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Valmeyer is a village in Monroe County in the U.S. state of Illinois, on the Mississippi River. The population was 1,263 at the 2010 census.
Valmeyer was named after a German immigrant who settled there, Val-Meyer, literally:"The valley of the Meyers". Many of his relations and descendants live in the area to this day. The original site of the village in the American Bottom floodplain was inundated by the Great Flood of 1993 of the Mississippi River. After the flood receded, the village accepted federal government assistance to relocate to higher ground about 2 miles (3.2 km) to the east atop the bluffs, on the north side of the eponymous valley.
Valmeyer's history has been marked by the periodic flooding of the Mississippi River and efforts to control it, the town having been flooded in 1910, 1943, and 1944. In the 1940s and 1950s, the Army Corps of Engineers constructed a levee system to protect the village and surrounding area. This levee system successfully protected the area from flooding for almost 50 years, even as floods occurred upstream from Valmeyer, the most significant threat having come in 1973.
It was not until the Great Flood of 1993 that the levees protecting Valmeyer and its environs were damaged by floodwater causing a large gap to form, flooding the town. Though the village was largely destroyed, the flooding of the American Bottom floodplain relieved pressure upstream from Valmeyer, and very likely saved downtown St. Louis from a major flood event. This was an intentional design element in the original levee plan, to use the sparsely populated agricultural areas surrounding Valmeyer to relieve threat against the more valuable real estate in the levee districts north of Valmeyer, including St. Louis. Valmeyer's story was well documented in both the national and international media, most notably on public television's Nova program, as a front-page article in the New York Times, and in a feature article in Smithsonian in June 1996.
After the Great flood of 1993 the residents of Valmeyer decided to relocate the town two miles to the east, on higher ground. The town was rebuilt with financial assistance from FEMA.
Valmeyer is located at 38°18′00″N 90°18′30″W.
According to the 2010 census, Valmeyer has a total area of 3.634 square miles (9.41 km2), of which 3.58 square miles (9.27 km2) (or 98.51%) is land and 0.054 square miles (0.14 km2) (or 1.49%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 608 people, 222 households, and 166 families residing in the village. The population density was 182.7 people per square mile (70.5/km²). There were 241 housing units at an average density of 72.4 per square mile (27.9/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 98.68% White, 0.33% African American, 0.33% Asian, 0.16% Pacific Islander, and 0.49% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.82% of the population.
There were 222 households out of which 39.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.0% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.2% were non-families. 24.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.74 and the average family size was 3.29.
In the village, the age distribution of the population shows 27.8% under the age of 18, 10.0% from 18 to 24, 28.1% from 25 to 44, 21.1% from 45 to 64, and 13.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 87.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.9 males.
The median income for a household in the village was $53,214, and the median income for a family was $58,646. Males had a median income of $38,500 versus $26,838 for females. The per capita income for the village was $20,420. None of the families and 3.0% of the population were living below the poverty line, including no under eighteens and 10.2% of those over 64.
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