Pearl City, Illinois

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Pearl City is a village in rural Stephenson County, Illinois, west of Freeport and Rockford and east of Galena and East Dubuque; it is a part of the Freeport Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Stephenson County. The population was 780 at the 2000 census. The Pearl City "Wolves" and EPC "Wildcats" are the local school sports teams. Pearl City is home to three churches, Zion Community, St. John's Lutheran, and Pearl City Methodist. There are two local 4-H clubs, The Pearl City Hornets, and the Pearl Valley Rangers. Civic organizations include The American Legion and Lions Club. The town also holds an annual "Homecoming" celebration, parade, fireworks, and dinner.



As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 780 people, 293 households, and 225 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,376.7 people per square mile (528.4/km²). There were 314 housing units at an average density of 554.2/sq mi (212.7/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 98.85% White, 0.38% African American, 0.13% Asian, 0.26% from other races, and 0.38% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.64% of the population.

There were 293 households out of which 44.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.5% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.2% were non-families. 20.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the village the population was spread out with 29.9% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 12.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 91.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.7 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $43,929, and the median income for a family was $55,096. Males had a median income of $35,313 versus $24,141 for females. The per capita income for the village was $19,256. About 4.1% of families and 4.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.5% of those under age 18 and 18.6% of those age 65 or over.


In the early 1840's the village of Yellow Creek was established, on the creek of the same name, in southwest Stephenson County, Illinois. On the creek , Anson Andrews built a grain mill, using the power from the creek. Soon others settled near and around the mill, and gave way to a small settlement. In the 1850’s the village had grown large enough to have its own post office a significant addition to a small settlement of the day.

In 1892 the name Pearl City was given to the village, when a few years earlier, a young man by the name of Daniel Ditzler, found a number of fresh water pearls in the creek. In 1888 the railroad reached Pearl City, the Chicago St. Paul and Kansas City Railroad, later to be renamed the Chicago Great Western Railway. With the railroad came access to cheap goods and transportation, leading to more growth in the town. In 1890 the Liebenstine Brothers would establish their grocery when they bought the local grocery; it would serve the community for another 110 years. In 1893 a Hose Company (Fire Department) was established.

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