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Batavia () is a city in DuPage and Kane counties in the U.S. state of Illinois. A suburb of Chicago, it was founded in 1833 and is the oldest city in Kane County. During the latter part of the 19th century, Batavia, home to six American-style windmill manufacturing companies, became known as "The Windmill City." Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, a federal government-sponsored high-energy physics laboratory, where both the bottom quark and the top quark were first detected, is located in the city.
Batavia is part of a vernacular region known as the Tri-City area, along with St. Charles and Geneva, all western suburbs of similar size and relative socioeconomic condition.
As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 26,045, which was estimated to have increased to 26,318 by July 2012.
Batavia was first settled in 1833 by Christopher Payne and his family. Originally called Big Woods for the wild growth throughout the settlement, the town was renamed by local judge and former Congressman Isaac Wilson in 1840 after his former home of Batavia, New York. Because Judge Wilson owned the majority of the town, he was given permission to rename the city.
Batavia's settlement was delayed one year by the Black Hawk War, in which Abraham Lincoln was a citizen soldier, and Zachary Taylor and Jefferson Davis were Army officers. Although there is no direct evidence that Lincoln, Taylor, or Davis visited the future site of Batavia, there are writings by Lincoln that refer to "Head of the Big Woods," which was Batavia's original name from its first settler, Christopher Payne. The city was incorporated on July 27, 1872.
After the death of her husband, Mary Todd Lincoln was an involuntary resident of the Batavia Institute on May 20, 1875. At the time the institute was known as Bellevue Place, a sanitarium for women. Mrs. Lincoln was released four months later on September 11, 1875. In the late 19th century, Batavia was a major manufacturer of the Conestoga wagons used in the country's westward expansion. Into the early 20th century, most of the windmill operated waterpumps in use throughout America's farms were made at one of the three windmill manufacturing companies in Batavia. Many of the original limestone buildings that were part of these factories are still in use today as government and commercial offices and storefronts. The Aurora Elgin and Chicago Railway constructed a power plant in southern Batavia and added a branch to the city in 1902. The Campana Factory was built in 1936 to manufacture cosmetics for The Campana Company, most notably Italian Balm, the nation's best-selling hand lotion at the time.
Batavia is located at 41°50′56″N 88°18′30″W (41.8488583, −88.3084400).
According to the 2010 census, Batavia has a total area of 9.707 square miles (25.14 km2), of which 9.64 square miles (24.97 km2) (or 99.31%) is land and 0.067 square miles (0.17 km2) (or 0.69%) is water.
As of the 2000 U.S. census, there were 23,866 people, 8,494 households, and 6,268 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,638.4 people per square mile (1,018.2/km²). There were 8,806 housing units at an average density of 973.5 per square mile (375.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.21% White, 2.42% Black or African American, 0.11% Native American, 1.35% Asian, none Pacific Islander, 1.53% from other races, and 1.39% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.27% of the population.
There were 8,494 households out of which 41.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.0% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.2% were non-families. 22.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.75 and the average family size was 3.27.
In the city, the population was spread out with 31.3% under the age of 18, 6.0% from 18 to 24, 30.6% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 9.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.4 males.
Males had a median income of $55,913 versus $35,083 for females. The per capita income for the city was $38,576. About 2.5% of families and 3.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.1% of those under age 18 and 5.6% of those age 65 or over.
According to the 2008 U.S. Census Bureau estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $90,680, the median income for a family was $103,445, and the median home value was $329,800.
Aldi, Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Aldi Süd, has its headquarters in Batavia.
Fermilab is located just outside the town borders and serves as employment for many of the town's residents.
According to the City's 2015 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:
Batavia is an award-winning community.
Batavia is served by Batavia Public School District No. 101. The district currently consists of six K–5 elementary schools, one 6–8 middle school, and Batavia High School. Small pockets of the city are served by Geneva Community Unit School District 304 and West Aurora Public School District 129.
A college preparatory school, Harbridge College Prep, was going to open in 2015 in the historic Campana Building. but failed to recruit enough students.
Batavia is served by Batavia Public Library District, which was founded in April 1881 as a township library; the first Board of Library Trustees was elected in April 1882. It converted to a district library in June 1975. The library serves most of Batavia Township, Kane County, Illinois and portions of Winfield Township, DuPage County, Illinois, Geneva Township, Kane County, Illinois, and Blackberry Township, Kane County, Illinois. Its current facility opened in January 2002.
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