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West Chicago is a city in DuPage Countymarker, Illinoismarker, United Statesmarker. The population was 23,469 at the 2000 census. It was formerly named Turner Junction after its founder, John B. Turner, president of the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad (G&CU) in 1855. The city was initially established around the first junction of railroad lines in Illinois, [17004] and today is still served by the Metra service via West Chicago stationmarker.


West Chicago is located at .

According the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.8 square miles (35.8 km²), all of it land.


In the 1980s/90s, the city received a scare due to the nuclear-waste contamination scandal. Harmful waste from the Rare Earths Facility had been spread around the community since the 1930s when the facility was founded by the Lindsay Light and Chemical Company. One contaminated site was Reed-Keppler Park, which was built on top of a landfill that had received some waste from the plant. Kerr-McGee, which had bought the facility in 1967 and operated it until 1973, settled with the city, cleaning up the waste.

Jel Sert locally produces Wyler's and FlavorAid in West Chicago.

West Chicago is home to the Truitt-Hoff prairie, one of the largest and best preserved (,by virtue of its being on railroad right-of-way land and thus never having been cultivated,) prairies in the Midwest. This prairie was discovered by then-mayor Richard Truitt in 1976 during one of his frequent walks in the open land west of the city.

The movie Reach the Rock, written by John Hughes, was filmed in downtown West Chicago in 1998.

The city has undergone a massive face-lift since 2001, especially in the downtown area, the corner of Route 59 and Main Street, and Route 59 and North Ave.

West Chicago Police have the second largest Gang Task Force in DuPage County, next to Aurora.


The city of West Chicago has two high schools -- one public school, West Chicago Community High Schoolmarker, and one private, Wheaton Academy. There are nine elementary schools (one private, eight public) and two middle schools [one being West Chicago Middle School (WCMS)] within the city. The West Chicago Wildcats is the name of the WCCHS teams.

Points of interest


As of the census of 2000, there were 23,469 people, 6,379 households, and 5,230 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,695.9 people per square mile (654.7/km²). There were 6,567 housing units at an average density of 474.5/sq mi (183.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 77.85% White, 1.68% African American, 0.36% Native American, 1.95% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 15.11% from other races, and 3.01% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 48.60% of the population.

There were 6,379 households out of which 48.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.3% were married couples living together, 8.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 18.0% were non-families. 12.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.64 and the average family size was 3.91.

In the city the population was spread out with 31.6% under the age of 18, 13.4% from 18 to 24, 34.6% from 25 to 44, 15.8% from 45 to 64, and 4.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females there were 114.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 117.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $63,424, and the median income for a family was $65,744. Males had a median income of $39,723 versus $27,285 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,287, the lowest in DuPage County. About 6.8% of families and 9.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.5% of those under age 18 and 3.8% of those age 65 or over.


  1. (based partly on US EPA NPL narrative)

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