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Marseilles ( mar-SAYLZ) is a city in LaSalle County, Illinois, United States. The population was 5,094 at the 2010 census, and was estimated to be 5,032 by July 2013. It is part of the Ottawa-Peru, IL Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Lovell Kimball arrived at the area along the Illinois River known as the Grand Rapids in 1833 from Watertown, New York. Kimball, aware that the Illinois-Michigan Canal Bill had passed and the canal would eventually reach the rapids, hired a surveyor to lay out a town. Kimball called the town Marseilles in reference to the French city of Marseille as he hoped it would become a similar industrial center in Illinois. Marseilles, pronounced the same as the French city, was officially platted on June 3, 1835; the plat was revised twice for railroad and canal right-of-ways.
In 1921 the National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) built an eight-story corrugated cardboard box production plant in Marseilles, the largest industrial building in the state (outside of Chicago) at the time, and the first air-conditioned factory in the Midwest. Nabisco was a major employer in the area but ceased production at the plant in 2002.
Marseilles is located at 41°19′40″N 88°42′4″W (41.327795, -88.701121). The city is at the head of rapids along the Illinois River historically known as "the Grand Rapids" or the "Rapids of Maninumba".
According to the 2010 census, Marseilles has a total area of 9.206 square miles (23.84 km2), of which 8.72 square miles (22.58 km2) (or 94.72%) is land and 0.486 square miles (1.26 km2) (or 5.28%) is water.
As of the 2010 Census there were 5,094 people, 2,045 households, and 1,327 families residing in the city. The population density was 584 people per square mile (225/km²).
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