelson Multimedia, Inc. Its first radio station was 107.1 WSPY-FM.[26] WSPY-FM broadcasts an adult contemporary format, while its sister station 1480 WDYS[27] (which is licensed in nearby Geneva, but is broadcast out of Plano) broadcasts an adult standards format. WSPY-FM also covers local sports and news.

In addition to the AM and FM stations, Nelson Multimedia's Plano broadcast center also broadcasts a low-power television station, WSPY-TV on analog channel 30[28] and digital channel 35.[29] WSPY-TV currently broadcasts local events, such as sports, city council meetings, and musical events.

Plano news is covered by local newspapers, including:

  • The Plano Record[30]
  • The Kendall County Record[31]
  • Valley Life (formerly the Valley Free Press)[32]
  • The Beacon-News [33]



Plano has been the home of at least two films, the most recent being the Superman film, Man of Steel, where downtown Plano was a stand-in for Superman's hometown of Smallville, Kansas. The other film was Witless Protection, a film starring Jennie McCarthy and Larry the Cable Guy, which used the area around Plano as the site of Larry's character's hometown, and the Plano Train Station stood in for the Town Hall and Jail.

Plano was also the filming location for the music video for "Nowadays" by Lil Skies and Landon Cube.[34][35][36]



Plano is served by Plano C.U.S.D. 88. The district consists of two elementary schools, Plano Middle School, and Plano High School.[37]

Notable people


See also



  1. ^ "Plano's Rich History, City of Plano, Illinois". Retrieved February 26, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Plano, Illinois
  3. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 15, 2022.
  4. ^ Dickson, Elmer (June 17, 1908). "Story of Harvester, Which Made Plano Famous". Kendall County News. Retrieved July 31, 2014.
  5. ^ Ardrey, Robert L. (1894). American Agricultural Implements: A Review of Invention and Development in the Agricultural Implement Industry of the United States. Chicago: Published by the author. pp. 196–199. ISBN 1-112-32700-2. Retrieved July 31, 2014.
  6. ^ "The Plano Stone Church". Plano's Rich History. City of Plano, Illinois. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
  7. ^ Turner, Charles Miller. "THE LAMONI YEARS: 1881–1906". JOSEPH SMITH III AND THE MORMONS OF UTAH. Welcome To Bible Verses. Archived from the original on March 27, 2014. Retrieved June 4, 2013.
  8. ^ "Plano's Rich History; Main Page". Plano's Rich History. City of Plano, IL. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  9. ^ "Plano, IL (PLO)". AMTRAK Stations list. Amtrak. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  10. ^ "Plano Molding -- Contact Us". Plano Molding Official Website. Plano Molding. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  11. ^ Lidinsky, Bill. "Sandwich Stands Tall in Rivalry Match Up". Northern Illinois Sports Beat. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  12. ^ Armstrong, Rick. "Sandwich edges Plano in 'War on 34'". The Beacon-News. Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on February 3, 2013. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  13. ^ Vergara, Rowena. "WCC's Plano campus opens Nov. 1". The Beacon-News. The Chicago Sun-times. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  14. ^ "Proclamation Smallville - 2011" (PDF). City of Plano Zoning. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 22, 2012. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  15. ^ DeSaulnier, Jordan. "NEW 'MAN OF STEEL' SET PHOTOS: ACTION GALORE AND CLARK KENT IN PLAID". i am ROGUE. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  16. ^ Sarkauskas, Susan (July 27, 2011). "Superman movie to film in Sugar Grove". Daily Herald. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  17. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 22, 2012. Retrieved June 14, 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  18. ^ D200DX. "Welcome to Smallville (mural) (photo)". Panoramio. Archived from the original on January 6, 2014. Retrieved June 29, 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  19. ^ "Smallvillesuperfest.com". Smallvillesuperfest.com.
  20. ^ Goldberger, Paul. "Farnsworth: The Lightness of Being". Preservation Magazine. Retrieved May 6, 2012.
  21. ^ "Biography of Dr. Edith Farnsworth" (PDF). Retrieved May 6, 2012.
  22. ^ "Silver Springs History". IDNR. Archived from the original on May 19, 2012. Retrieved May 6, 2012.
  23. ^ "G001 – Geographic Identifiers – 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved December 27, 2015.
  24. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  25. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  26. ^ Anonymous. "WSPY-FM IL PLANO USA". FM Query Results. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved June 3, 2012.
  27. ^ Anonymous. "WSPY IL GENEVA USA". AM Query Results. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved June 7, 2012.
  28. ^ Anonymous. "WSPY-LP IL PLANO USA". TV Query Results. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved June 7, 2012.
  29. ^ Anonymous. "WSPY-CD IL PLANO USA". TV Query Results. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved June 4, 2013.
  30. ^ [1] Archived 2013-02-17 at the Wayback Machine (the Plano Record is published by the same company as the Kendall County Record.)
  31. ^ "The Kendall County Record". Archived from the original on June 5, 2013. Retrieved June 4, 2013.
  32. ^ "Local News DeKalb, Illinois". www.midweeknews.com.
  33. ^ The Beacon-News
  34. ^ Bennett, Cole (March 1, 2018). "do any plano high school kids wanna skip school tmrw to be in a lil skies video I Need like 15-20 kids".
  35. ^ "Lil Skies Feat. Landon Cube: Nowadays" – via www.imdb.com.
  36. ^ "Cole Bennett Shares Story About Fighting to Release Lil Skies' "Nowadays" Video". Complex.
  37. ^ "Plano High School - School Profile".
  38. ^ "Arthur Edward Andersen". Fisher College of Business: The Accounting Hall of Fame. Ohio State University. Archived from the original on February 19, 2013. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
  39. ^ Conant, Luther (March 3, 1913). The International Harvester Co. U.S. Department of Commerce and Labor: Bureau of Corporations. p. 47.
  40. ^ Ian Robert Dowbiggin (January 9, 2003). A Merciful End: The Euthanasia Movement in Modern America. Oxford University Press. pp. 23–. ISBN 978-0-19-515443-6. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
  41. ^ "Dennis Hastert leaves house in Plano". sun-sentinel.com.
  42. ^ "NBA TV | NBA.com". www.nba.com.
  43. ^ "Lewis, Long Marshall". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
  44. ^ "Eduardo Lucero". Fashion Model Directory - Designers. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
  45. ^ "Steward, Marsh". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved June 11, 2012.