Belleville, Illinois

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Belleville, Illinois
Location in Illinois
Basic data
Foundation : 1814
State : United States
State : Illinois
County : St. Clair County
Coordinates : 38 ° 31 ′  N , 89 ° 59 ′  W Coordinates: 38 ° 31 ′  N , 89 ° 59 ′  W
Time zone : Central ( UTC − 6 / −5 )
Residents : 44,478 (as of 2010)
Population density : 907.7 inhabitants per km 2
Area : 49.0 km 2  (approx. 19 mi 2 ) of
which 49.0 km 2  (approx. 19 mi 2 ) are land
Height : 157 m
Postcodes : 62220-62223, 62225, 62226, 62269
Area code : +1 618
FIPS : 17-04845
GNIS ID : 426266
Website :
Mayor : Mark W. Eckert
Belleville around 1865

Belleville is a city and administrative center of the St. Clair County in the west of the US -amerikanischen state of Illinois . In 2010 , Belleville had 44,478 residents.

The city is located in the eastern part of the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area called Metro-East around the city of St. Louis in neighboring Missouri .

Mayor of Belleville has been Mark Eckert of the Good Government Party , an offshoot of the Democratic Party , since the end of 2004 .


Belleville is located in the southeastern suburb of St. Louis at 38 ° 31'12 "north latitude and 89 ° 59'02" west longitude. The city extends over 60 km², which is spread over 59 km² of land and 1 km² of water. The Mississippi , which forms the border with Missouri, is about six kilometers to the west.

The city of Belleville is identical to the township of the same name , a subdivision of the county to which several localities belong in many other cases.

Neighboring towns of Belleville are Swansea (on the northern city limits), O'Fallon (12.4 km northeast), Shiloh (9.2 km northeast), Scott Air Force Base (13.8 km east-northeast), Mascoutah (19, 7 km east-southeast), Freeburg (13.9 km southeast), Smithton (12.8 km south), Millstadt (13.3 km southwest), Cahokia (14.4 km west-northwest), and East St. Louis (11.7 km northwest). The center of St. Louis is 17 miles northwest.


Interstate 64 , which runs from St. Louis to Louisville , Kentucky , runs along the northern city limits a few kilometers away . Interstate 255 , the St. Louis bypass, runs along the northwestern city limits . Illinois State Routes 13 , 15 , 157 , 159 , 159 , 161 and 177 meet in the Belleville metropolitan area . All other roads are subordinate, partly unpaved roads and inner-city roads.

A line of the metroLink, called MetroLink , runs through the urban area of ​​Belleville in the St. Louis metropolitan area. There are three train stations in Belleville.

A Canadian National Railway runs through Belleville and runs southeast from St. Louis.

The St. Louis Downtown Airport is located 22.4 km northwest, the larger Lambert-Saint Louis International Airport is 49.7 km north-northwest of Belleville.


The city of Belleville was in 1814 on land owned by George Blair founded in 1850 and received the town charter . After the Frankfurt Wachensturm in 1834, many Germans emigrated here - and again a large group after the failed revolution of 1848. Among others, the Baden revolutionary Friedrich Hecker settled here and lived near the city as a farmer and winemaker until his death in 1881 . In 1887 the Roman Catholic diocese of Belleville was established. It was not until 1914 that the city became the seat of government of St. Clair County's 100th anniversary .

As early as 1850, Belleville was an important industrial location - mainly based on agriculture and coal mining ; the population at that time was around 3,000. The first grain mills were put into operation in 1813 and the first coal mine in 1825 immediately after coal was discovered. The steel industry was added later, making Belleville a stronghold of American nail and furnace production. Based on coal mining or iron ore smelting, the industrial side of the city developed at the end of the 19th century. In 1856 it led to the city's gas lighting and the city was also with the construction of a railway line with the 15 km from the city of St. Louis ( Missouri ) on the opposite bank of the Mississippi River connected.

In the census of 1840 there were 1,210 inhabitants in 280 households , a good generation later (1880) there are already 10,090 citizens. According to the 2000 census, Belleville now has 41,410 inhabitants in an area of ​​49.2 km² .

One of the county's largest employers is Scott Air Force Base , one of the most important US Air Force bases .

The German influence

The "Victoria Home Museum", today the seat of the "St. Clair County Historical Society ”, first from 1866 home of the German entrepreneur Moritz J. Dobschutz

Hardly any other city in Illinois was so from a single ethnic group dominates as Belleville: Around the year 1870 were around about 90% of the population German or German descent - most of them were more representative of the educated middle class of, were a farmer therefore less successful and some on for a long time economic, cultural and social life. The first Roman Catholic Bishop of Belleville, John (originally Johannes) Janssen , was also a native of Germany.

Special signs of this German era are the "Philharmonic Society" founded in 1864 (today Belleville Philharmonic Musical Society ), whose orchestra is now one of the oldest in the USA, the Belleville Singers' Association from 1855 and the German Library of St. Clair County from 1836 with German-language books from all areas of science as well as the Roman and Greek classics. The Belleville Observer has been reporting on the day's events since 1844 , renamed the Belleville Zeitung from 1849 , which was even able to survive the First World War with its anti-German mood until 1923 .

In the 20th century the name “Low German Prairie” was coined for the region (e.g. because of the Paderborn district in Waterloo ). Even today, various institutions are shaped by the cultural heritage of German origin.

So it is not at all surprising that you can find so many graves of Germans in the old Walnut Hill Cemetery (Walnut Hill Cemetery, City of Belleville, 1101 Mascoutah Avenue, Belleville, IL 62220-3625).

Town twinning

The German city of Paderborn in North Rhine-Westphalia has been a twin town of Belleville since 1990. The sponsor of this partnership is the German-American Circle of Friends.

Demographic data

According to the 2010 census , Belleville had 44,478 people in 18,795 households. The population density was 907.7 people per square kilometer. Statistically, 2.3 people lived in each of the 18,795 households.

The racial the population was composed of 69.8 percent white, 25.4 percent African American, 0.3 percent Native American, 0.1 percent Asian and 0.6 percent from other ethnic groups; 2.8 percent were descended from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race was 2.6 percent of the population regardless of ethnicity.

23.3 percent of the population were under 18 years old, 63.8 percent were between 18 and 64 and 12.9 percent were 65 years or older. 52.5 percent of the population was female.

The average annual income for a household was 46,872  USD . The per capita income was $ 24,809. 13.4 percent of the population lived below the poverty line.

sons and daughters of the town

Individual evidence

  1. a b American Fact Finder. Retrieved June 29, 2012
  2. Distance according to Google Maps. Accessed on June 29, 2012
  3. German-American Friends of Paderborn

Web links

Commons : Belleville, Illinois  - Collection of pictures, videos, and audio files