Downtown Burlington from Mississippi River
Location in the state of Iowa
|• Mayor||Jon D. Billups|
|• City Council||Linda Murrey (Mayor Pro Tem)|
|• Total||15.19 sq mi (39.33 km2)|
|• Land||14.42 sq mi (37.35 km2)|
|• Water||0.76 sq mi (1.98 km2)|
|Elevation||696 ft (185 m)|
|• Density||1,713.56/sq mi (661.63/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (CST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0454995|
Burlington is a city in, and the county seat of, Des Moines County, Iowa, United States.The population was 25,663 in the 2010 census, a decline from the 26,839 population in 2000. Burlington is the center of a micropolitan area, which includes West Burlington and Middletown, Iowa, and Gulfport, Illinois. Burlington is the home of Snake Alley, one of America's most famously crooked streets.
Prior to European settlement, the area was neutral territory for the Sac and Fox Indians, who called it Shoquoquon (Shok-ko-kon), meaning Flint Hills.
In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson organized two parties of explorers to map the Louisiana Purchase. The Lewis and Clark Expedition followed the Missouri River, while Lt. Zebulon Pike followed the Mississippi River. In 1805, Pike landed at the bluffs below Burlington and raised the United States Flag for the first time on what would become Iowa soil and recommended construction of a fort. The recommendation went unheeded.
The American Fur Company of John Jacob Astor established a post in the area in 1829. Settlement began in 1833, shortly after the Black Hawk Purchase, when Samuel (aka Simpson) White, Amzi Doolitle, and Morton M. McCarver crossed the Mississippi River from Big Island and staked claims there. [ citation needed ] White erected a cabin in the area later platted to be Front Street between Court and High streets. Andreas called White and Doolittle the Romulus and Remus of their settlement, referring to the mythic heroes who founded Rome, a city surrounded by hills. A few weeks later, William R. Ross joined them and established a general store. In November and December, he surveyed the settlement for White and Doolittle. :145According to an account A.T. Andreas wrote in 1875,
In the spring of 1834 they allowed John Gray, who purchased the first lot with his wife Eliza Jane, to rename the town for $50. Gray chose to name it Burlington in honor of his hometown in Vermont. [ citation needed ]The Grays' daughter Abigail was born in Burlington that same year, the first European-descended American settler child born on Iowa soil.
In 1837, Burlington was designated the second territorial capital of the Wisconsin Territory.The Iowa Territory was organized in the following year, and Burlington was named as its first territorial capital. The government used "Old Zion," the first Methodist Church in Iowa (located near what is now Third and Washington streets), to conduct its business. A historical marker commemorates the site of the church and early territorial government.
On May 22, 1849, Maj. William Williams visited Burlington, writing a brief description in his journal:
This town [was] originally called Flint Hill- the Indian name was Shoquokon, Flint or Rock Hill. [It is] beautifully elevated, situated on the west side of the Mississippi River, a place of very considerable business. The town is very well built. Houses are good, generally taste[ful], brick dwellings. A great many handsome residences on the more elevated parts of the bluff. The number of inhabitants between 3,000 and 3,500. ... Was the first seat of government after the formation of the Territory of Iowa. The view of the city is extremely picturesque from the river. The main part of the city is situated like an amphitheater formed by the surrounding hills, beautiful buildings and private residences on the eminences around. From the location of Burlington it must always be a place of considerable trade. The city is well built [in the] modern style, a very intelligent population... The river here is over 3/4 of mile wide and steam ferry boats constantly plying between this and the Illinois shore.— Maj. William Williams
In April 1885, economist Henry George gave a speech titled "The Crime of Poverty" at the Burlington Knights of Labor local advocating for a citizen's dividend paid for by a land value tax.
Iowa's nickname, "The Hawkeye State," has its roots in Burlington. At Judge David Rorer's suggestion, publisher James G. Edwards changed The Iowa Patriot newspaper's name to The Hawk-Eye and Iowa Patriot in tribute to his friend, Chief Black Hawk. Rorer is said to have found the name in James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans, but Edwards proposed the nickname to "...rescue from oblivian [ sic ] a momento [ sic ], at least of the name of the old chief."
Burlington was a bustling river port in the steamboat era and a central city to the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad. The "Burlington Route" (1848–1970) merged into the Burlington Northern Railroad (1970–1996), which in turn merged into the BNSF Railway (1997–present). The "Burlington" name has been given to one of the United States' largest railroads. One of BNSF's main east-west lines still crosses the Mississippi at Burlington.
In the late twentieth century, retail expanded with suburbanization of the population. After purchasing Benner Tea, Aldi opened its first store in the United States at Burlington in 1976.Westland Mall opened in nearby West Burlington in 1977.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.24 square miles (39.47 km2), of which 14.48 square miles (37.50 km2) is land and 0.76 square miles (1.97 km2) is water.
|Climate data for Burlington, Iowa (1961-1990)|
|Average high °F (°C)||31|
|Average low °F (°C)||13|
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||1.3|
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the 2010 census, 1,772.3 inhabitants per square mile (684.3/km2). There were 11,899 housing units at an average density of 821.8 per square mile (317.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 81.2% White, 14.2% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.7% from other races, and 2.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.1% of the population.there were 25,663 people, 10,938 households, and 6,693 families residing in the city. The population density was
There were 10,938 households, of which 29.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.9% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 38.8% were non-families. 32.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.1% 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 2.89.
The median age in the city was 39.7 years. 23.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.6% were from 25 to 44; 26.5% were from 45 to 64; and 17.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.1% male and 51.9% female.
As of the 2000 census,there were 26,839 people, 11,102 households, and 7,105 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,910.1 per square mile (737.6/km2). There were 11,985 housing units at an average density of 853.0 per square mile (329.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 86.6% White, 10.0% African American, 0.33% Native American, 0.66% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.90% from other races, and 1.43% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.06% of the population.
There were 11,102 households, out of which 29.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.2% were married couples living together, 12.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.0% were non-families. 31.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 4.94.
Age spread: 24.5% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 26.7% from 25 to 44, 22.7% from 45 to 64, and 17.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $33,770, and the median income for a family was $40,912. Males had a median income of $33,238 versus $23,003 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,450. About 10.0% of families and 12.6% of the population was below the poverty line, including 20.9% of those under age 18 and 8.9% of those age 65 or over.
Burlington's roots are in transportation and manufacturing. Manufacturing plants are among the largest employers in the area, including companies such as American Ordnance LLC, Case Corporation, ABB (formerly General Electric), Champion Spark Plugs, Shearer's Foods and Winegard Company. The largest employer in the area is the Great River Medical Center. Among one of the oldest businesses in Burlington, the Murray factory (now Murray Turbomachinery and owned by Dresser-Rand) which has been in operation in Burlington since before 1900, the original building on Central St. and Washington St. which was divided by the local train tracks, was recently razed. Another long-lived business is Case Corporation, which has been at its current location on Des Moines Avenue, approximately a quarter-mile from the Mississippi River, since 1937. The first backhoes rolled off the assembly line at the Burlington plant in 1957, which is now the only plant in the United States that produces the Case Loader/Backhoe, giving Burlington the nickname "Backhoe Capital of the World." Case is now a division of the Italian holding group CNH Industrial. Employment at Case peaked in the 1980s, according to the Des Moines Register, then declined after "Case initiated a wave of buyouts and early retirements in the 1990s and early 2000s, and ended the contract with the union in 2004"; but in May 2010, the Register reports, Case announced that "it will open a new line that builds corn-picker heads for combines, as early as [Spring, 2012]" and that by mid-2013 it will add more than 200 positions.
Over the last several years, several businesses have either left the area or relocated elsewhere. These businesses include Exide, makers of vehicle batteries, CAT, Case Corporation's closest competitor in American made construction equipment, and Lehigh-Leopold, makers of office furniture. This has left some former manufacturing plants around the city empty, but other businesses have moved into them; PPG, maker of auto safety glass has moved into the former CAT plant, and a warehouse has moved into the former Leopold building. In March 2012, the Des Moines Register reported that "Unemployment here is 7.6 percent, compared with the 5.4 percent state average".
The downtown area holds a number of buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places, among them the Burlington Apartments (listed as the Hotel Burlington), the Burlington Railroad Depot, the Des Moines County Courthouse, the Burlington Fire Department central station, the Port of Burlington building, Memorial Auditorium, River Park Place (as Burlington Mercy Hospital), the former Burlington Police Department building(as Burlington Paper Company), The Capitol Theater, First Congregational Church, St. Paul's Catholic Church and several others. The downtown skyline is noted for its several church spires.
Burlington is the home of the Burlington Bees baseball team, a member of the Prospect League, a collegiate summer baseball league.They were previously members of Minor League Baseball's Class A Midwest League until Major League Baseball's reorganization of the minor leagues after the 2020 season. The Bees play at Community Field, which underwent extensive renovation in 2005.
Burlington hosts the Snake Alley Criterium, one of the most physically challenging races in the Midwest. The annual event is held on a 15-block course, with differences in elevation from 555 feet to 678 feet. The course is entirely on city streets, mostly in the downtown commercial area. A one-block-long climb is on the historic brick street named Snake Alley. The 276-foot-long Snake Alley has five switchbacks in a 60-foot climb. The average grade is 12.5 percent in that one block.
Twice, Burlington has been the finishing point for RAGBRAI, the annual bicycle ride that starts at the Missouri River in western Iowa and ends in eastern Iowa at the Mississippi River.
Burlington is served by the Burlington Community School District, which has five elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school and one alternative high school. Private education is also available for kindergarten through 12th grade at Notre Dame Catholic School and Great River Christian School (GRCS).
In 1833 the first school facility for Burlington opened in a log cabin. School District No. 2 of the Township of Burlington was established on March 29, 1849.
The Burlington School District has five elementary schools: North Hill, Sunnyside, Grimes, Corse and Black Hawk. All are new buildings or have been recently completely rehabilitated, the newest, North Hill Elementary, received its first students in 2009, there are no elementary school buildings within the school district that are over 40 years old.[ when? ] The district has two middle schools: Edward Stone and Aldo Leopold. Beginning with the 2010–11 school year, students who had attended Oak Street Middle School (an aging building that was completed around 1907) began attending Aldo Leopold (named in honor of ecologist, and environmentalist, Aldo Leopold, a former resident of Burlington, and author of " A Sand County Almanac "), the new school building is located near the corner of Sunnyside Avenue, and Roosevelt Avenue. Edward Stone, which opened at the start of the 2012–13 school year, is located near the corner of Lawrence Drive and Mason Road. The middle school was named in honor of former JPL head, and Burlington educated Dr. Edward Stone. This building replaced the James Madison Middle School building, which has only been in the system since the mid-1960s. These two new middle schools were built to accommodate more students after a third building, Horace Mann, was gutted by fire in 2005.
Burlington Community High School was constructed in 1968, and occupied the following year, with the first graduating class in June 1970. Prior to that, the high school students were educated at the former Apollo High School building located near the downtown business district; the building is still standing and for a time served as Burlington Alternative High School, but has been unoccupied since 1996. Notre Dame High School and Elementary schools occupy a building near the Burlington high school. Great River Christian Schools occupies the old Prospect Hill Elementary School building, 426 Harrison St. A third middle school building once existed on the edge of Perkins Park, named Horace Mann, that building was gutted by fire in 2005, and later razed. The school district offices are located near the corner of West Avenue, and White Street, in a large mansion once owned by Railroad tycoon Charles Elliott Perkins, and is nicknamed "The White House," due to the whitewashed facade. The original High School building (which now serves as the School District Maintenance shops) is noted as being the first high school built west of the Mississippi River.
Burlington is also served by Southeastern Community College.
Burlington Public Library serves the community.
Burlington, Iowa is served by the following local media outlets:
Burlington's radio stations include WQKQ 92.1 FM, KAYP 89.9 FM, KKMI 93.5 FM, KCDM 98.3 FM, KDMG 103.1 FM, KBKB 101.7 FM, KHDK 97.3 FM, KGRS 107.3 FM, KCPS 1150 AM, KBKB 1360 AM, and KBUR 1490 AM. Burlington residents also listen to stations in nearby communities, most notably, the Quad Cities.
Burlington previously had a local TV station, KJMH. It signed on August 2, 1984, from a tower on Winegard Drive. It also had studios in Burlington. Initially an independent station, it became a charter FOX affiliate in 1986, but suffered from duplication from KLJB in the Quad Cities. In 1996, the station became a full-time satellite of KLJB, marking the end of local broadcast TV in Burlington. Today, those in the Burlington-Oquawka area receive local over-the-air programming from stations in the Quad Cities (the city's main television market), Quincy, and Ottumwa, including the stations listed below.
The town is served by U.S. Route 34, which is the freeway that passes through the middle of town, and U.S. Route 61. Iowa Highways 99 and 406 served the town before they were decommissioned in 2003. The two still exist as county roads. Burlington Urban Service (B.U.S.) is a transportation system owned and operated by the City of Burlington. Routes service nearly all areas of Burlington, and nearly 90% of all residents live within three city blocks of a bus route. Greyhound Lines and Burlington Trailways provide daily out-of-town bus service.
Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides service to Burlington, operating its California Zephyrdaily in both directions between Chicago, Illinois, and Emeryville, California, across the bay from San Francisco.
The Southeast Iowa Regional Airport (IATA code BRL), is located about five miles south of downtown. Commercial service is provided through Air Choice One. This service offers two weekday daily flights to St. Louis and Chicago, while offering single flights on weekends. Quad City International Airport, the area's large international airport, is approximately 70 miles north of the city, in Moline, Illinois.
Burlington has one sister city, as designated by Sister Cities International:
Davenport is a city in and the county seat of Scott County, Iowa, United States. It is located along the Mississippi River on the eastern border of the state, and is the largest of the Quad Cities, a metropolitan area with a population estimate of 382,630 and a CSA population of 474,226; it is the 90th largest CSA in the nation. Davenport was founded on May 14, 1836 by Antoine Le Claire and was named for his friend George Davenport, a former English sailor who served in the U.S. Army during the War of 1812, served as a supplier Fort Armstrong, worked as a fur trader with the American Fur Company, and was appointed a quartermaster with the rank of colonel during the Black Hawk War. According to the 2010 census, the city had a population of 99,685. The city appealed this figure, arguing that the Census Bureau missed a section of residents, and that its total population was more than 100,000. The Census Bureau estimated Davenport's 2019 population to be 101,590.
Des Moines is the capital and the most populous city in the U.S. state of Iowa. It is also the county seat of Polk County. A small part of the city extends into Warren County. It was incorporated on September 22, 1851, as Fort Des Moines, which was shortened to "Des Moines" in 1857. It is located on, and named after, the Des Moines River, which likely was adapted from the early French name, Rivière des Moines, meaning "River of the Monks". The city's population was 214,237 as of the 2019 population estimate. The six-county metropolitan area is ranked 83rd in terms of population in the United States with 699,292 residents according to the 2019 estimate by the United States Census Bureau, and is the largest metropolitan area fully located within the state.
The Quad Cities is a region of five cities in the U.S. states of Iowa and Illinois: Davenport and Bettendorf in southeastern Iowa, and Rock Island, Moline, and East Moline in northwestern Illinois. These cities are the center of the Quad Cities metropolitan area, which as of 2013 had a population estimate of 383,781 and a Combined Statistical Area (CSA) population of 474,937, making it the 90th-largest CSA in the nation.
The Midwest League was a Minor League Baseball league, established in 1947 and based in the Midwestern United States. It was classified as a Class A league.
Des Moines County is a county located in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 census, the population was 40,325. The county seat and largest city is Burlington. It is one of Iowa's two original counties along with Dubuque County; both were organized by the Michigan Territorial legislature in 1834.
Scouting in Iowa has a long history, from the 1910s to the present day, serving thousands of youth in programs that suit the environment in which they live.
Galesburg is a city in Knox County, Illinois, United States. The city is 45 miles (72 km) northwest of Peoria. As of the 2010 census, its population was 32,195. It is the county seat of Knox County and the principal city of the Galesburg Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Knox and Warren counties.
Mediapolis is a city in Des Moines County, Iowa, United States. Its population was 1,560 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Burlington, IA–IL Micropolitan Statistical Area.
West Burlington is a city in Des Moines County, Iowa, United States, adjacent to the Mississippi River city of Burlington. The population was 2,968 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Burlington, IA–IL Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Iowa City is a city in Johnson County, Iowa, United States. It is the home of the University of Iowa and county seat of Johnson County, at the center of the Iowa City Metropolitan Statistical Area. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the city's population at 75,130 in 2019, making it the state's fifth-largest city. The metropolitan area, which encompasses Johnson and Washington counties, has a population of over 171,000. The Iowa City Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is also a part of a Combined Statistical Area (CSA) with the Cedar Rapids MSA. This CSA plus two additional counties are known as the Iowa City-Cedar Rapids (ICR) region which collectively has a population of nearly 500,000.
Keokuk is a city in and a county seat of Lee County, Iowa, United States, along with Fort Madison. It is Iowa's southernmost city. The population was 10,780 at the 2010 census. The city is named after the Sauk chief Keokuk, who is thought to be buried in Rand Park. It is in the extreme southeast corner of Iowa, where the Des Moines River meets the Mississippi. It is at the junction of U.S. Routes 61, 136 and 218. Just across the rivers are the towns of Hamilton and Warsaw, Illinois, and Alexandria, Missouri. Keokuk, along with the city of Fort Madison, is a principal city of the Fort Madison-Keokuk micropolitan area, which includes all of Lee County, Iowa, Hancock County, Illinois and Clark County, Missouri.
Cedar Rapids is the second-largest city in Iowa and is the county seat of Linn County. The city lies on both banks of the Cedar River, 20 miles (32 km) north of Iowa City and 100 miles (160 km) northeast of Des Moines, the state's capital and largest city. It is a part of the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids Region of Eastern Iowa which includes Linn, Benton, Cedar, Iowa, Jones, Johnson, and Washington counties.
Muscatine is a city in Muscatine County, Iowa, United States. The population was 22,886 at the 2010 census, an increase from 22,697 in 2000. The county seat of Muscatine County, it is located along the Mississippi River. The local business association states that the name Muscatine is not used by any other community.
Clarinda is a city in and the county seat of Page County, Iowa, United States. It is located in Nodaway Township. The population was 5,572 in the 2010 census.
Bettendorf is a city in Scott County, Iowa, United States. It is the 15th largest city of Iowa and the fourth-largest city in the "Quad Cities". It is part of the Davenport–Moline–Rock Island, IA-IL Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 33,217 at the 2010 U.S. Census and was estimated to be 36,543 by July 2019.
Ottumwa is a city in and the county seat of Wapello County, Iowa, United States. The population was 25,023 at the 2010 U.S. Census. Located in the state's southeastern section, the city is split into northern and southern halves by the Des Moines River.
Southeast Iowa Regional Airport is a public airport located two miles southwest of Burlington, in Des Moines County, Iowa. It is owned by the Southeast Iowa Regional Airport Authority which includes representatives from the city of Burlington, the city of West Burlington, and Des Moines County. The airport is used for general aviation and sees one airline, a service subsidized by the federal government's Essential Air Service program at a cost of $1,917,566.
The Illinois–Indiana–Iowa League was a Minor League Baseball organization that operated for the better part of 60 years, mostly in those three states. The league began play in 1901 and disbanded after the 1961 season. It was popularly known as the Three–I League and sometimes jokingly as the Three-Eye League.
Creston is a city in, and the county seat of, Union County, Iowa, United States. The population was 7,784 at the 20 census.
Iowa is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States, bordered by the Mississippi River to the east and the Missouri River and Big Sioux River to the west. It is bordered by six states: Wisconsin to the northeast, Illinois to the east and southeast, Missouri to the south, Nebraska to the west, South Dakota to the northwest, and Minnesota to the north.
As an English friend of mine puts it: No taxes and a pension for everybody; and why should it not be? To take land values for public purposes is not really to impose a tax, but to take for public purposes a value created by the community. And out of the fund which would thus accrue from the common property, we might, without degradation to anybody, provide enough to actually secure from want all who were deprived of their natural protectors or met with accident, or any man who should grow so old that he could not work. All prating that is heard from some quarters about its hurting the common people to give them what they do not work for is humbug. The truth is, that anything that injures self-respect, degrades, does harm; but if you give it as a right, as something to which every citizen is entitled to, it does not degrade. Charity schools do degrade children that are sent to them, but public schools do not.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Burlington, Iowa .|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Burlington (Iowa) .|