Decatur, Illinois

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Decatur (pronounced /dəˈkeɪtər/) is the largest city and the county seat of Macon County in the U.S. state of Illinois. The city, sometimes called "the Soybean Capital of the World", was founded in 1823 and is located along the Sangamon River and Lake Decatur in Central Illinois. In 2000 the city population was 81,500. According to Sperling's Best Places, Decatur's metropolitan area population is 114,749.[1]

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 and public Richland Community College.

In the transition from a manufacturing to a service economy, 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, and Forsyth.

Decatur and Macon County's most notable resident was Abraham Lincoln, who settled with his family west of town in 1830. He later practiced law in the city after moving to nearby Springfield.


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