Decatur, Illinois

Decatur, Illinois

Overview
Decatur is the largest city and the county seat of Macon County in the U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 of Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

. The city, sometimes called "the Soybean Capital of the World", was founded in 1823 and is located along the Sangamon River
Sangamon River
The Sangamon River is a principal tributary of the Illinois River, approximately long, in central Illinois in the United States. It drains a mostly rural agricultural area between Peoria and Springfield...

 and Lake Decatur
Lake Decatur
Lake Decatur is a reservoir located in the city of Decatur, Illinois, east of downtown. The city and lake both share the name of U.S. Navy Commodore Stephen Decatur. The lake is above sea level. Lake Decatur has a watershed of 925 square miles spanning 7 counties...

 in Central Illinois. In 2000 the city population was 81,500, and 76,122 in 2010. Decatur is the sixth-most populous city in Illinois, outside of the Chicago Metropolitan Area.
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Encyclopedia
Decatur is the largest city and the county seat of Macon County in the U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 of Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

. The city, sometimes called "the Soybean Capital of the World", was founded in 1823 and is located along the Sangamon River
Sangamon River
The Sangamon River is a principal tributary of the Illinois River, approximately long, in central Illinois in the United States. It drains a mostly rural agricultural area between Peoria and Springfield...

 and Lake Decatur
Lake Decatur
Lake Decatur is a reservoir located in the city of Decatur, Illinois, east of downtown. The city and lake both share the name of U.S. Navy Commodore Stephen Decatur. The lake is above sea level. Lake Decatur has a watershed of 925 square miles spanning 7 counties...

 in Central Illinois. In 2000 the city population was 81,500, and 76,122 in 2010. Decatur is the sixth-most populous city in Illinois, outside of the Chicago Metropolitan Area. According to Sperling's Best Places, Decatur's metropolitan area
Metropolitan area
The term metropolitan area refers to a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing. A metropolitan area usually encompasses multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships,...

 population is 114,749.

Decatur is a classic Midwest USA small city situated with homes and park areas facing Lake Decatur, and with many historic brick buildings downtown. This city is home of private Millikin University
Millikin University
Millikin University is an American co-educational, comprehensive, private, four-year university with traditional undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, fine arts, and professional studies, as well as non-traditional, adult degree-completion programs and graduate programs in...

 and public Richland Community College. Decatur is a college town with treelined streets and vast industrial and agricultural processing production and is located in the Interior Plains
Interior Plains
The Interior Plains is a vast physiographic region that spreads across the Laurentian craton of central North America.-Geography:The Interior Plains are an extensive physiographic division encompassing 8 distinct physiographic provinces, the Interior Low Plateaus, Great Plains, Central Lowland,...

 of North America.

In the transition from a manufacturing
Manufacturing
Manufacturing is the use of machines, tools and labor to produce goods for use or sale. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is most commonly applied to industrial production, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale...

 to a service economy
Service economy
Service economy can refer to one or both of two recent economic developments. One is the increased importance of the service sector in industrialized economies. Services account for a higher percentage of US GDP than 20 years ago...

, Decatur has experienced some population sprawl as new development activity grows to the outer Decatur metro area, seemingly blurring the detectable boundaries of contiguous city limits of neighboring communities Mount Zion, Harristown
Harristown, Illinois
Harristown is a village in Macon County, Illinois, United States whose population was 1,338 at the 2000 census, and 1,236 in 2009. It is included in the Decatur, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:...

, and Forsyth
Forsyth, Illinois
Forsyth is a village in Macon County, Illinois, United States whose population was 2,434 at the 2000 census, and 3,007 in 2009. It is included in the Decatur, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area pop...

.

Decatur and Macon County's most notable resident was Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

, who settled with his family west of town in 1830. He later practiced law in the city after moving to nearby Springfield
Springfield, Illinois
Springfield is the third and current capital of the US state of Illinois and the county seat of Sangamon County with a population of 117,400 , making it the sixth most populated city in the state and the second most populated Illinois city outside of the Chicago Metropolitan Area...

.

Geography


Decatur is located at 39°51′6"N 88°56′39"W (39.851636, -88.944228). Decatur is 3 hours SW of Chicago, and 2 hours NE of St. Louis by car.

According to the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, the city has a total area of 45.9 square miles (118.9 km²), of which, 41.6 square miles (107.7 km²) of it is land and 4.3 square miles (11.1 km²) of it (9.42%) is water.
Lakes include Lake Decatur
Lake Decatur
Lake Decatur is a reservoir located in the city of Decatur, Illinois, east of downtown. The city and lake both share the name of U.S. Navy Commodore Stephen Decatur. The lake is above sea level. Lake Decatur has a watershed of 925 square miles spanning 7 counties...

, formed in 1923 by the damming of the Sangamon River
Sangamon River
The Sangamon River is a principal tributary of the Illinois River, approximately long, in central Illinois in the United States. It drains a mostly rural agricultural area between Peoria and Springfield...

.

The Decatur, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area
United States metropolitan area
In the United States a metropolitan statistical area is a geographical region with a relatively high population density at its core and close economic ties throughout the area. Such regions are not legally incorporated as a city or town would be, nor are they legal administrative divisions like...

 (population 109,900) includes surrounding towns of Argenta
Argenta, Illinois
Argenta is a village in Macon County, Illinois, United States, whose population was 921 at the 2000 census. It is included in the Decatur, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area.- Geography :Argenta is located at ....

, Boody
Boody, Illinois
Boody is an unincorporated census-designated place in Macon County, Illinois, United States. Boody is located on Illinois Route 48 southwest of downtown Decatur. Boody has a post office with ZIP code 62514. As of the 2010 census, Boody has a population of 276....

, Blue Mound
Blue Mound, Illinois
Blue Mound is a village in Macon County, Illinois, United States. The population was 1,129 at the 2000 census, and 1,017 at a 2009 estimate. It is included in the Decatur, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:...

, Elwin
Elwin, Illinois
Elwin is an unincorporated community in Macon County, Illinois. The community is located on U.S. Route 51 in the central portion of the county. Elwin was named after its founders Elwood and Martin....

, Forsyth
Forsyth, Illinois
Forsyth is a village in Macon County, Illinois, United States whose population was 2,434 at the 2000 census, and 3,007 in 2009. It is included in the Decatur, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area pop...

, Harristown
Harristown, Illinois
Harristown is a village in Macon County, Illinois, United States whose population was 1,338 at the 2000 census, and 1,236 in 2009. It is included in the Decatur, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:...

, Long Creek
Long Creek, Illinois
Long Creek is a village in Macon County, Illinois, United States whose population was 1,364 at the 2000 census, and 1,349 at a 2009 estimate. It is included in the Decatur, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:...

, Macon
Macon, Illinois
Macon is a city in Macon County, Illinois, United States whose population was 1,213 at the 2000 census, and 1,128 at a 2009 estimate. It is included in the Decatur, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:...

, Maroa
Maroa, Illinois
Maroa is a city in Macon County, Illinois, United States whose population was 1,654 at the 2000 census, and 1,565 at a 2009 estimate. It is included in the Decatur, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:...

, Mount Zion, Niantic
Niantic, Illinois
Niantic is a village in Macon County, Illinois, United States whose population was 738 at the 2000 census.It is included in the Decatur, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:Niantic is located at ....

, Oakley
Oakley, Illinois
Oakley is an unincorporated community in Oakley Township, Macon County, Illinois, United States. Oakley is located along the Norfolk Southern Railway east-northeast of Decatur....

, Oreana
Oreana, Illinois
Oreana is a village in Macon County, Illinois, United States whose population was 892 at the 2000 census.It is included in the Decatur, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:Oreana is located at ....

, and Warrensburg
Warrensburg, Illinois
Warrensburg is a village in Macon County, Illinois, United States whose population was 1,289 at the 2000 census, and 1,160 in 2009.It is included in the Decatur, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:...

.

Demographics


As of the census
Census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

of 2000, there were 81,860 people, 34,086 households, and 21,099 families residing in the city. The population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 was 1,969.7 people per square mile (760.5/km²). There were 37,239 housing units at an average density of 896.0 per square mile (346.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 77.59% White, 19.47% African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.66% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.43% from other races, and 1.65% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.19% of the population.

There were 34,086 households, out of which 27.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.1% were married couples living together, 14.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.1% were non-families. 32.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.0% 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 2.90.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.0% under the age of 18, 11.1% from ages 18 to 24, 26.0% from ages 25 to 44, 22.5% from ages 45 to 64, and 16.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 87.9 males. For every 100 females aged 18 and over, there were 83.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,111, and the median income for a family was $42,379. Males had a median income of $36,920 versus $22,359 for females. The per capita income
Per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...

 for the city was $19,009. About 12.1% of families and 16.5% of the population were below the poverty line
Poverty threshold
The poverty threshold, or poverty line, is the minimum level of income deemed necessary to achieve an adequate standard of living in a given country...

, including 25.1% of those under age 18 and 9.0% of those age 65 or over.

Civics




The city's motto is "Decatur, We Like it Here". The old motto
Motto
A motto is a phrase meant to formally summarize the general motivation or intention of a social group or organization. A motto may be in any language, but Latin is the most used. The local language is usual in the mottoes of governments...

 was "The Pride of the Prairie". "The Soybean Capital of the World" is the un-official, but popular motto.

Decatur was awarded the All-America City Award
All-America City Award
The All-America City Award is given by the National Civic League annually to ten cities in the United States.The oldest community recognition program in the nation, the award recognizes communities whose citizens work together to identify and tackle community-wide challenges and achieve uncommon...

 in 1960.

The city's symbol is the Transfer House, an early-twentieth-century Victorian structure located originally in the center of town where the city's mass transit lines met. The Transfer House was moved in 1963 to save it from possible destruction as increasing automobile traffic flowed through the highway routed through downtown.

Decatur is a sister city
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 to Tokorozawa, Saitama
Tokorozawa, Saitama
is a city in Saitama, Japan. It is located in the central part of the Musashino plain, about 30 km west of downtown Tokyo. Tokorozawa can be considered part of the greater Tokyo area; its proximity to the latter and lower housing costs make it a popular bedroom community.-Location:Tokorozawa...

, Japan and to Seevetal
Seevetal
Seevetal is a municipality in the district of Harburg, in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated approx. 20 km south of Hamburg, and 15 km west of Winsen . Its seat is in the village Hittfeld...

, Lower Saxony
Lower Saxony
Lower Saxony is a German state situated in north-western Germany and is second in area and fourth in population among the sixteen states of Germany...

, Germany.

Government


According to the city website, the "City of Decatur operates under the Council-Manager form of government, a system which combines the leadership of a representative, elected council with the professional background of an appointed manager."

The current mayor of Decatur is Mike McElroy, a former councilman and local business executive. McElroy was originally elected in April 2009 to finish the term of former mayor Paul Osborne. McElroy defeated Stephen Daniels in that election. He works for a liquor distribution company and therefore defers the responsibility of liquor commissioner normally held by the mayor. In April 2011, McElroy ran unopposed for a full term as mayor.

Ryan P. McCrady has served as city manager of Decatur since October 2008.

2008 Government Transitions

Decatur faced a tumultuous year in 2008. City Manager Steve Garman announced in January that he would leave the job at the end of his contract in October, 2008. That announcement came two weeks before a special election to consider changing the form of city government and eliminate the city manager position. Garman acknowledged the challenging nature of his job in his resignation letter.

The February 2008 special election was held at the instigation of a group called ChangeDecatur, which wanted to create a strong mayor/alderman system and eliminate the city manager position. Under Illinois law, such a change was not allowed at the time of the election so the group instead endorsed a switch to the city commissioner format as a transition to its favored system. Voters chose to retain the current council-manager format by a 59% margin. In the aftermath, Mayor Paul Osborne said that some of the issues raised during the election could be addressed by creating geographical council districts.

After nine years of service, City Manager Steve Garman resigned May 2, 2008, six months before his contract expired. The City Council appointed assistant city manager John A. Smith to fulfill Garman's responsibilities during the search for a replacement.

Then Mayor Paul Osborne resigned June 1, 2008 after over five years of service. Osborne cited health issues as well as the increasing conflicts between his job as mayor and his role as editor of the Decatur Tribune.

Councilman Michael T. Carrigan served for nearly a year as Mayor after being selected by the City Council in June 2008. Carrigan was in his fourth term as a council member when he was selected. Carrigan brought to the job of mayor his seniority, his connections and his clout as president of the Illinois AFL-CIO. Following elections in April 2009, Carrigan and three departing city council members were honored for their years of service.

Mayors



  • Charles M. Borchers (1909–1911; 1919–1923)
  • Elmer R. Elder (1925)
  • Harry E. Barber (1935)
  • Kaleb R. Lee
  • James A. Hedrick (1945)
  • Robert E. Willis (1953)
  • J. Clayton Povler (1954)
  • Robert A. Grohne (1959–1963)
  • Ellis B. Arnold (May 1, 1963 to April 30, 1967)
  • James H Rupp (1966–1976)
  • Gary Anderson
  • Erik Brechnitz
  • Terry M. Howley (1995–2003)
  • Paul Osborne (2003–2008) (resigned)
  • Mike Carrigan (2008–2009)
  • Mike McElroy (2009–present)

Ellis B. Arnold was first elected to City Council for a 2-year term in May, 1959. In 1961, he was re-elected to a 4-year term as a City Councilman but resigned in 1963 when he was elected Mayor (May 1, 1963 to April 30, 1967). Although he ran again in 1967 for Mayor, he later withdrew from the race due to health reasons.
Mike Carrigan, previously an elected Decatur City Councilman and Mayor-Pro Tem, became new Decatur IL Mayor by City Council appointment 2008-06-01 after the previous Mayor Osborne resigned. Carrigan served for a year, declining to run in the election to fill the remaining 2 years of a four-year term.

Decatur Municipal Band


The Muni band was organized Sept. 19, 1857, making it one of the oldest nonmilitary bands in continuous service in the United States and Canada. It was originally known as the Decatur Brass Band, Decatur Comet Band and the Decatur Silver Band until 1871 when it was reorganized by Andrew Goodman and became the Goodman Band. In 1942 it was officially designated as the Decatur Municipal Band.

Quality of life


Sperling's Best Places says the city of Decatur, Illinois, on a scale of 1 to 10, has a property crime rate of 7 and a violent crime rate of 6, both of which are above the national average of 3 and is very close to the ratings given to Chicago (both 7). The metro area, however, has a violent crime rating of 2 and a property crime rating of 3.

Sperling's Best Places also reports 200 average days of sunshine for the Decatur metro area, which is near the national average of 205

Library


The Decatur Public Library was originally built with a grant from Andrew Carnegie
Andrew Carnegie
Andrew Carnegie was a Scottish-American industrialist, businessman, and entrepreneur who led the enormous expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century...

, this original library was built in 1902 and opened to the public in 1903. The building served the community until 1970 when the library was moved to a new building downtown on North Street. In 1999 the library moved to its present location, the former Sears building, on Franklin Street. The library is part of the Rolling Prairie Library System.

Sports


Decatur was the original home of the Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears are a professional American football team based in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

, from 1919 to 1920. The football team was then known as the Decatur Staleys
Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears are a professional American football team based in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

 and played at Staley Field
Staley Field
Staley Field in Decatur, Illinois was the home of the Decatur Staleys club of the American Professional Football Association in 1920, coached and managed by the young George Halas. Modern convention has tended to label this club the "Decatur Staleys"....

, both named after the local food-products manufacturer.

From 1900 to 1974 Decatur was the home of The Commodores
Decatur Commodores
The Decatur Commodores were a professional minor league baseball team based in Decatur, Illinois. They played, with sporadic interruptions, from 1900 to 1974 in a variety of minor leagues, but spent the majority of their existence in the Illinois-Indiana-Iowa League , later joining the...

, a minor-league baseball team playing at Fans Field
Fans Field (Decatur)
Fans Field was in Decatur, IL, and was home of the Decatur Commodores, of the Three-I League originally, and later of the Midwest League. It was at East Garfield and North Woodford Streets. It was one of the last of the wooden ballparks, a true throwback to its origin in the early 1920s...

.

The USTA/Ursula Beck Pro Tennis Classic has been held annually since 1999. Male players from over 20 countries compete for $10,000 in prize money as well as ATP world ranking points at the Fairview Park Tennis Complex. The tournament is held for ten consecutive days at Fairview Park concluding on the first weekend in August.

Starting in 2007, Decatur has hosted the Rodney T. Miller Lakeside Triathlon. This sprint-distance triathlon presently is scheduled on the first weekend each July.

In 2009 Prairie Land Competitive baseball was formed and looking for baseball players to join a new league fit for all skill levels 18 years or older and will compete with local teams and against teams from cities such as Champaign Urbana, Bloomington-Normal, Springfield, Lincoln, Monticello, Clinton, Pana, and Mattoon-Charleston. https://sites.google.com/site/prairielandcompetitivebaseball/

Professional Golf


Decatur hosts the annual LPGA Futures Tour Tate & Lyle Players Championship, the tours major championship. The tournament is traditionally held in June.

http://www.LPGAFuturestour.com
https://www.tateandlyleplayerschampionship.com/

High School basketball


The Decatur High School [later Stephen Decatur H. S.] "Reds"/"Runnin' Reds" won the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) State Basketball Championship in
1931, 1936, 1945, and 1962. In addition, they were 2nd in 1937; 3rd in 1964; and 4th in 1912, 1951, 1960, and 1966. For many years they held the overall record for appearances in the "Sweet 16" and the "Elite 8." They were consistently one of the premier high school basketball teams in America. Legendary coach Galen Kintner was at the helm for the first three titles.

Softball


The following Decatur men's fast pitch softball teams have won national championships:
ADM
  • 1981 Amateur Softball Association
    Amateur Softball Association
    The Amateur Softball Association is a volunteer, non-profit organization based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It was founded in 1933 with a tournament held in Chicago that was organized by Leo Fischer and Michael J. Pauley. The following year the 1934 National Recreation Congress recognized the ASA. ...

     (ASA) Champions
  • 1984 International Softball Congress (ISC) Champions

Decatur Pride
  • 1994 Amateur Softball Association
    Amateur Softball Association
    The Amateur Softball Association is a volunteer, non-profit organization based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It was founded in 1933 with a tournament held in Chicago that was organized by Leo Fischer and Michael J. Pauley. The following year the 1934 National Recreation Congress recognized the ASA. ...

     (ASA) Champions
  • 1999 Amateur Softball Association
    Amateur Softball Association
    The Amateur Softball Association is a volunteer, non-profit organization based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It was founded in 1933 with a tournament held in Chicago that was organized by Leo Fischer and Michael J. Pauley. The following year the 1934 National Recreation Congress recognized the ASA. ...

     (ASA) Champions
  • 1999 Amateur Softball Association
    Amateur Softball Association
    The Amateur Softball Association is a volunteer, non-profit organization based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It was founded in 1933 with a tournament held in Chicago that was organized by Leo Fischer and Michael J. Pauley. The following year the 1934 National Recreation Congress recognized the ASA. ...

     (ASA) Champions
  • 2000 International Softball Congress (ISC) Champions

Newspapers


AM radio


  • WDZ — 1050 AM – ESPN Radio
  • WSOY
    WSOY (AM)
    WSOY 1340 AM is a radio station broadcasting a news talk format. Licensed to Decatur, Illinois, USA, the station is currently owned by Neuhoff Media LLC ....

     - 1340 AM – News/Talk
  • DCR 1650 - 1650 AM — Community

FM radio


  • WCZQ- 105.5 FM – Hip Hop & R&B
  • WJMU
    WJMU
    WJMU is a radio station broadcasting an alternative music format. Licensed to Decatur, Illinois, USA, the station serves the Decatur area. The station is currently owned by Millikin University.-External links:...

     – 89.5 FM – Millikin University — Alternative
  • WDCR - 88.9 FM - Catholic Talk
  • WYDS– 93.1 FM – Top-40
  • WDZQ– 95.1 FM – Country
  • WXFM — 99.3 — Hot AC
  • WZUS- 100.9 FM — Talk
  • WSOY
    WSOY-FM
    WSOY-FM, carrying the on-air branding of "Y103", is an adult-leaning Top 40 radio station licensed to Decatur, Illinois and serving that Arbitron market....

     - 102.9 FM – Top-40
  • WEJT– 105.1 FM – Classic Hits
  • WZNX- 106.7 FM — Classic Rock
  • WDKR — 107.3 — Oldies

Economy



Decatur has production facilities for Caterpillar
Caterpillar Inc.
Caterpillar Inc. , also known as "CAT", designs, manufactures, markets and sells machinery and engines and sells financial products and insurance to customers via a worldwide dealer network. Caterpillar is the world's largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas...

, Archer Daniels Midland
Archer Daniels Midland
The Archer Daniels Midland Company is a conglomerate headquartered in Decatur, Illinois. ADM operates more than 270 plants worldwide, where cereal grains and oilseeds are processed into products used in food, beverage, nutraceutical, industrial and animal feed markets worldwide.ADM was named the...

, Mueller Co., and Tate & Lyle
Tate & Lyle
Tate & Lyle plc is a British-based multinational agribusiness. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index as of 20 June 2011...

 (previously A. E. Staley
A. E. Staley
A. E. Staley was a Decatur, Illinois based processor of corn founded in 1898. It changed its name to Staley Continental in 1985. It produced a range of starch products for the food, paper and other industries, high fructose corn syrup, crystalline fructose , ethanol and other agro-industrial...

). The corporate world headquarters for Archer Daniels Midland
Archer Daniels Midland
The Archer Daniels Midland Company is a conglomerate headquartered in Decatur, Illinois. ADM operates more than 270 plants worldwide, where cereal grains and oilseeds are processed into products used in food, beverage, nutraceutical, industrial and animal feed markets worldwide.ADM was named the...

, the leading agricultural processor and ethanol producer is in Decatur. Other large employers include Millikin University
Millikin University
Millikin University is an American co-educational, comprehensive, private, four-year university with traditional undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, fine arts, and professional studies, as well as non-traditional, adult degree-completion programs and graduate programs in...

 and the Norfolk Southern Railway
Norfolk Southern Railway
The Norfolk Southern Railway is a Class I railroad in the United States, owned by the Norfolk Southern Corporation. With headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia, the company operates 21,500 route miles in 22 eastern states, the District of Columbia and the province of Ontario, Canada...

.

A large former Firestone
Firestone Tire and Rubber Company
The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company is an American tire company founded by Harvey Firestone in 1900 to supply pneumatic tires for wagons, buggies, and other forms of wheeled transportation common in the era. Firestone soon saw the huge potential for marketing tires for automobiles. The company...

 factory is currently being used as storage space for Caterpillar Inc.
Caterpillar Inc.
Caterpillar Inc. , also known as "CAT", designs, manufactures, markets and sells machinery and engines and sells financial products and insurance to customers via a worldwide dealer network. Caterpillar is the world's largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas...

. From 1917-1922 Decatur was the location of the Comet Automobile Co., and the Pan-American Motor Corp.

Colleges

  • Millikin University
    Millikin University
    Millikin University is an American co-educational, comprehensive, private, four-year university with traditional undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, fine arts, and professional studies, as well as non-traditional, adult degree-completion programs and graduate programs in...

     (enrollment 2,400), a four year institution of higher education, has a 75 acres (303,514.5 m²) campus founded by James Millikin
    James Millikin
    James Millikin is the founder of Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois. He was born in Ten Mile, Pennsylvania....

     and was originally affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
    Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
    The Presbyterian Church , or PC, is a mainline Protestant Christian denomination in the United States. Part of the Reformed tradition, it is the largest Presbyterian denomination in the U.S...

    .
  • Richland Community College (enrollment 3,500) is a comprehensive community college
    Community college
    A community college is a type of educational institution. The term can have different meanings in different countries.-Australia:Community colleges carry on the tradition of adult education, which was established in Australia around mid 19th century when evening classes were held to help adults...

    . It is also host to the biannual National Farm Progress Show.

Public schools


K-12 public education in the Decatur area is provided by the Decatur Public School District #61. High school athletics participates in the Big 12 Conference.
  • Eisenhower High School
    Eisenhower High School (Decatur, Illinois)
    Dwight Eisenhower High School is a public high school located in Decatur, Illinois. The school serves about 1200 students in grades 9 to 12 in Decatur Public Schools District 61...

     (Mascot: Panthers)
  • MacArthur High School (Mascot: Generals)

Private schools


Parks


Local Macon County park resources include Lake Decatur
Lake Decatur
Lake Decatur is a reservoir located in the city of Decatur, Illinois, east of downtown. The city and lake both share the name of U.S. Navy Commodore Stephen Decatur. The lake is above sea level. Lake Decatur has a watershed of 925 square miles spanning 7 counties...

, Lincoln Trail Homestead State Memorial
Lincoln Trail Homestead State Memorial
The Lincoln Trail Homestead State Memorial is a 162 acre state park located on the Sangamon River in Macon County near Harristown, Illinois, United States.-Home of Lincoln family:...

, Rock Springs Conservation Area
Rock Springs Conservation Area
Rock Springs Conservation Area is a 1,300 acre park located 4 miles southwest of Decatur, Illinois. It is the largest parcel of parkland, in terms of surface area, in Macon County....

, Fort Daniel Conservation Area, Sand Creek Recreation Area, Griswold Conservation Area, Friends Creek Regional Park, and Spitler Woods State Natural Area
Spitler Woods State Natural Area
Spitler Woods State Natural Area is a 202.5-acre state park located adjacent to Mount Zion, Illinois. The state park is located within the Decatur, Illinois metropolitan area. The eastern two-thirds of the state park is a listed state natural area noted for its old-growth forest grove of white...

. Decatur, at one time was dubbed "Park City U.S.A." because it had more parks per person that any other city in the country.

Transportation


Decatur Airport
Decatur Airport
Decatur Airport is a public use airport located four nautical miles east of the central business district of Decatur, a city in Macon County, Illinois, United States. It is owned by the Decatur Park District....

 is served by three daily commercial flights on Cessna Grand Caravans to and from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport
Lambert-St. Louis International Airport
Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is a Class B international airport serving Greater St. Louis. It is located approximately northwest of downtown St. Louis in unincorporated St. Louis County between Berkeley and Bridgeton. It is the largest and busiest airport in the state with 250 daily...

 on Air Choice One
Air Choice One
Multi-Aero, Inc., doing business as Air Choice One, is an American airline with its Multi-Aero, Inc headquarters in Farmington, Missouri and Air Choice One headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri. It acts as a regional airline offering commuter flights from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport...

. The airport facility has hosted notable visitors Presidents John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

 and Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

, Vice-President Dan Quayle
Dan Quayle
James Danforth "Dan" Quayle served as the 44th Vice President of the United States, serving with President George H. W. Bush . He served as a U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator from the state of Indiana....

, and Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev is a former Soviet statesman, having served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991, and as the last head of state of the USSR, having served from 1988 until its dissolution in 1991...

 (at the invitation of his long-time friend, Dwayne Andreas
Dwayne Andreas
Dwayne Orville Andreas is one of the most prominent political campaign donors in the United States, having contributed millions of dollars to Democratic and Republican candidates alike...

, former CEO of Archer Daniels Midland).

Interstate 72
Interstate 72
Interstate 72 is an Interstate Highway in the midwestern United States. Its western terminus is in Hannibal, Missouri, at an intersection with U.S. Route 61; its eastern terminus is at Country Fair Drive in Champaign, Illinois. In 2006, the Illinois General Assembly dedicated all of Interstate 72...

, U.S. Route 51
U.S. Route 51
U.S. Route 51 is a north–south United States highway that runs for 1,286 miles from the western suburbs of New Orleans, Louisiana to within of the Wisconsin-Michigan border. Much of the highway in Illinois and southern Wisconsin runs parallel to or overlaps Interstate 39...

, U.S. Route 36
U.S. Route 36
U.S. Route 36 is an east–west United States highway that runs for from Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado to Uhrichsville, Ohio. The highway's western terminus is at Deer Ridge Junction, an intersection in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, where it meets U.S. Route 34. Its eastern...

, Illinois Route 48
Illinois Route 48
Illinois Route 48 is a north–south highway with its southern terminus at I-55 and Illinois Route 127 in Raymond and its northern terminus at Illinois Route 54 east of Clinton. This is a distance of .- Route description :...

, Illinois Route 105
Illinois Route 105
Illinois Route 105 is a highway in the U.S. state of Illinois. It is an east–west highway that runs from Illinois Route 48 in Decatur to Interstate 72 near Monticello. Illinois 105 is long.- Route description :...

, and Illinois Route 121
Illinois Route 121
Illinois Route 121 is a major state road in central Illinois. Although it runs from northwest to southeast, it is marked as a north–south road. It runs from Illinois Route 130 in Greenup to Interstate 55 in Lincoln at the intersection of I-55 and Illinois Route 10...

 are key highway links for the area, as well.

The Decatur Public Transit System (DPTS) provides fixed route bus service as well as complementary door-to-door paratransit service for people with disabilites, who are unable to use the bus system, throughout the City of Decatur. Under an agreement with the Village of Forsyth, service is also provided to the Hickory Point Mall area in Forsyth.


History


The city is named after War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

 naval hero Stephen Decatur, Jr.
Stephen Decatur
Stephen Decatur, Jr. , was an American naval officer notable for his many naval victories in the early 19th century. He was born on the eastern shore of Maryland, Worcester county, the son of a U.S. Naval Officer who served during the American Revolution. Shortly after attending college Decatur...



Decatur has become an affiliate of the U.S. Main Street program, in conjunction with the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Post No. 1 of the Grand Army of the Republic
Grand Army of the Republic
The Grand Army of the Republic was a fraternal organization composed of veterans of the Union Army, US Navy, US Marines and US Revenue Cutter Service who served in the American Civil War. Founded in 1866 in Decatur, Illinois, it was dissolved in 1956 when its last member died...

 was founded by Civil War veterans in Decatur on April 6, 1866.

The Edward P. Irving House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright was an American architect, interior designer, writer and educator, who designed more than 1,000 structures and completed 500 works. Wright believed in designing structures which were in harmony with humanity and its environment, a philosophy he called organic architecture...

 and built in 1911, is located at #2 Millikin Place, Decatur. In addition, the Robert Mueller Residence, 1 Millikin Place, and the Adolph Mueller Residence, 4 Millikin Place, have been attributed to Wright's assistants Hermann V. von Holst
Hermann V. von Holst
Hermann V. von Holst was an American architect practicing in Chicago, Illinois and Boca Raton, Florida, from the 1890s through the 1940s, best remembered for agreeing to take on the responsibility of heading up Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural practice when Wright went off to Europe with Mamah...

 and Marion Mahony
Marion Mahony Griffin
Marion Griffin was an American architect and artist. She was one of the first licenced female architects in the world, and is considered an original member of the Prairie School.-Biography:...

.

Abraham Lincoln


Decatur was the first home in Illinois of Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

, who settled just west of Decatur with his family in 1830. Lincoln gave his first political speech in Decatur about the importance of Sangamon River
Sangamon River
The Sangamon River is a principal tributary of the Illinois River, approximately long, in central Illinois in the United States. It drains a mostly rural agricultural area between Peoria and Springfield...

 navigation that caught the attention of Illinois political leaders. As a lawyer on the 8th Judicial Circuit, Lincoln made frequent stops in Decatur, and argued five cases in the log courthouse that stood on the corner of Main & Main Streets. The original courthouse is now on the grounds of the Macon County Historical Museum on North Fork Road.

On May 9 and 10, 1860, the Illinois Republican
Illinois Republican Party
The Illinois Republican Party is the state-level affiliate of the Republican Party in Illinois. Since August 20, 2009, it has been chaired by Pat Brady...

 State Convention was held in Decatur. At this convention Lincoln received his first endorsement for President of the United States as "The Railsplitter Candidate." In commemoration of Lincoln's bicentennial the Illinois Republican
Illinois Republican Party
The Illinois Republican Party is the state-level affiliate of the Republican Party in Illinois. Since August 20, 2009, it has been chaired by Pat Brady...

 State Convention was held in Decatur at the Decatur Conference Center and Hotel on June 6 & 7, 2008.

ADM price-fixing case


In early November 1992, the high-ranking Archer Daniels Midland
Archer Daniels Midland
The Archer Daniels Midland Company is a conglomerate headquartered in Decatur, Illinois. ADM operates more than 270 plants worldwide, where cereal grains and oilseeds are processed into products used in food, beverage, nutraceutical, industrial and animal feed markets worldwide.ADM was named the...

 Co. (ADM
Archer Daniels Midland
The Archer Daniels Midland Company is a conglomerate headquartered in Decatur, Illinois. ADM operates more than 270 plants worldwide, where cereal grains and oilseeds are processed into products used in food, beverage, nutraceutical, industrial and animal feed markets worldwide.ADM was named the...

) executive Mark Whitacre
Mark Whitacre
Mark Edward Whitacre came to public attention in 1995 when, as president of the BioProducts Division at Archer Daniels Midland , he was the highest-level corporate executive in U.S. history to become a Federal Bureau of Investigation whistleblower...

 confessed to a Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

 (FBI
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

) agent that ADM executives, including Whitacre himself, had routinely met with competitors to fix the price of lysine
Lysine
Lysine is an α-amino acid with the chemical formula HO2CCH4NH2. It is an essential amino acid, which means that the human body cannot synthesize it. Its codons are AAA and AAG....

, a food additive.

The lysine conspirators, including ADM
Archer Daniels Midland
The Archer Daniels Midland Company is a conglomerate headquartered in Decatur, Illinois. ADM operates more than 270 plants worldwide, where cereal grains and oilseeds are processed into products used in food, beverage, nutraceutical, industrial and animal feed markets worldwide.ADM was named the...

, ultimately settled federal charges for more than $100 million. ADM also paid hundreds of millions of dollars [$400 million alone on the high fructose corn syrup Class Action case] to plaintiffs/customers that it stole from during the price-fixing
Price fixing
Price fixing is an agreement between participants on the same side in a market to buy or sell a product, service, or commodity only at a fixed price, or maintain the market conditions such that the price is maintained at a given level by controlling supply and demand...

 schemes. Furthermore, several Asian and European lysine
Lysine
Lysine is an α-amino acid with the chemical formula HO2CCH4NH2. It is an essential amino acid, which means that the human body cannot synthesize it. Its codons are AAA and AAG....

 and citric acid
Citric acid
Citric acid is a weak organic acid. It is a natural preservative/conservative and is also used to add an acidic, or sour, taste to foods and soft drinks...

 producers, that conspired to fix prices with ADM, paid criminal fines in the tens of millions of dollars to the U.S. government. Several executives, including the Vice Chairman of ADM
Archer Daniels Midland
The Archer Daniels Midland Company is a conglomerate headquartered in Decatur, Illinois. ADM operates more than 270 plants worldwide, where cereal grains and oilseeds are processed into products used in food, beverage, nutraceutical, industrial and animal feed markets worldwide.ADM was named the...

, did federal prison time.

The investigation and prosecution of ADM
Archer Daniels Midland
The Archer Daniels Midland Company is a conglomerate headquartered in Decatur, Illinois. ADM operates more than 270 plants worldwide, where cereal grains and oilseeds are processed into products used in food, beverage, nutraceutical, industrial and animal feed markets worldwide.ADM was named the...

 and some of its executives has been reported to be one of the "best documented corporate crimes in American history". The events were the basis of a book named The Informant as well as a film named The Informant!

Consecutive tornadoes


On April 18 and 19, 1996, the city was hit by tornado
Tornado
A tornado is a violent, dangerous, rotating column of air that is in contact with both the surface of the earth and a cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare cases, the base of a cumulus cloud. They are often referred to as a twister or a cyclone, although the word cyclone is used in meteorology in a wider...

es. On the 18th an F1
Fujita scale
The Fujita scale , or Fujita-Pearson scale, is a scale for rating tornado intensity, based primarily on the damage tornadoes inflict on human-built structures and vegetation...

 tornado hit the city's southeast side, followed by an F3
Fujita scale
The Fujita scale , or Fujita-Pearson scale, is a scale for rating tornado intensity, based primarily on the damage tornadoes inflict on human-built structures and vegetation...

 tornado the following evening on the Northwest Side. The two storms totaled approximately $10.5 Million in property damage.

Jesse Jackson protest


In November 1999, Decatur was brought into the national news when the Rev. Jesse Jackson
Jesse Jackson
Jesse Louis Jackson, Sr. is an African-American civil rights activist and Baptist minister. He was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988 and served as shadow senator for the District of Columbia from 1991 to 1997. He was the founder of both entities that merged to...

 and the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition
Rainbow/PUSH
Rainbow/PUSH is a non-profit organization formed as a merger of two non-profit organizations — Operation PUSH and the National Rainbow Coalition — founded by Jesse Jackson. The organizations pursue social justice, civil rights and political activism.In December 1971, Jackson resigned from...

 protested the two-year expulsion of seven African American students who had been involved in a serious fight at an Eisenhower High School football game under a recently enacted "zero tolerance" policy. Six of the students were arrested but not charged after the fracas. Four were later charged as adults with mob action, a felony. Jesse Jackson intervened in the incident, bringing the controversy to national attention, protesting both the severity and length of the punishment and also alleging racial bias (schools in Decatur in 1999 had an enrollment that was about 44 percent black and five of the six Decatur students expelled in the prior year were black). Jackson pointed out he was invited by the students' parents and that he spoke with them, the kids, ministers and teachers before protesting the zero-tolerance severity of the punishment: "No one can survive zero tolerance," Jackson said. "We all need mercy and grace."

Outside of Decatur, public support was largely against the School Board's decision but changed once a videotape of the incident surfaced filmed by a parent at the game. Broadcast on national TV news, it showed a melee that swept through one end of the grandstands, with kicking and punching, as some of the fighters tumbled over the rails. The game was stopped and players gawked at the fighting in the bleachers. Ed Bohem, the principal at MacArthur High School who attended the game, described it as a riot: "I feared for the safety of our people -- my parents, my students," Bohem said, referring to the crowd in the bleachers. "You had people pushed through bars, people covering little children so they wouldn't get hurt. It was violent." Jackson and his Rainbow PUSH Coalition organized marches that included hundreds of people bused in from outside the area, criticizing the school board for what Jackson said was unfairly harsh treatment of the boys over a fight. Jackson was arrested and detained briefly; however, charges were later dropped. School officials say the students involved in the fighting were known as truants, described three of them as "third-year freshmen", and noted that the seven students combined had missed 350 days of high school.

The issue dissipated when the school board reduced the original expulsions from two years to one year and agreed to let the students earn credit while attending an alternative school.

The students involved in the fight have since taken different paths in life: with one being sentenced to state prison for 10 years for a 2004 felony drug conviction; another having finished college (helped by a Rainbow PUSH scholarship); another working as a butcher; and a fourth being arrested for home invasion in 2009. Jesse Jackson was criticized for turning what could have been a legitimate criticism/discussion of the effects of "zero tolerance" policies into a racial "three-ring circus" by attempting to present the seven youths as victims of bigotry (which backfired when the home video of the incident was released).

Firestone Tire plant closing causes turmoil


Decatur was named the top small metro area in 2000 by Sperling Best Places, due to its park system, 2 local colleges and vast manufacturing.
The subsequent Firestone Plant closing in 2000 caused layoffs of over 5,000 workers and large numbers of foreclosures and abandoned homes.
In May 2000, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) contacted Firestone Tire about the high incidence of tire failure on Ford Explorers, Mercury Mountaineers, and Mazda Navajos fitted with Firestone tires. Investigators found that several models of 15" Firestone tires (ATX, ATX II, and Wilderness AT) had very high failure rates, especially those made at Firestone's Decatur plant. Investigators also found that the failure rates were brought down to normal levels when installed on other sport utility vehicles. The plant opted to pay off the lawsuits rather than recall the tires. This was one of the leading factors to the closing of the Decatur plant. Another leading factor that led to the closing of the plant, was the age of the facility and the equipment. Firestone officials have been quoted saying that the plant was going to be closed in the near future anyway and it happened to coincide with the tire failures.

Inventions in Decatur

  • tapease Tapease Medical Tape
  • Spiral Screwdriver Decatur Coffin Companies' Early Spiral Screwdriver
    Screwdriver
    A screwdriver is a tool for driving screws and often rotating other machine elements with the mating drive system. The screwdriver is made up of a head or tip, which engages with a screw, a mechanism to apply torque by rotating the tip, and some way to position and support the screwdriver...

  • Photo Timer Robert Faries' Pneumatic
    Pneumatics
    Pneumatics is a branch of technology, which deals with the study and application of use of pressurized gas to effect mechanical motion.Pneumatic systems are extensively used in industry, where factories are commonly plumbed with compressed air or compressed inert gases...

     Photo Timer
  • Flyswatter invented by Robert Montgomery, who holds the patent from c. 1900
  • Radar Gun Law enforcement radar invented by Bryce K. Brown of Decatur Electronics
  • On April 24, 1923, US Patent #1452956 was issued to Arthur W. Cash of Decatur. Mr. Cash assigned the patent to Harvey A. Sellers owner of the Hi-Flier Manufacturing Company of Decatur. The patent was for the design of an inexpensive paper kite which dominated the children's kite market from the 1920s to the 1960s.

Music

  • "Decatur, Or, Round of Applause For Your Step Mother!" is a song by Sufjan Stevens
    Sufjan Stevens
    Sufjan Stevens is an American singer-songwriter and musician born in Detroit, Michigan. Stevens first began releasing his music on Asthmatic Kitty, a label co-founded with his stepfather, beginning with the 1999 release, A Sun Came...

     on his album Illinois
    Illinois (album)
    Illinois is a 2005 concept album by American indie folk songwriter Sufjan Stevens. His fifth studio album, Illinois features songs referencing places, events, and persons related to the U.S. state of Illinois...

    . The song refers to several locations and events associated with Decatur, including the Caterpillar factory, Greenwood cemetery, the chicken mobile from Krekel's, strong historical ties to Abraham Lincoln
    Abraham Lincoln
    Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

    , and the Sangamon River.
  • Canadian folk singer Willie P. Bennett
    Willie P. Bennett
    Willie P. Bennett was a Canadian folk-music singer and song writer.-Life and career:Born William Patrick Bennett in Toronto, Ontario, Bennett was part of the 1970s folk music scene in Canada, alongside such figures as Bruce Cockburn, Stan Rogers and David Wiffen...

     wrote a song titled "Decatur" which he performed live but never recorded.
  • Musician John Doe, best known from the punk band X, was born in Decatur.

Movies

  • The Informant! is a 2009 film about the Archer Daniels Midland lysine scandal. It is directed by Steven Soderbergh
    Steven Soderbergh
    Steven Andrew Soderbergh is an American film producer, screenwriter, cinematographer, editor, and an Academy Award-winning film director. He is best known for directing commercial Hollywood films like Erin Brockovich, Traffic, and the remake of Ocean's Eleven, but he has also directed smaller less...

     and stars Matt Damon
    Matt Damon
    Matthew Paige "Matt" Damon is an American actor, screenwriter, and philanthropist whose career was launched following the success of the film Good Will Hunting , from a screenplay he co-wrote with friend Ben Affleck...

     as the informant Whitacre.
  • In the 2008 film Leatherheads
    Leatherheads
    Leatherheads is a 2008 American sports comedy film from Universal Pictures directed by and starring George Clooney. The film also stars Renée Zellweger, Jonathan Pryce and John Krasinski and focuses on the early years of professional American football....

    staring George Clooney, there is scene where a man and woman are sitting in the stands at a football game. The woman asks "how owning a football team will help sell corn starch?", then the camera pans the scoreboard and reveals that one of the teams is Decatur.
  • In the 1986 film Ferris Bueller's Day Off
    Ferris Bueller's Day Off
    Ferris Bueller's Day Off is a 1986 American teen coming-of-age comedy film written and directed by John Hughes.The film follows high school senior Ferris Bueller , who decides to skip school and spend the day in downtown Chicago...

    , Cameron mentions his mother is in Decatur for business.
  • In the 1971 film Shaft
    Shaft (1971 film)
    Shaft is a 1971 American blaxploitation film directed by Gordon Parks, released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. An action film with elements of film noir, Shaft tells the story of a black private detective, John Shaft, who travels through Harlem and to the Italian mob neighborhoods in order to find the...

    , Lt. Androzzi informs Shaft that one of the mob
    Mafia
    The Mafia is a criminal syndicate that emerged in the mid-nineteenth century in Sicily, Italy. It is a loose association of criminal groups that share a common organizational structure and code of conduct, and whose common enterprise is protection racketeering...

     bigwigs coming to the city is from Decatur.
  • In the film Bachelor Party, Tom Hanks
    Tom Hanks
    Thomas Jeffrey "Tom" Hanks is an American actor, producer, writer, and director. Hanks worked in television and family-friendly comedies, gaining wide notice in 1988's Big, before achieving success as a dramatic actor in several notable roles, including Andrew Beckett in Philadelphia, the title...

     croons that he is from Decatur, Illinois.
  • In the 1993 film So I Married an Axe Murderer
    So I Married an Axe Murderer
    So I Married an Axe Murderer is a 1993 American comedy-horror film starring Mike Myers and Nancy Travis. Myers plays Charlie McKenzie, a man afraid of commitment until he meets Harriet , who works at a butcher shop and may be a serial killer...

    , a map of Illinois with Decatur featured prominently is displayed in the background behind Harriet (played by Nancy Travis
    Nancy Travis
    Nancy Ann Travis is an American actress. She is known for her roles in films Three Men and a Baby and its sequel, Three Men and a Little Lady , Married to the Mob , Air America , Internal Affairs , So I Married an Axe Murderer , Greedy , and Fluke...

    ) in the film's closing scenes.
  • The 1948 Jimmy Stewart film Call Northside 777
    Call Northside 777
    Call Northside 777 is a documentary-style film noir directed by Henry Hathaway. It is based on the true story of a Chicago reporter who proved that a man, who had been in prison for murder, was wrongly convicted 11 years before....

    mentions a character in the film going down to Decatur.


Television

  • In the 1960s TV series The Fugitive
    The Fugitive (TV series)
    The Fugitive is an American drama series produced by QM Productions and United Artists Television that aired on ABC from 1963 to 1967. David Janssen stars as Richard Kimble, a doctor from the fictional town of Stafford, Indiana, who is falsely convicted of his wife's murder and given the death...

    , the season two, episode nine entitled "Escape into Black", and airing November 17, 1964 takes place in Decatur.
  • On Comedy Central
    Comedy Central
    Comedy Central is an American cable television and satellite television channel that carries comedy programming, both original and syndicated....

    's television show The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert
    Stephen Colbert
    Stephen Tyrone Colbert is an American political satirist, writer, comedian, television host, and actor. He is the host of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, a satirical news show in which Colbert portrays a caricatured version of conservative political pundits.Colbert originally studied to be an...

     mentions Decatur and its slogan "We like it here" during his segment "Better Know a District
    Better Know A District
    Better Know a District is a recurring segment on The Colbert Report. It offers a humorous explanation of a different United States Congressional district in each segment and generally includes an interview with that district's member of Congress.- Structure :Each segment begins with basic...

    ", episode 47, Season Three, Phil Hare.
  • The Lincoln Square Theater located on Main Street in Decatur was featured on Travel Channel
    Travel Channel
    The Travel Channel is a satellite and cable television channel that is headquartered in Chevy Chase, Maryland, US. It features documentaries and how-to shows related to travel and leisure around the United States and throughout the world. Programming has included shows in African animal safaris,...

    's "Most Terrifying Places in America
    Most Terrifying Places in America
    Most Terrifying Places in America is an American paranormal documentary television series that premiered on October 9, 2009 on the Travel Channel as a stand alone special. This special was then broken down into a parted series. The series is exactly what its title implies, traveling the country in...

    ".

External links