East Alton
Location of East Alton in Madison County, Illinois.
Location of East Alton in Madison County, Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
Location of Illinois in the United States
Coordinates: 38°53′0″N 90°6′22″W / 38.88333°N 90.10611°W / 38.88333; -90.10611Coordinates: 38°53′0″N 90°6′22″W / 38.88333°N 90.10611°W / 38.88333; -90.10611
CountryUnited States
 • Total5.47 sq mi (14.18 km2)
 • Land5.32 sq mi (13.77 km2)
 • Water0.16 sq mi (0.41 km2)
440 ft (130 m)
 • Total5,786
 • Density1,088.00/sq mi (420.05/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code(s)
Area code(s)618
FIPS code17-21553
FIPS code17-21553
GNIS ID2398769
Wikimedia CommonsEast Alton, Illinois

East Alton is a village in Madison County, Illinois, United States. The population was 6,301 at the 2010 census.[2]


East Alton was incorporated as a village in 1893 (some say 1894).[3]

William Cobb, namesake of Cobb Street, was one of the first mayors, from 1895 to 1896, and again in 1902–1905.

Like many Riverbend communities, the town dates back to when European settlers came to the area in the early 19th century. And it wasn't always East Alton — the community was known as Emerald, Milton Settlement and Alton Junction.[4] Alton Junction was also known as Wann Junction, famous locally for being the site of a horrific rail disaster.[5]


East Alton is located at 38°53′0″N 90°6′22″W / 38.88333°N 90.10611°W / 38.88333; -90.10611 (38.883397, -90.106113).[6]

According to the 2010 census, East Alton has a total area of 5.564 square miles (14.41 km2), of which 5.33 square miles (13.80 km2) (or 95.79%) is land and 0.234 square miles (0.61 km2) (or 4.21%) is water.[7]


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[8]

As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 6,830 people, 2,965 households, and 1,787 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,241.3 people per square mile (479.5/km2). There were 3,171 housing units at an average density of 576.3 per square mile (222.6/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 96.72% White, 0.94% African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.38% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.18% from other races, and 1.52% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.02% of the population.

There were 2,965 households, out of which 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.3% were married couples living together, 14.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.7% were non-families. 35.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 17.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the village, the population was spread out, with 25.2% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 28.8% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 16.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.1 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $28,404, and the median income for a family was $35,655. Males had a median income of $36,770 versus $20,865 for females. The per capita income for the village was $15,572. About 7.8% of families and 13.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.9% of those under age 18 and 8.0% of those age 65 or over.


East Alton is home to the Olin Corporation, a manufacturer of ammunition. Olin has a major impact on East Alton and its surrounding communities. A part of town called the Defense Area was built during the 1940s and until recently was used for low income housing. Replacing the Defense Area is Emerald Ridge, which will be completed in early 2015 and will consist of 46 new single-family homes. The impact of Olin has spread into town sports: East Alton Middle School's athletic teams are the Bullets.

Points of interest

East Alton is located in the Greater Metropolitan area of St. Louis, Missouri. Thus, all the attractions and facilities of that major city are equally available to residents of East Alton and nearby communities. Additionally, East Alton is minutes away from the origination point of the Journey of Discovery (Lewis and Clark Expedition) located in nearby Hartford, Illinois. Educational institutions in the area include Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, the SIUE Dental School in Alton, Principia College in Elsah and Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey.

Van Preter Park is the main park in East Alton. This 13.8-acre (5.6 ha) park consists of four baseball diamonds, two playground units, two small pavilions and one large pavilion.[10]

Bill Tite Memorial - Lions Park is located on the north side of the Keasler Recreation Complex. The entrance is in the 300 block of Ohio Street. This park consists of a large playground unit, two swing set units with toddler seats, a climbing unit, see-saw rider, two large multiple play stations, picnic tables, park benches, barbecue grills, and green space. The park will undergo improvements beginning late 2015.

The East Alton Post Office contains a mural, The Letter, painted in 1937 by Frances Foy. Murals were produced from 1934 to 1943 in the United States through the Section of Painting and Sculpture, later called the Section of Fine Arts, of the Treasury Department.[11]

The East Alton History Museum officially opened on March 4, 2017, and is located in the Fred H. Bright Jr. Vital Services Building, 119 N. Main Street. The building, which houses the East Alton Police department, was renamed the same day in honor of the former Mayor.[12]

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 15, 2022.
  2. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): East Alton village, Illinois". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 23, 2012.
  3. ^ Norton, William T. (1912). Centennial History of Madison County, Illinois, and Its People, 1812 to 1912. The Lewis Publishing Co. pp. 614.
  4. ^ "East Alton committee nearing completion of museum, book". Retrieved 2017-02-21.
  5. ^ "Madison County ILGenWeb - The Wann Disaster". madison.illinoisgenweb.org. Archived from the original on 2017-02-22. Retrieved 2017-02-21.
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  7. ^ "G001 - Geographic Identifiers - 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2020-02-13. Retrieved 2015-08-03.
  8. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  9. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  10. ^ "East Alton Village | parks and rec parks".
  11. ^ Arnesen, Eric (2007). Encyclopedia of U.S. Labor and Working-Class History. Vol. 1. New York: Routledge. p. 1540. ISBN 9780415968263.
  12. ^ "East Alton's history comes together: Museum 'way, way' exceeds expectations". Retrieved 2017-03-10.
  13. ^ "Brad Carter's Childish Pranks – Brad's Cactus Shack".
  14. ^ "A Brief History of Winchester Smokeless Propellants". Winchester. Archived from the original on 21 February 2015. Retrieved 20 February 2015.