Home >> Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 8 >> Deane to Democracy >> Decatur_2

Decatur

city, mills and buildings

DECATUR, Ill., city and county-seat of Macon County, near the Sangamon River, and on the Wabash, the Illinois Central, the Cincin nati, Hamilton and Dayton and the Vandalia railroads, 173 miles southwest of Chicago and 38 miles east of Springfield. It was settled in 1830 and in 1836 was incorporated. Decatur is in the midst of the famous Illinois corn belt and is the trade centre of several counties. The chief manufacturing establishments are corn mills, railroad shops, iron works, flour mills, planing mills, agncultural implement works, engine and boiler works, casket and coffin fac tories, bridge works, electric-light fixtures, corn sheller, waterworks equipment, starch factories, soda fountain works and mantle factories. The United States census of manufactures for 1914 recorded for Decatur 126 industrial establish ments of factory grade, employing 4,988 per sons of whom 4,003 were wage earners, receiving $2,326,000 annually in wages. The capital invested totaled $12,550,000, and the ear's output was valued at $11,957,000; of this ,291,000 was the value added by manufacture.

he city has a large trade in grain, coal, live stock and manufactured products.

The principal public buildings are the gov ernment building, the county courthouse, the municipal buildings, a Carnegie library, home for aged and orphans, Saint Mary's Hospital, the churches (about 25 buildings) and the schools. There is a good system of public schools, including a well-equipped high school. There are two parish schools. The principal departments of the James Milliken University are located here. There are three national banks. The government is by commission since 1911. The city owns and operates the electric light plant and the waterworks. Lincoln re ceived his first endorsement as presidential can didate at the Illinois Republican Convention held here on 6 May 1860. Decatur is also the birthplace of the Grand Army of the Republic, Post 1 having been organized here on 6 April 1866. Pop. 37,825.