Rochelle, Illinois
Official seal of Rochelle, Illinois
The Hub City
Location of Rochelle in Ogle County, Illinois.
Location of Rochelle in Ogle County, Illinois.
Rochelle, Illinois is located in Ogle County, Illinois
Rochelle, Illinois
Rochelle, Illinois
Location within Ogle County
Rochelle, Illinois is located in Illinois
Rochelle, Illinois
Rochelle, Illinois
Rochelle, Illinois (Illinois)
Coordinates: 41°55′24″N 89°03′56″W / 41.92333°N 89.06556°W / 41.92333; -89.06556
CountryUnited States
TownshipFlagg, Dement
 • MayorJohn Bearrows (R)
 • Total13.42 sq mi (34.76 km2)
 • Land13.40 sq mi (34.71 km2)
 • Water0.02 sq mi (0.05 km2)
Elevation823 ft (251 m)
 • Total9,446
 • Density704.87/sq mi (272.16/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code815
FIPS code17-64746

Rochelle is a city in Ogle County, Illinois. The population was 9,446 at the 2020 census.[3] Rochelle is approximately 80 miles (130 km) west of Chicago and 25 miles (40 km) south of Rockford.


Originally named Hickory Grove, the town sits at the intersection of two rail lines, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe and the Union Pacific. Having a number of granaries holding corn, wheat and other crops for shipping eastward, the town was an important rail link for farmers.

After World War II, Rochelle grew, becoming a center for Swift Meat Packing and Del Monte canned vegetables such as asparagus, corn, green beans, and peas.

The community is home to the popular Rochelle Railroad Park where visitors from across the country come to watch passing trains at the intersection of the BNSF and Union Pacific Railroads; the Chicagoland Skydiving Center and Flight Deck Restaurant; and the Kennay Farms Distillery just west of Rochelle.

On April 9, 2015, parts of the city suffered damage when an EF4 tornado struck near the outskirts of the town.[4][5]


Rochelle is located along the Kyte River (commonly, if inaccurately, known to most locals as "Kyte Creek"). It is also located near the junction of Interstates 39 and 88.

According to the 2010 census, Rochelle has a total area of 12.919 square miles (33.46 km2), of which 12.9 square miles (33.41 km2) (or 99.85%) is land and 0.019 square miles (0.05 km2) (or 0.15%) is water.[6]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
2010[8] 2020[9]

2020 census

Rochelle city, Illinois - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010[8] Pop 2020[9] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 6,918 6,128 72.26% 64.87%
Black or African American alone (NH) 208 239 2.17% 2.53%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 21 20 0.22% 0.21%
Asian alone (NH) 65 73 0.68% 0.77%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 1 0 0.01% 0.00%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 0 15 0.00% 0.16%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 107 323 1.12% 3.42%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 2,254 2,648 23.54% 28.03%
Total 9,574 9,446 100.00% 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.

2000 Census

As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 9,424 people, 3,688 households, and 2,415 families living in the city. The population density was 1,260.9 inhabitants per square mile (486.8/km2). There were 3,895 housing units at an average density of 521.1 per square mile (201.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 86.81% White, 1.14% African American, 0.49% Native American, 0.92% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 8.69% from other races, and 1.93% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 19.16% of the population.

There were 3,688 households, out of which 33.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.7% were married couples living together, 11.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.5% were non-families. Of all households 29.3% were made up of individuals, and 12.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.13.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 27.1% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 28.7% from 25 to 44, 19.6% from 45 to 64, and 14.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $37,984, and the median income for a family was $46,563. Males had a median income of $35,890 versus $25,058 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,139. About 7.6% of families and 10.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.1% of those under age 18 and 4.3% of those age 65 or over.


Rochelle is served by two separate school districts. Rochelle Community Consolidated District 231 serves Rochelle and limited areas just outside town. District 231 has four elementary schools serving grades K–5: Abraham Lincoln Elementary, Central Elementary, Floyd J. Tilton Elementary, and Phillip May Elementary. The district also operates one middle school, Rochelle Middle School, serving grades 6–8. Rochelle Township High School District 212 operates Rochelle Township High School. About half of the high school's students come from Rochelle and District 231; the remaining students come from a number of outlying communities, including Kings, Steward, Creston, Hillcrest, Esmond, and Lindenwood.

There is also a private school named, St. Paul Lutheran School which enrolls children from the age of three, and up through the eighth grade.


The Railroad Museum

Rochelle Railroad Park has spawned many imitators, such as the Railroad Platform in Folkston, Georgia. For many years the Whitcomb Locomotive Works, founded by George Dexter Whitcomb, manufactured industrial locomotives as well as the Partin Palmer automobile, in Rochelle.

Rochelle is also home to Union Pacific's Global III Intermodal Facility. At the time it opened it was Union Pacific's largest intermodal facility. Construction on the state-of-the-art facility was completed in 2003.[11] On May 2, 2019, it was announced the yard would be closing in July 2019.[12]

The Illinois River Energy ethanol plant is located in Rochelle.[13]

Rochelle owns and operates Rochelle Municipal Airport.


Rochelle is known as the "Hub City" because of its location at the intersection of several major transportation routes. The first transcontinental highway in the United States, the Lincoln Highway, passed through Rochelle, as did US-51, one of the first highways to go the full north–south length of the United States. Both these roads have diminished in importance (and are now state highways 38 and 251, respectively), but Rochelle continues to be crossed by major highways, especially Interstates 88 and 39. Besides roadways, Rochelle is also crossed by two major rail lines; the Union Pacific Railroad and BNSF Railway mainlines cross inside of the city limits.[14] The effect, as seen on a map, was one of the spokes of an old wagon wheel meeting at the "hub", and thus the nickname was born. Today, dozens of businesses carry the moniker "Hub City", including furniture stores, shopping centers, realty firms, dry cleaners, and many others. Additionally, he local high school's teams are known as the "Hubs".[15][16]

Rochelle was once a stop for passenger trains operated by the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, and its successor, the Burlington Northern, such as North Coast Limited. The town saw its last passenger train in 1971, and in 2007, the depot, which had been built in 1921, was demolished.

Notable people

Notable buildings

See also


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 15, 2022.
  2. ^ "USGS detail on Newtown". Retrieved October 21, 2007.
  3. ^ "Rochelle city, Illinois". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
  4. ^ "Severe weather: Tornadoes hit Iowa, Illinois, Ohio; CNN; April 9, 2015". CNN. April 9, 2015. Archived from the original on April 10, 2015. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  5. ^ "Tornadoes touch down, leave 1 dead in Fairdale; ABC7; April 9, 2015". Archived from the original on April 13, 2015. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  6. ^ "G001 - Geographic Identifiers - 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved December 27, 2015.
  7. ^ "Decennial Census of Population and Housing by Decades". US Census Bureau.
  8. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Rochelle city, Illinois". United States Census Bureau.
  9. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Rochelle city, Illinois". United States Census Bureau.
  10. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on December 27, 1996. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  11. ^ Malone, Frank (2003). "Design for decongestion". Railway Age. Archived from the original on July 11, 2012.
  12. ^ "Union Pacific Railroad services to leave Rochelle in July". May 2, 2019. Archived from the original on May 4, 2019. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  13. ^ "Farmers, ethanol makers likely OK with no subsidy - Peoria, IL -". Archived from the original on June 24, 2011. Retrieved June 21, 2011.
  14. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 15, 2011. Retrieved March 28, 2010.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "RTHS-Community Campus". Archived from the original on January 29, 2010. Retrieved March 28, 2010.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 23, 2004. Retrieved March 28, 2010.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ California State Library, 1906
  18. ^ "The High School," Oakland Daily Evening Tribune, June 2, 1888, image 3
  19. ^ "Popular Member of Junior League to Wed Mr. Howe," The San Francisco Examiner, August 22, 1931, image 6
  20. ^ "Fighting Illini At The Olympics".
  21. ^ "IHSA Boys Track & Field - Records & History".