Wheaton, IL


Wheaton is the county seat of DuPage County, Illinois, located about 25 miles west of Chicago and Lake Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 55,416.

The city dates its founding to land claims made in 1837 and 1838 (following the Indian Removal Act) by Erastus Gary and two Wheaton brothers, Jesse and Warren. A plat for the city was filed with the county in 1853. The brothers led a successful campaign in 1867 to make Wheaton the county seat[1].

Wheaton has 45 churches within its limits (not to mention thirty in the bordering unincorporated areas) and is rumored to have more churches per square mile than any other U.S. city, a density exceeded in the world only by one or more cities in Italy.

People and attractions

Red Grange grew up in Wheaton and attended Wheaton Community High School. He would later graduate from University of Illinois to play for the Chicago Bears and the AFL's New York Yankees. He is considered the biggest drawing card in the history of the NFL.

Actor John Belushi and his brother Jim both grew up in Wheaton and graduated from Wheaton Central High School. John attended College of DuPage, while his brother attended both College of DuPage and then Southern Illinois University.

Other notables who grew up in Wheaton include journalist Bob Woodward of the Washington Post, NFL football quarterback Kent Graham, Grote Reber (who built the first radio telescope in his Wheaton lawn), and Edwin Hubble.

Wheaton is home to Wheaton College. Its campus features the Billy Graham Center, which is full of pictures of Graham (see below paragraph) and conceptual exhibits intended to convey Christian ideas. Other well-known graduates of Wheaton include Wes Craven, Dennis Hastert, John Wesley Powell and Todd Beamer. Wheaton's science building exhibits the remains of a mastodon which were discovered in nearby Glen Ellyn.

The far South end of Wheaton is home to the Rice Campus of the nationally known research institution the Illinois Institute of Technology. Though the University has its main campus in the city of Chicago a sizable student body exists at the Rice facility.

Wheaton is also home to the headquarters of the Theosophical Society in America. The estate includes large grounds with a labyrinth and tennis court, a mansion with a beautiful two-story library, a New Age bookstore called Quest Books, and the Theosophical Publishing House. The Theosophical Society holds classes and lectures, and Ram Dass and Rupert Sheldrake, among others, have spoken there.

Cantigny Park and Golf Course, former estate of Chicago Tribune owner Robert R. McCormick, is in southwestern Wheaton.

Wheaton is home to the DuPage County Fairgrounds located on Manchester Rd. Organized in 1954, the DuPage County Fair Association hosts the Annual DuPage County Fair in late July.

Chicago Golf Club, a prestigious private golf club, also resides in Wheaton. It was one of the five original clubs which founded the United States Golf Association in 1894. It was also the first golf course in the US to have 18 holes.

The City of Wheaton lies in DuPage County's highly rated District 200. District 200 consists of two high schools, four middle schools, and thirteen elementary schools. A recent referendum passed to expand the two high schools, Wheaton Warrenville South and Wheaton North, and construction is scheduled to be completed in 2006.


Wheaton is located at 41°51'34" North, 88°6'26" West (41.859562, -88.107181).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 29.2 km2 (11.3 mi2). 29.1 km2 (11.2 mi2) of it is land and 0.1 km2 (0.04 mi2 or 0.35%) of it is water.


As of the census of 2000, there were 55,416 people, 19,377 households, and 13,718 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,907/km2 (4,938.5/mi2). There were 19,881 housing units at an average density of 684.1/km2 (1,771.7/mi2). The racial makeup of the city was 89.85% White, 4.85% Asian, 2.82% African American, 0.11% Native American, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.03% from other races, and 1.31% from two or more races. 3.65% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 19,377 households out of which 36.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.4% were married couples living together, 7.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.2% were non-families. 24.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.20.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.2% under the age of 18, 10.5% from 18 to 24, 28.8% from 25 to 44, 23.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 94.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $88,385, and the median income for a family was $104,475. Males had a median income of $74,871 versus $48,485 for females. The per capita income for the city was $36,147. Below the poverty line are 2.3% of the population and 2.1% of the families. Of the total population, 3.3% of those under the age of 18 and 4.1% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.