Belleville is a city in St. Clair County, Illinois. The population was 41,410 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of St. Clair County, the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Belleville and the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows. Belleville is also the home of the newspaper The Belleville News-Democrat. Belleville is in the Metro-East region of the St. Louis metropolitan area. Belleville's sister city is Paderborn, Germany. The first kindergarten in the United States was located in Belleville.
A Frenchman named George Blair founded Belleville in 1814. Blair donated an acre of his land for the town square and an additional 25 acres that adjoined the square for the new county seat, thereby replacing the old county seat in Cahokia. Belleville was incorporated as a village in 1819, and became a city in 1850. Although the name "Belleville" is French for "Beautiful City", most of the population is of a German heritage. After the failure of the German Revolution in the 1840's, many of the educated fled their homeland. Belleville was the center of the first important German settlement in Illinois. At this time, an estimated 90% of the city's population was either German born or of German descent.
See the main article here: Belleville Music Scene
Jay Farrar, Jeff Tweedy, and Mike Heidorn of the now defunct alt country group Uncle Tupelo are from Belleville along with Neal Doughty, keyboardist for 70's classic rock band Reo Speedwagon. The City's Downtown is also home to blues, jazz, and rock clubs. The Belleville Philharmonic Society was formed in 1864, making it the second oldest Philharmonic Orchestra in the Country.
Belleville is also home to a relatively large grade school district. Belleville District 118 has 9 elementary schools, (Roosevelt, Abaraham Lincoln, Douglas, Franklin, Jefferson, Union, Westhaven, Henry Raab, and Washington) and 2 junior high schools (Central Junior High and West Junior High)
Registered Historic Places
Belleville is located at(38.521567, -89.995208).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.0 mi². 18.9 mi² of it is land and 0.1 mi² of it (0.68%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 41,410 people, 17,603 households, and 10,420 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,196.4/mi². There were 19,142 housing units at an average density of 1,015.3/mi². The racial makeup of the city was 81.51% White, 15.51% African American, 0.26% Native American, 0.81% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 0.41% from other races, and 1.43% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.63% of the population.
There were 17,603 households out of which 28.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.0% were married couples living together, 13.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.8% were non-families. 35.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.95.
In the city the population was spread out with 23.4% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 30.3% from 25 to 44, 20.1% from 45 to 64, and 17.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 88.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $35,979, and the median income for a family was $46,426. Males had a median income of $33,361 versus $25,375 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,990. About 9.3% of families and 11.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.2% of those under age 18 and 9.3% of those age 65 or over.
- Belleville, Illinois - A Pictorial History and Tribute
- The Belleville News-Democrat Online
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