Batavia, Illinois
Batavia Depot Museum
Flag of Batavia, Illinois
The Windmill City, City of Energy[1]
"Where Tradition and Vision Meet"[2]
Location of Batavia in Kane and DuPage Counties within Illinois.
Location of Batavia in Kane and DuPage Counties within Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
Location of Illinois in the United States
Coordinates: 41°50′56″N 88°18′30″W / 41.84889°N 88.30833°W / 41.84889; -88.30833
CountryUnited States
CountiesKane, DuPage
TownshipsBatavia (Kane), Geneva (Kane), Winfield (DuPage)
IncorporatedJuly 27, 1872
 • TypeCouncil–manager
 • MayorJeff Schielke (I)
 • Total10.84 sq mi (28.06 km2)
 • Land10.65 sq mi (27.58 km2)
 • Water0.19 sq mi (0.48 km2)
666 ft (203 m)
 • Total26,098
 • Density2,450.52/sq mi (946.15/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code(s)
60510 and 60539
Area codes630 and 331
FIPS code17-04078
GNIS feature ID2394077
Wikimedia CommonsBatavia, Illinois

Batavia (/bəˈtviə/) is a city mainly in Kane County and partly in DuPage County in the U.S. state of Illinois. Located in the Chicago metropolitan area, it was founded in 1833 and is the oldest city in Kane County.[4] Per the 2020 census, the population was 26,098.[5]

During the latter part of the 19th century, Batavia, home to six American-style windmill manufacturing companies, became known as "The Windmill City."[4] 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 just east of the city limits.

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.[6]


Batavia was 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.[7][8] Because Judge Wilson owned the majority of the town, he was given permission to rename it.

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.[9] 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," Batavia's original name. The city was incorporated on July 27, 1872.[10]

After the death of her husband, Mary Todd Lincoln was an involuntary resident of the Batavia Institute on May 20, 1875.[11] At the time the institute was known as Bellevue Place, a sanitarium for women. Mrs. Lincoln was released four months later on September 11, 1875.[12] In the late 19th century, Batavia was a major manufacturer of the Conestoga wagons used in the country's westward expansion.[13] Into the early 20th century, most of the windmill operated waterpumps in use by America's farms were made at one of three windmill manufacturing companies in Batavia.[14][15] Many of the limestone buildings of these factories remain in use as government and commercial offices, and storefronts. The Aurora Elgin and Chicago Railway constructed a power plant in southern Batavia and added a branch to the city in 1902. The Campana Factory was built in 1936 to manufacture cosmetics for The Campana Company, particularly Italian Balm, the nation's best-selling hand lotion at the time.


The Fox River has been of central significance to settlement and life in Batavia.

Batavia is located on the Fox River at 41°50′56″N 88°18′30″W / 41.84889°N 88.30833°W / 41.84889; -88.30833 (41.8488583, −88.3084400).[16]

According to the 2021 census gazetteer files, Batavia has a total area of 10.84 square miles (28.08 km2), of which 10.65 square miles (27.58 km2) (or 98.28%) is land and 0.19 square miles (0.49 km2) (or 1.72%) is water.[17]

The Peace Bridge on the Fox River in Downtown Batavia


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[18]
2010[19] 2020[20]

As of the 2020 census[21] there were 26,098 people, 9,728 households, and 6,947 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,408.45 inhabitants per square mile (929.91/km2). There were 10,381 housing units at an average density of 958.01 per square mile (369.89/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 84.23% White, 2.48% African American, 0.24% Native American, 2.28% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 3.25% from other races, and 7.51% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.17% of the population.

There were 9,728 households, out of which 37.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.70% were married couples living together, 6.31% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.59% were non-families. 23.97% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.52% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.29 and the average family size was 2.71.

The city's age distribution consisted of 26.3% under the age of 18, 5.9% from 18 to 24, 25.4% from 25 to 44, 27.4% from 45 to 64, and 15.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.8 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $97,995, and the median income for a family was $123,247. Males had a median income of $69,895 versus $39,602 for females. The per capita income for the city was $46,134. About 3.6% of families and 5.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.0% of those under age 18 and 5.5% of those age 65 or over.

Batavia city, Illinois – Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010[19] Pop 2020[20] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 22,840 21,479 87.69% 82.30%
Black or African American alone (NH) 611 608 2.35% 2.33%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 38 11 0.15% 0.04%
Asian alone (NH) 469 583 1.80% 2.23%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 3 2 0.01% 0.01%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 18 77 0.07% 0.30%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 291 944 1.12% 3.62%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 1,775 2,394 6.82% 9.17%
Total 26,045 26,098 100.00% 100.00%

Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.


Aldi, Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Aldi Süd, has its headquarters in Batavia.[22]

Fermilab is located just outside the town borders and serves as employment for many of the town's residents.

According to the City's 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[23] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of employees
1 Fermi Research Alliance 1,700
2 Suncast Corporation 800
3 Aldi, Inc. 700
4 AGCO Corporation 365
5 Power Packaging 300
6 HOBI International 225
7 VWR Scientific 221
8 Batavia Container 160
9 Flinn Scientific Inc. 150
10 DS Containers, Inc. 140

Arts and culture

Batavia is served by Batavia Public Library District, which was founded in April 1881 as a township library; the first Board of Library Trustees was elected in April 1882. It converted to a district library in June 1975. The library serves most of Batavia Township, Kane County, Illinois and portions of Winfield Township, DuPage County, Illinois, Geneva Township, Kane County, Illinois, and Blackberry Township, Kane County, Illinois. Its current facility opened in January 2002.[24]


Batavia is a part of Illinois' 11th Congressional District, represented by Democrat Bill Foster. From 2013 to 2023, it was part of the 14th Congressional District, which was represented by Randy Hultgren and later Lauren Underwood.

Mayor Schielke in 2016 (receiving a song about Batavia by local composer Birgit Ridderstedt)

Linda Holmes, Karina Villa, Barbara Hernandez, Matt Hanson, and Maura Hirschauer—all Democrats—represent parts of Batavia in the Illinois General Assembly.[25]

Batavia is governed by a 14-member city council. There are seven wards in the city, and each ward elects two aldermen. The mayor chairs the city council and is elected citywide every four years.

Jeffery Schielke has been Mayor of Batavia since 1981.[26]


Batavia is served by Batavia Public School District No. 101. The district currently consists of six K–5 elementary schools, one 6–8 middle school, and Batavia High School.[27] Small pockets of the city are served by Geneva Community Unit School District 304 and West Aurora Public School District 129.



Some bus transportation is serviced by Pace. The Geneva and Aurora Metra train stations are nearby. Paths for biking and walking exist along the Fox River.

Batavia is considered car-dependent and somewhat bikeable.[28]

Major streets include:

Notable people

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See also


  1. ^ Edwards, Jim; Edwards, Wynette (2000). "City of Energy Entrepreneurs". Batavia: From the Collection of the Batavia Historical Society. Chicago, IL: Arcadia. pp. 21–32. ISBN 978-0-7385-0795-8.
  2. ^ "City of Batavia, Illinois". City of Batavia, Illinois. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  3. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 15, 2022.
  4. ^ a b Schielke, Jeffery (2010). "Batavia History: Our Town". City of Batavia. Archived from the original on October 17, 2010. Retrieved February 8, 2010.
  5. ^ "Batavia city, Illinois". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 15, 2022.
  6. ^ [Scheetz, George H.] "Whence Siouxland?" Book Remarks [Sioux City Public Library], May 1991.
  7. ^ Callery, Edward (2009). Place names of Illinois. Champaign-Urbana, Ill: University of Illinois Press. ISBN 978-0-252-03356-8.
  8. ^ "Several Towns Named After Founders and Heroes". The Daily Herald. December 28, 1999. p. 220. Retrieved August 17, 2014 – via Open access icon
  9. ^ Blackhawk War
  10. ^ Illinois Regional Archives Depository System. "Name Index to Illinois Local Governments". Illinois State Archives. Illinois Secretary of State. Retrieved September 11, 2013.
  11. ^ a b Emerson, Jason (June–July 2006). "The Madness of Mary Lincoln". American Heritage. Archived from the original on September 5, 2009. Retrieved September 3, 2009.
  12. ^ "Mary Lincoln's Stay at Bellevue Place".
  13. ^ Robinson, Marilyn; Schielke, Jeffery D.; Gustafson, John (1998) [1962]. John Gustafson's Historic Batavia. Batavia, Ill: Batavia Historical Society. ISBN 0-923889-06-X. OCLC 38030962.
  14. ^ Cisneros, Stacey L.; Scheetz, George H. (2008). Windmill City: A Guide to the Historic Windmills of Batavia, Illinois. Batavia, Ill: Batavia Public Library. OCLC 247081989.
  15. ^ "Batavia History". Batavia Historical Society. 2000. Archived from the original on January 15, 2010. Retrieved February 8, 2010.
  16. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: City of Batavia
  17. ^ "Gazetteer Files". Retrieved June 29, 2022.
  18. ^ "Decennial Census of Population and Housing by Decades". US Census Bureau.
  19. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE – 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Batavia city, Illinois". United States Census Bureau.
  20. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE – 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Batavia city, Illinois". United States Census Bureau.
  21. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved June 28, 2022.
  22. ^ Wollam, Allison. "Discount retailers bulk up in Houston as economy stutters." Houston Business Journal. Monday November 28, 2011. Retrieved on December 8, 2011.
  23. ^ "Financial Reports". Batavia, IL - Official Website. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
  24. ^ "Library History". Batavia Public Library. 2010. Archived from the original on October 30, 2010. Retrieved February 8, 2010.
  25. ^ "Illinois Redistricting | Illinois Speaker of the House - Emanuel "Chris" Welch". Retrieved January 18, 2023.
  26. ^ "City Council, Committee of the Whole, and Elected Officials | Batavia, IL - Official Website". Retrieved January 18, 2023.
  27. ^ "Batavia Public Schools". Batavia Public School District No. 101. 2010. Archived from the original on January 18, 2010. Retrieved February 13, 2010.
  28. ^ "Batavia neighborhoods on Walk Score". Walk Score. Retrieved January 18, 2023.
  29. ^ "Ken Anderson". IMDb. Retrieved October 19, 2012.
  30. ^ White, James Terry. (1944). The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography. Volume 31. New York: James T. White & Company. p. 446
  31. ^ "Dan Issel". NBA Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on November 9, 2012. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  32. ^ "Oberwise Slides". Milwaukee County Historical Society. Archived from the original on September 10, 2023. Retrieved September 10, 2023.
  33. ^ 'Illinois Blue Book 1937-1938,' Biographical Sketch of John F. Petit, pg. 160-161
  34. ^ "Craig Sager". CNN/Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on August 23, 2011. Retrieved October 22, 2012.