Markham, Illinois
Official seal of Markham, Illinois
Prairie Capital of the Prairie State
Unity for the Community
Location of Markham in Cook County, Illinois.
Location of Markham in Cook County, Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
Location of Illinois in the United States
Coordinates: 41°35′51″N 87°41′30″W / 41.59750°N 87.69167°W / 41.59750; -87.69167
Country United States
State Illinois
TownshipsBremen, Thornton
 • MayorRoger Agpawa
 • Total5.41 sq mi (14.00 km2)
 • Land5.41 sq mi (14.00 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)  0%
 • Total11,661
 • Density2,157.45/sq mi (833.01/km2)
Standard of living (2007-2011)
 • Per capita income$19,318
 • Median home value$120,300
ZIP code(s)
Area code(s)708
FIPS code17-47007

Markham is a city and a south suburb of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 11,661 at the 2020 census.[2]


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It is claimed this area was beach 10,000 years ago. After countless ages of geologic swamps, marshes and sloughs, the prairies dominated the landscape with groves of trees, flowers, and wildlife in abundance.

Markham, southwest of the southern tip of Lake Michigan, had been a crossroad for early pioneers. In 1816 a treaty was made with the Ottawa, Chippewa and Potawatomi tribes which ceded a corridor of land located between a point north of the Chicago River and the mouth of the Calumet River to the settlers. The southern boundary, one of two Indian Treaty Boundary Lines, was surveyed along a line from the Kankakee River to Lake Michigan. The line still appears on government maps and now includes a short portion of Interstate 57 near the US 6 interchange northwest of Markham.

The village of Markham was incorporated in 1925 with a population under 300. The village was named for Charles H. Markham, president of the Illinois Central Railroad 1911–1918, 1919–1926. In the mid-1930s, the Croissant Park subdivision was built and increased the population from 349 to 1,388. After World War II, Markham's population doubled to 2,753 residents by 1950. The village developed into a bedroom community as residents sought homes, not industry. An airport developed at 165th Street and Kedzie Avenue was the nearest field outside of Chicago. The airport site was located near what is now the Cook County Sixth Circuit Courthouse. On August 24, 1967, Markham was incorporated as a city.[citation needed]

The Lone Pine Tree

In 1860, a German immigrant named Lawrence Roesner made his way to the southern boundary and settled on land located in the northwest corner of Markham. He brought with him six seedlings from the Black Forest of Germany and planted them along the Indian Boundary Line. This "Lone Pine Tree" was adopted as the official city symbol in 1985. The lone survivor of six pine trees brought from the Black Forest in 1860 died in 1986. The Markham City Council appropriated money to get a replacement tree from the Black Forest, which the Markham Garden Club planted that year.


Markham is located at 41°35′51″N 87°41′30″W / 41.59750°N 87.69167°W / 41.59750; -87.69167 (41.597467, -87.691570).[3]

According to the 2021 census gazetteer files, Markham has a total area of 5.41 square miles (14.01 km2), all land.[4]

Indian Boundary Prairies

There are approximately 2,500 acres (10 km2) of virgin and restored prairie land located within the boundary of Markham. There are four prairies known as "Dropseed", "Sundrop", "Paintbrush" and "Gensburg". The prairie is under the supervision of Northeastern Illinois University and The Nature Conservancy. The Gensburg-Markham Prairie portion has been designated a National Natural Landmark. The prairies continue to grow and flourish with the help of the Friends of the Indian Boundary Prairies.[5]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
2010[7] 2020[8]

As of the 2020 census[9] there were 11,661 people, 3,832 households, and 2,821 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,157.45 inhabitants per square mile (833.00/km2). There were 4,283 housing units at an average density of 792.41 per square mile (305.95/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 72.93% African American, 8.88% White, 0.91% Asian, 0.39% Native American, 10.26% from other races, and 6.64% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 17.27% of the population.

There were 3,832 households, out of which 39.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 28.42% were married couples living together, 37.42% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.38% were non-families. 23.12% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.15% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.84 and the average family size was 3.23.

The city's age distribution consisted of 31.2% under the age of 18, 9.5% from 18 to 24, 24.3% from 25 to 44, 21.4% from 45 to 64, and 13.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32.0 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 73.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $42,050, and the median income for a family was $45,880. Males had a median income of $28,214 versus $29,815 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,580. About 17.4% of families and 20.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 37.6% of those under age 18 and 14.8% of those age 65 or over.

Markham, Illinois – Racial and Ethnic Composition
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
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 may be of any race.
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010[7] Pop 2020[8] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 1,275 823 10.19% 7.06%
Black or African American alone (NH) 10,076 8,420 80.56% 72.21%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 15 11 0.12% 0.09%
Asian alone (NH) 84 103 0.67% 0.88%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 8 0 0.06% 0.00%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 22 32 0.18% 0.27%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 191 258 1.53% 2.21%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 837 2,014 6.69% 17.57%
Total 12,508 11,661 100.00% 100.00%


In 2017, Roger Agpawa was elected mayor.[10] He had previously served as fire chief in neighboring Country Club Hills. Having been convicted in 1999 of felony mail fraud in a federal health insurance case, he is one of the first convicted felons to have been elected mayor. Experts state that he would have been ineligible to serve in the highest office in that city, despite being sworn in as mayor in October 2018 after an 18-month legal battle.[11][12]

Markham is divided between two congressional districts. Most of the city is in Illinois's 2nd congressional district, consisting of the area south of the Dan Ryan Expressway (I-57) that is bordered on the west by Homan Avenue from 155th to 161st streets, Trumbull Avenue from 161st to 163rd, and Lawndale Avenue from 163rd to 167th; the rest of the city is part of the 1st district.

In the Illinois State Senate Markham is split by two districts:

In the Illinois House of Representatives Markham is split by two districts:


Most of Markham is within Prairie-Hills School District 144, which includes 6 elementary schools, and Prairie-Hills Junior High School. A portion of Markham is within the Posen-Robbins School District 143½, which includes 4 elementary schools, and Thomas J. Kellar Middle School.[13] Another Portion is within Hazel Crest School District 152.5, which includes 2 elementary schools, and Robert Frost Middle School. The remaining portion is within Harvey School District 152, which includes 5 elementary schools, and Brooks Middle School.

Most of Markham is served by Bremen High School, with another portion attending Hillcrest High School, and the remaining section goes to Tinley Park High School in Bremen Community High School District 228[14] The rest of the city is served by Thornwood High School within Thornton Township High School District 205.


Police department

The Markam Police Department is responsible for public safety and law enforcement.

Anthony "Tony" DeBois, the deputy police chief from 2008 to 2012 and described as an "ally of Markham Mayor David Webb Jr." by the Chicago Tribune, had been the subject to numerous lawsuits alleging brutality and misconduct from 2004 to 2011.[15][16] In 2014 he was sentenced to 5 years in federal prison for raping a woman under arrest in 2010 and lying about it to the FBI in 2012.[16][17]


Pace provides bus service on multiple routes connecting Markham to destinations across the Southland.[18]

Notable people


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 15, 2022.
  2. ^ "Markham city, Illinois profile". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 26, 2022.
  3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  4. ^ Bureau, US Census. "Gazetteer Files". Retrieved June 29, 2022.
  5. ^ "Nature Conservancy: Indian Boundary Prairies". The Nature Conservancy. Retrieved December 15, 2012.
  6. ^ "Decennial Census of Population and Housing by Decades". US Census Bureau.
  7. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Markham city, Illinois". United States Census Bureau.
  8. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Markham city, Illinois". United States Census Bureau.
  9. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved June 28, 2022.
  10. ^ "City elects convicted felon as mayor, prompting threat from prosecutor". CBS News.
  11. ^ "Daily Southtown Opinion - Chicago Tribune". Chicago Tribune.
  12. ^ Slowik, Ted (October 4, 2018). "After 18-month legal battle, convicted felon Roger Agpawa sworn in as Markham mayor". Daily Southtown.
  13. ^ "WELCOME TO POSEN-ROBBINS SCHOOL DISTRICT 143.5 Archived 2013-05-24 at the Wayback Machine." Posen-Robbins School District 143½. Retrieved on February 24, 2013.
  14. ^ "[1]." Bremen High School School Boundaries Retrieved on October 29, 2017.
  15. ^ Schmadeke, Steve (August 13, 2010). "Markham deputy chief no stranger to lawsuits". Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  16. ^ a b "Former Markham Cop Sentenced to 5 Years for Lying to FBI". Chicago. April 9, 2014. Archived from the original on June 17, 2016. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  17. ^ Schmadeke, Steve (April 9, 2014). "5 years for ex-Markham deputy police chief who had sex with detainee". Archived from the original on July 12, 2019. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  18. ^ "RTA System Map" (PDF). Retrieved January 30, 2024.
  19. ^ Armour, Mark. "The Baseball Biography Project: Denny McLain". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved December 20, 2011.