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Oglesby, Illinois

Oglesby is a city in LaSalle County, Illinois, United States. The population was 3,791 at the 2010 census. It is part of the OttawaStreator Micropolitan Statistical Area.

City of Oglesby
Water tower near I-39 in Oglesby
Water tower near I-39 in Oglesby
Location of Oglesby in LaSalle County, Illinois.
Location of Oglesby in LaSalle County, Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
Location of Illinois in the United States
Coordinates: 41°17′48″N 89°03′58″W / 41.29667°N 89.06611°W / 41.29667; -89.06611Coordinates: 41°17′48″N 89°03′58″W / 41.29667°N 89.06611°W / 41.29667; -89.06611
CountryUnited States
 • TypeCity commission government
 • MayorDominic “Dom” Rivara
 • Total4.06 sq mi (10.51 km2)
 • Land4.06 sq mi (10.51 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
628 ft (191 m)
 • Total3,791
 • Estimate 
 • Density892.04/sq mi (344.42/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Area code(s)815
FIPS code17-55353


The city was named after Richard J. Oglesby (1824–1899), governor of Illinois.[3]


Oglesby is located at 41°17′48″N 89°3′58″W / 41.29667°N 89.06611°W / 41.29667; -89.06611 (41.296762, -89.066074).[4]

According to the 2010 census, Oglesby has a total area of 4.11 square miles (10.64 km2), all land.[5]

Natural resourcesEdit

Oglesby is located near the confluence of the Illinois River and the north-flowing Vermilion River. It was originally called Portland, due to the cement mined and manufactured in the area that was similar to Portland Cement from England. It was renamed in 1913 in honor of Richard Oglesby, a former U.S. Senator and three-time Governor of Illinois.[6]

The surface ground layers around Oglesby had excellent exposed limestone and coal; Oglesby also had adequate riverine transport. It soon became an important center for cement manufacture. Before open-pit mining there were several subsurface cement mines:[7]

  • Illinois Clay Products Mine, 1913–1924
  • Reynolds Clay Mine
  • Marquette Cement Mine

As well as several coal mines:

  • Jones Mine, 1865–1930
  • Oglesby Mine, 1865–1919
  • Deer Park Mine, 1900–1920
  • Black Hollow Mine, circa

State parksEdit

Matthiessen State Park and Starved Rock State Park are located a few miles east on Illinois State Route 178.[8][9] With over two million visitors a year, Starved Rock is the most visited of any Illinois state park.


Census Pop.
Est. 20183,587[2]−5.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]

As of the census[11] of 2010, there were 3,647 people, 1,583 households, and 1,016 families residing in the city. The population density was 911.6 people per square mile (352.0/km²). There were 1,701 housing units at an average density of 425.2 per square mile (164.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.11% White, 0.44% African American, 0.08% Native American, 0.33% Asian, 0.36% from other races, and 0.69% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.92% of the population.

There were 1,583 households, of which 27.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.6% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.8% were non-families. 31.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 18.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.88.

In the city the population consisted of 22.8% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 28.2% from 25 to 44, 20.7% from 45 to 64, and 21.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,000, and the median income for a family was $44,778. Males had a median income of $36,875 versus $20,331 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,674. About 9.5% of families and 10.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.0% of those under age 18 and 6.9% of those age 65 or over.


Oglesby Lincoln School, Oglesby Washington School, Holy Family parochial School, and Illinois Valley Community College are located in Oglesby.

Arts and cultureEdit

Murals were produced in the United States through the Section of Painting and Sculpture, later called the Section of Fine Arts, of the Treasury Department from 1934 to 1943. They were intended to boost the morale of the American people suffering from the effects of the Depression by depicting uplifting subjects. In 1942 artist Fay E. Davis painted an oil on canvas mural titled The Illini and Potawatomes Struggles at Starved Rock in the town's post office. The mural's muted earth tones faded badly over time and it was restored in 1988. In 1993 a post office janitor complained about the nudity of the features of the Native Americans depicted in the mural. The painting was covered by a venetian blind and only revealed upon request.[12] A successful petition drive to remove the blinds was begun soon after.

1942 WPA mural The Illini and Potawatomies Struggle at Starved Rock

Notable peopleEdit


  1. ^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jun 30, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved November 2, 2019.
  3. ^ Illinois Central Magazine. Illinois Central Railroad Company. 1922. p. 43.
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  5. ^ "G001 - Geographic Identifiers - 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-12-27.
  6. ^ Oglesby-Our Home Town (1902–2002). Oglesby, Illinois: Oglesby Historical Society. 2002. p. 5.
  7. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 14, 2010. Retrieved September 4, 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Matthiessen - State Park". Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2013.
  9. ^ "Fun Facts about Illinois Tourism". illinois University of Illinois at Springfield. Archived from the original on 15 June 2011. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  10. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  11. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  12. ^ "Indians at the Post Office". Smithsonian Postal Museum. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  13. ^ "Jim Bottomley". National Baseball Hall of Fame. Retrieved 18 February 2018.