East Peoria, Illinois

East Peoria
Country United States
State Illinois
County Tazewell
Elevation 489 ft (149 m)
Coordinates 40°40′N 89°32′W / 40.667°N 89.533°W / 40.667; -89.533Coordinates: 40°40′N 89°32′W / 40.667°N 89.533°W / 40.667; -89.533
Area 22.14 sq mi (57 km2)
 - land 19.96 sq mi (52 km2)
 - water 2.19 sq mi (6 km2)
Population 23,402 (2010)
Density 1,203.4/sq mi (465/km2)
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Postal code 61611, 61630
Area code 309
FIPS code 17-22164
GNIS ID 2394604
Location of East Peoria within Illinois
Wikimedia Commons: East Peoria, Illinois

East Peoria is a city in Tazewell County, Illinois, United States. The population was 23,402 at the 2010 census. East Peoria is part of the Peoria, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area, located across the Illinois River from downtown Peoria. It is home to many Caterpillar Inc. facilities.

The city is also the site of the home campus of Illinois Central College, a regional community college and the Par-A-Dice Hotel and Casino. The main commercial area of East Peoria is just across the river from downtown Peoria. In concert with the renovation of old Caterpillar factories, the development of the downtown Peoria Riverfront Museum and Caterpillar Visitors Center, and the renovation of Interstate 74 and of the area's bridges, East Peoria's downtown and urban area have developed as well. In 2011 and 2012, a major renovation of Washington Street and other downtown and city streets took place, and plans were announced to add a full-service Holiday Inn Center that would feature another high-level restaurant. In addition, ground was broken in June 2012 for the new Fondulac District Library, to be completed by the end of 2013.


East Peoria is located at 40°40′9″N 89°32′44″W / 40.66917°N 89.54556°W / 40.66917; -89.54556 (40.669075, -89.545533).[1]

According to the 2010 census, East Peoria has a total area of 22.147 square miles (57.36 km2), of which 19.96 square miles (51.70 km2) (or 90.13%) is land and 2.187 square miles (5.66 km2) (or 9.87%) is water.[2]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201523,080[3]−1.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[4]

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 22,638 people, 9,478 households, and 6,397 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,203.4 people per square mile (464.7/km²). There were 9,938 housing units at an average density of 528.3 per square mile (204.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.32% White, 0.47% African American, 0.24% Native American, 0.66% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.44% from other races, and 0.86% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.29% of the population.

There were 9,478 households out of which 28.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.7% were married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.5% were non-families. 28.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.87.

In the city the population was spread out with 22.4% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 28.0% from 25 to 44, 24.6% from 45 to 64, and 17.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 93.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $41,538, and the median income for a family was $51,836. Males had a median income of $39,549 versus $24,570 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,147. About 4.9% of families and 7.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.6% of those under age 18 and 6.4% of those age 65 or over.


East Peoria is serviced by 4 school districts: 1 high school district and 3 elementary districts. East Peoria High School is the only high school, and both the other districts, Robein, District 86, and Parkview ( Creve Coeur) feed into it.


East Peoria is home to the majority of the commercial television broadcast outlets that serve the Peoria area. WEEK-TV, channel 25, the local NBC affiliate, has long maintained studios and transmitter facilities on Springfield Road in East Peoria. In recent years, other stations have moved in with WEEK-TV as a result of operations mergers through local marketing agreements, including MyNetworkTV affiliate WAOE (channel 59), and ABC affiliate WHOI (channel 19), which moved to the Springfield Road studios in 2009 from its former location in nearby Creve Coeur. The remainder of Peoria's TV stations maintain their studios across the river in Peoria.


The water provided by East Peoria Public Works (which services most, if not all of East Peoria homes and businesses) is extremely hard, at 28 grains/gallon as calcium, or roughly 479 mg/L. A higher-capacity water softener may be required to adequately soften water of this hardness level.

Caterpillar company

The Holt Manufacturing Company in Stockton, California had successfully built crawler-type tractors and in 1909 began looking for manufacturing facilities closer to the vast agricultural markets in the Midwest farm belt. Company President Benjamin Holt dispatched his nephew, Pliny E. Holt in March 1909 to find another plant. He met Murray Baker, an implement dealer, who knew of a factory already equipped to manufacture farm implements and steam traction engines that had belonged to the bankrupt Colean Manufacturing Co. of East Peoria.[6]

Pliny inspected the Colean factory and learned Colean had spent at least $450,000 on the relatively new building and machinery. Holt bought the assets on October 25, 1909 for the $50,000 note held by a trust company.[7][8] and began operations on February 15, 1910[9] with 12 employees.[7] The "Holt Caterpillar Company" was incorporated in both Illinois and California on January 12, 1910.[6][10] East Peoria became Holt Manufacturing Company's eastern manufacturing plant, competing with the nearby Avery Tractor Company.[11] Holt was credited with producing the first practical continuous tracks for use with tractors and he registered "Caterpillar" as a trademark in 1911.[6]

The Peoria facility proved so profitable that only two years later the Peoria facility employed 625 people and was exporting tractors to Argentina, Canada, and Mexico.[12] In April and May 1925, after a period of financial difficulty, the financially stronger C. L. Best merged with the market leader Holt Caterpillar to form the Caterpillar Tractor Co.[13] Clarence Leo Best assumed the title of CEO, and remained in that role until October 1951.[14] The new company was headquartered in San Leandro until 1930, when under the terms of the merger it was moved to Peoria.[7] The Caterpillar company consolidated its product lines and went on to supply the Allied armies with artillery tractors during World War I, the first use of crawling type tractors for military purposes.

When World War I broke out, with the problem of trench warfare and the difficulty of transporting supplies to the front, the pulling power of crawling-type tractors drew the attention of the military. In British trials, the 75 horsepower (56 kW) Holt tractor was found to be better suited than its competitors to haul heavy loads over uneven ground. The War Office was suitably impressed and chose it as a gun-tractor.[15] Holt Caterpillar tractors were also the inspiration for the development of the British tank, which profoundly altered ground warfare tactics.[16][17]

Notable people


  1. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  2. "G001 - Geographic Identifiers - 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-12-27.
  3. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  4. "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  5. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  6. 1 2 3 "Caterpillar History". Retrieved February 28, 2010.
  7. 1 2 3 Gordon, Paul (February 16, 2010). "Cat hits 100-year milestone: Holt Caterpillar started operations in East Peoria in 1910 with 12 employees". Peoria, Illinois: Journal Star. Archived from the original on July 21, 2010. Retrieved February 28, 2010.
  8. Leffingwell, Randy (1996). Classic Farm Tractors: History of the Farm Tractor. Crestline Imprints. ISBN 978-0-7603-0246-0.
  9. GORDON, PAUL (February 15, 2010). "Cat hits 100-year milestone". Journal Star. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
  10. "Form Company to Manufacture Engines". The San Francisco Call. San Francisco, California: San Francisco Call Company. January 13, 1910. p. 11. Retrieved December 7, 2010. Articles of incorporation of the Holt Caterpillar Company were filed with the county clerk today....a branch company of Holt manufacturing company...
  11. Rice, James Montgomery (1912). Peoria City and County, Illinois: A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement. S.J. Clarke Publishing Company.
  12. Jay P. Pederson, editor. (2004). "Caterpillar Inc: Roots in Late 19th-Century Endeavors of Best and Holt". International Directory of Company Histories. 63. Farmington Hills, Michigan: St. James Press. ISBN 1-55862-508-9.
  13. "Best Tractor History". Retrieved February 24, 2010.
  14. "Caterpillar On-Highway Engines: About Us>History>Growth". ohe.cat.com. Caterpillar Inc. 2007. Archived from the original on August 4, 2007. Retrieved February 24, 2010. The Holt Company manufactured their own gasoline engines at the original "engine division," the Aurora Engine Company,...a subsidiary company set up for that purpose.
  15. "Holt Caterpillar". Archived from the original on December 4, 2009. Retrieved February 27, 2010.
  16. Pernie, Gwenyth Laird (March 3, 2009). "Benjamin Holt (1849-1920): The Father of the Caterpillar tractor".
  17. "HOLT CAT - Texas Caterpillar Dealer Equipment Sales and Service". 2007. Archived from the original on April 19, 2007. Retrieved February 24, 2010.
  18. Ronald, Bum (October 30, 2007). "Girardi snags job offer". Peoria Journal Star. The Peoria Journal Star, Inc. p. A1. Girardi, an East Peoria native who played for the Peoria Chiefs ... was taught baseball in his back yard by his father and brothers. His brother John and neighbor John Emser started a sandlot baseball team the "Oakwood Oaks" with local high school athlete Charlie Gannon as their coach. The boys played ball day and night after installing lights on the field. Joe started with the Oaks at merely 3 years old playing ball with boys 6 years his senior. He moved on to organized baseball under Dave Rodgers in the East Peoria Little League, again against boys significantly older than him, but yet dominating the competition.
  19. "Matt Hale". Intelligence Files. Montgomery, Alabama: Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
  20. Anonymous (January 8, 2003). "Race extremist jailed in plot to kill judge". CNN. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  21. Search "Kent Hovind" in Escambia County Florida Clerk of the Circuit Court for Instrument 2005406964, Affidavit 08/10/2005, also available on Wikisource as Kent Hovind 2005 Affidavit.
  22. Luciano, Phil (April 10, 2012). "Comedian called this 'home'". Peoria Journal Star. Peoria, Illinois. p. B1. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
  23. Jennings, Jason (2009). "Rule 3: Ask for Help". Hit the Ground Running: A Manual for New Leaders. Penguin. ISBN 9781101024553. ...probably more like lower middle class for the time and the town, East Peoria, Illinois, where we lived... (Book does not provide page numbers.)
  24. "Roger Phegley". Peoria, Illinois: Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame. April 29, 2012. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
  25. Phil Luciano, "Ex-REO Speedwagon guitarist and East Peoria native Gary Richrath dies at 65". Peoria Journal Star, September 14, 2015. Retrieved 2015-10-08.
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