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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. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 26,045, which was estimated to have increased to 26,420 by July 2019.
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.
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.