Tiskilwa, Illinois

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Tiskilwa, Illinois
Nickname: Gem of the Valley
Country United States
State Illinois
County Bureau
Townships Indiantown, Arispie
Coordinates 41°17′30″N 89°30′23″W / 41.29167°N 89.50639°W / 41.29167; -89.50639Coordinates: 41°17′30″N 89°30′23″W / 41.29167°N 89.50639°W / 41.29167; -89.50639
Area 0.46 sq mi (1 km2)
 - land 0.46 sq mi (1 km2)
 - water 0.00 sq mi (0 km2)
Population 829 (2010)
Density 1,802.2 / sq mi (696 / km2)
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Postal code 61368
Area code 815
Location of Tiskilwa within Illinois
Wikimedia Commons: Tiskilwa, Illinois

Tiskilwa is a village in Bureau County, Illinois, United States. The population was 829 at the 2010 census.[1] It is part of the OttawaStreator Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Exelon Wind, a division of Exelon Power, owns and operates the Illinois Wind AgriWind Project in Tiskilwa.[2]


Early History[edit]

Founded in 1834, Tiskilwa emerged as a regional economic and cultural center integrating its own administrative capacities, schools, churches and shops serving a small population of townspeople and farm families from the surrounding 3 to 5 miles (5 to 8 km). It was a small community whose epicenter consisted of three blocks of Main Street around which located its churches, cafes, taverns, grocery stores, beauty parlors and barbershops and any number of local business enterprises. For nearly 150 years Tiskilwa was a self-reliant community. Its residents would travel out of Tiskilwa as a novelty rather than a necessity.

All this began to change for Tiskilwa in the post-World War II era as it did across the rest of America. Travel had evolved from a horse and buggy on a one-lane dirt road to a 4-door sedan on a broad, paved and painted, two-lane highway. By 1976 the time it used to take a farmer to reach downtown Tiskilwa would put him in downtown Peoria. And maybe back home. There occurred in a relatively short period, a huge shift in the physical boundaries that framed Tiskilwa's collective consciousness. Now traveling to those three blocks of Main Street Tiskilwa was no longer a necessity, but rather a novelty. The reality of this was dawning in 1976.

History of Tiskilwa High School[edit]

The school system was a very big part of the town's heart and soul, however for various reasons the high school was deactivated in 1996. The high school aged students from Tiskilwa now attend Princeton High School. The grade school is still active in Tiskilwa though it now houses Crossroads High School and pre-school for Tiskilwa residents.

School buildings in Tiskilwa date all the way back to 1838. A newer building was built in 1850 and an updated building in 1868. In 1978 the building still standing today was built and closed with the deactivation of the school system in 1996. The first class to graduate high school from Tiskilwa did so in 1878 with a graduating class membership of two. The newer high school building pictured above is currently vacant, however plans are constantly being discussed for its future use. The old football field in Tiskilwa is currently home Princeton Youth Football League.

Much of the history information for this writing was obtained from a book written by Mary B. Steimle in 1985 called "When Tiskilwa Was Young".[3]

Elected Officials[edit]


The Mayor is Charles R. Philhower. He was elected in April 2013 to a 4 year term that expires in April 2017.

Village Board Members[edit]

Steve McKenney was re-elected to the board in April 2013 and his current term will expire in April 2017.

Daniel Acker was re-elected to the board in April 2013 and his current term will expire in April 2017.

Wendy Sims was appointed to fill one of the empty seats on the board and her term will expire in April 2017.

Eric Paull was re-elected to the board in April 2015 and current term expires in April 2019.

Gene Gustafson was re-elected to the board in April 2015 and current term expires in April 2019.

Vacant Seat[edit]

There is currently one vacant seat on the board. It can be filled by appointment from the mayor or a qualified individual who chooses to run for that spot in April 2017.


Strawberry Festival[edit]

The second Saturday in June is Tiskilwa's Strawberry Festival, celebrating Tiskilwa's strawberry season with a community celebration. The festival offers fresh berries and strawberry shortcake, children's activities and entertainment. It coincides with town-wide garage sales. There are rides to a local farm for people to pick their own strawberries.[4]

Pow Wow Days[edit]

Tiskilwa celebrates Pow Wow Days every year the first weekend in August. Pow Wow Days is a three-day event that includes a community concert or big band dancing, children's "Muttin Bustin Rodeo", a parade, a Native American pow wow, a beer garden, 4-H Club and cheerleader-sponsored food stands, church-sponsored lunches, historical tours, antique automobiles and tractors, and many other events. Pow Wow Days was founded in 1976 as part of the national bicentennial. It may be, though, that the bicentennial was just the spark but not the driving force behind Pow Wow Days. The essence and purpose of Pow Wow Days may well be defined by a prescience of what was to come and a desire to preserve and protect what is good and unique at the core of this small-town community with a history of its own going back nearly 200 years.

Local residents recognized within their tiny community plenty of reasons to want to visit, experience and even become a part of Tiskilwa. This is what Pow Wow Days is about. Curious outsiders and backroad tourists are encouraged to come to Pow Wow Days and experience the open, warm and heartfelt camaraderie that characterizes a unique, 200-year-old farming community heritage.


Tiskilwa is located at 41°17′30″N 89°30′23″W / 41.29167°N 89.50639°W / 41.29167; -89.50639 (41.291664, -89.506462).[5]

According to the 2010 census, Tiskilwa has a total area of 0.46 square miles (1.19 km2), all land.[6]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 559
1870 761 36.1%
1880 753 −1.1%
1890 801 6.4%
1900 965 20.5%
1910 857 −11.2%
1920 915 6.8%
1930 893 −2.4%
1940 920 3.0%
1950 962 4.6%
1960 951 −1.1%
1970 973 2.3%
1980 990 1.7%
1990 830 −16.2%
2000 787 −5.2%
2010 829 5.3%
Est. 2014 796 [7] −4.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]

As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 787 people, 317 households, and 222 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,642.7 people per square mile (633.0/km²). There were 336 housing units at an average density of 701.4 per square mile (270.3/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 97.84% White, 0.25% African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.25% Asian, and 1.40% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.89% of the population.

There were 317 households out of which 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.4% were married couples living together, 6.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.7% were non-families. 25.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the village the population was spread out with 25.8% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 24.5% from 25 to 44, 23.5% from 45 to 64, and 18.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 92.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.7 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $35,278, and the median income for a family was $42,321. Males had a median income of $29,844 versus $20,865 for females. The per capita income for the village was $17,625. About 7.3% of families and 8.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.8% of those under age 18 and 2.7% of those age 65 or over.

Notable person[edit]

  • Warren Giles, president of baseball's National League from 1957–69 and previously general manager of the Cincinnati Reds, was born in Tiskilwa.


  1. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Tiskilwa village, Illinois". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved November 15, 2013. 
  2. ^ http://www.exeloncorp.com/PowerPlants/exelonwind-illinois/Pages/profile.aspx
  3. ^ "Illinois High School Glory Days". Illinois High School Glory Days. Illinois High School Glory days. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  4. ^ Bureau County Illinois [1] retrieved on 2010-05-07
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  6. ^ "G001 - Geographic Identifiers - 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-12-25. 
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  9. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External links[edit]