Galva, Illinois

Galva is a city in Henry County, Illinois, United States. The population was 2,589 at the 2010 census, down from 2,758 in 2000.

Galva, Illinois.jpg
City of Go
Location of Galva in Henry County, Illinois.
Location of Galva in Henry County, Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
Location of Illinois in the United States
Coordinates: 41°10′0″N 90°2′32″W / 41.16667°N 90.04222°W / 41.16667; -90.04222Coordinates: 41°10′0″N 90°2′32″W / 41.16667°N 90.04222°W / 41.16667; -90.04222
CountryUnited States
 • Total2.75 sq mi (7.13 km2)
 • Land2.75 sq mi (7.13 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
 • Total2,589
 • Estimate 
 • Density899.46/sq mi (347.31/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code(s)
Area code(s)309
FIPS code17-28430
Wikimedia CommonsGalva, Illinois


Cousins William L. Wiley (1820-1900) and James Wiley (1817-1886) founded Galva in 1854.[3] The name Galva honors the Swedish immigrants of nearby Bishop Hill and refers to Gävle, Sweden which is the town's sister city. Today around 80% of the town has Scandinavian ancestry.[4]

Galva was a railroad town. Galva was laid out along the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad (Burlington Route) with the help of Bishop Hill trustees who invested heavily in Galva.[5] This was the first of three rail line to locate there. This group was formed in 1852 and ran a line from Aurora, Illinois to Galesburg, Illinois. A second branch of the Burlington Route later also came through. Later the Peoria and Rock Island Railroad (Rock Island Railroad) came through Galva.[6][7]


According to the 2010 census, Galva has a total area of 2.86 square miles (7.41 km2), all land.[8][9]


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)2,478[2]−4.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]

As of the 2000 census,[11] there were 2,758 people, 1,164 households, and 740 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,609.5 people per square mile (622.7/km2). There were 1,266 housing units at an average density of 738.8 per square mile (285.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.59% White, 0.25% African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.11% Asian, 0.33% from other races, and 0.51% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.96% of the population.

There were 1,164 households, out of which 28.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.9% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.4% were non-families. 32.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 19.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 24.7% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 25.7% from 25 to 44, 22.8% from 45 to 64, and 19.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,071, and the median income for a family was $45,880. Males had a median income of $31,467 versus $21,714 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,165. About 6.9% of families and 7.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.3% of those under age 18 and 4.5% of those age 65 or over.

2010 CensusEdit

According to the 2010 Census, the city had a population of 2,589. Of this, 2,503 (96.68%) were White, 32 (1.24%) were two or more races, 26 (1.00%) were Black or African American, 15 (0.58%) were some other race, 11 (0.42%) were Asian, and 2 (0.08%) were American Indian or Alaska Native. 80 (3.09%) were Hispanic or Latino (of any race)[12]

Rubezahl StatueEdit

There was once a statue set between two buildings, dedicated to Rubezahl. The sculpture was inscribed, "Rubezahl, the vigilant gnome who guards your home and lights your way at the end of the day." Local teenagers would toast to Rubezahl at every passing until one day Rubezahl was found missing atop his perch in between the buildings. Several theories exist, but to this day the whereabouts of the Rubezahl statue are unknown.[13][dubious ]

Notable peopleEdit

  • Reuben Beals, Illinois state representative, farmer, and carpenter.
  • Rich Falk, professional basketball player.
  • Rollin Kirby, a political cartoonist and three-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize.


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  3. ^ "150th Anniversary of the founding of Galva, Illinois" (PDF). Galvaland Magazine. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
  4. ^ "The History of Galva, Illinois". Archived from the original on March 21, 2016. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
  5. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. pp. 134.
  6. ^ "A Brief Historical Overview of the Rock Island Railroad". Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
  7. ^ "A Brief Historical Overview of the Rock Island Railroad". Rock Island's Family Tree. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
  8. ^ "G001 - Geographic Identifiers - 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2020-02-13. Retrieved 2015-12-27.
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  10. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  11. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  12. ^ "2010 Census Population of Galva, Illinois - CensusViewer". Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  13. ^ Gietzen, Delbert (7 November 2016). The Esoteric Codex: German Folklore. LULU Press. ISBN 9781365515248. Retrieved 23 April 2018 – via Google Books.

External linksEdit