- Janesville, Wisconsin
Janesville is a city in southern
Wisconsin, United States.GR|6 It is the county seatof Rock CountyGR|6 and the principal municipality of the Janesville, Wisconsin Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2000 census, the city had a population of 59,498. [ [http://www.census.gov/popest/cities/tables/SUB-EST2004-04-55.xls US Census: Places in Wisconsin listed alphabetically] ]
Janesville was founded in 1835 [ [http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/WI/subcollections/JanesvillesPastAbout.shtml About Janesville's Past ] ] on the east bank of the Rock River. Named for an early settler, Henry Janes, [ [http://www.forwardjanesville.com/JanesvilleFAQs/JanesvilleHistory/tabid/818/Default.aspx The History of Janesville Wisconsin ] ] early development depended on water power from the river and an early territorial road that included the first bridge across the Rock River. [ [http://www.usgennet.org/usa/wi/county/rock/Twp/HistJT.html ALHN-Rock Co., WI-History of Janesville Township ] ]
Janesville was the site of the first
Wisconsin State Fairin 1851, attended by approximately 10,000 people. [ [http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM2CJT FIRST - State Fair in Wisconsin - Janesville, WI - First of its kind on Waymarking.com ] ]
R. Lavinia Goodell, Wisconsin's first female lawyer(1874), lived in Janesville. [ [http://www.wisbar.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=History_of_the_Profession&TEMPLATE=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&CONTENTID=21558 WisBar | Pioneers in Law: Rhoda Lavinia Goodell ] ]
A tree that once stood in downtown Courthouse Park was the site of a
lynch mobthat hanged a convicted murderer in 1859. [http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/forestry/publications/pdf/AnchorTreeBook/Chapters/037%20JanesvilleHangingTree.pdf] In 1992, television journalist Geraldo Riverawas arrested for battery after an altercation during his coverage of a Ku Klux Klanrally in Janesville. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0CE1DF143EF937A2575AC0A964958260 Review/Television; The Adventures of Geraldo Rivera - New York Times ] ] The location of a related cross burning in 1992 is now "Peace Park" with a playground and a peace pole, said to be the world's tallest at 52 feet. [ [http://www.forwardjanesville.com/JanesvilleFAQs/FunFacts/tabid/819/Default.aspx Janesville Wisconsin Fun Facts ] ]
Janesville is located at coor dms|42|41|2|N|89|0|59|W|city (42.68411, -89.016654).GR|1
According to the
United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 28.1 square miles (72.8 km²), of which, 27.5 square miles (71.3 km²) of it is land and 0.6 square miles (1.5 km²) of it (2.10%) is water. Janesville is divided by the Rock River.
As of the
censusGR|2 of 2005, there were 60,483 residents, 23,894 occupied housing units, and 15,746 families in the city. The population densitywas 2,160.6 people per square mile (834.1/km²). There were 25,083 housing units at an average density of 910.9/sq mi (351.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.27% White, 1.26% Black or African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.96% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.02% from other races, and 1.22% from two or more races. 2.64% of the population were Hispanicor Latinoof any race.
Of the 23,894 households, 32.7% had children under the age of 18 living in them, 51.1% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.1% were non-families. 27.4% of all households were made up of individuals, with 9.7% comprised of individuals aged 65 years or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.99.
In the city, the population was spread out with 26.2% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 31.2% from 25 to 44, 21.4% from 45 to 64, and 12.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 95.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $45,961, and the median income for a family was $55,133. Males had a median income of $40,910 versus $26,423 for females. The
per capita incomefor the city was $22,224. About 4.3% of families and 6.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.1% of those under age 18 and 5.8% of those age 65 and over.
Twenty percent of Wisconsin's buildings listed on the
National Register of Historic Placescan be found in Janesville. [ [http://www.janesvillecvb.com/history.asp Janesville Convention and Visitors Bureau | Janesville History ] ] The 1857 Lincoln-Tallman House, which models the Italian Villa-style architecture, is one of 34 sites on the Register. [ [http://www.nr.nps.gov/nrloc1.htm NRIS Search by location ] ] Abe Lincoln slept there for two nights. The Columbus Circle neighborhood became Janesville's tenth historic district in 2005. The former Janesville Public Library, [ [http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4196/is_20010822/ai_n10728762] ] a Carnegie librarybuilt in 1902, was designed by J.T.W. Jennings.
Janesville operates a bus system, the Janesville Transit System (JTS), which also connects with neighboring Beloit.
Van Galder Bus Company(a Coach USAcompany), based in Janesville, operates a regional bus service between Madison and downtown Chicago, Chicago O'Hare Airport, and Midway Airport.
Janesville Gazette", [http://www.gazetteextra.com/] owned by Bliss Communications, is one of two daily newspapers in Rock County, Wisconsin(the " Beloit Daily News" [http://www.beloitdailynews.com/] being the other), and serves a regional market stretching into Walworth County. Delavan-based Community Shoppers, Inc. publishes the bi-weekly "Janesville Messenger". [ [http://www.janesvillemessenger.com/ Community Shoppers Free Newspaper ] ]
Janesville has two television stations licensed to the city; CW affiliate
WBUW(Channel 57), which has its offices and transmitter in Madison and serves all of South Central Wisconsin, and W65EE(Channel 65), a low-power translator station of the Trinity Broadcasting Network. Many radio stations also serve Janesville.
Janesville is known as "Wisconsin's Park Place" or "City of Parks". Its convert|2015|acre|km2|sing=on park system includes 53 improved parks, as well as boat launches, golf courses, and nature trails. [http://www.janesvillecvb.com/parks.asp Janesville Convention and Visitors Bureau | Parks & Recreation ] ] This is one of the highest acreages per capita in Wisconsin.Fact|date=September 2007
Janesville has a public, internationally-themed botanical garden,
Rotary Gardens, with free admission (donations accepted), that is open during the summer months. It is home to numerous weddings and group gatherings.
Traxler Park is home to the
Rock Aqua Jays, a water ski team which has been U.S. national champion 15 times. The team originated and regularly hosts the National Show Ski championships. Traxler Park is also home to the Fourth of July festivities.
Other major parks include Riverside Park, a recreational park along the Rock River including a golf course and a segment of the
Ice Age Trail; Rockport Park, largely undeveloped, including the municipal swimming pool and Peace Park; Monterey Park, including the Big Rock, an early natural landmark signalling a good ford of the Rock River (and the namesake of the county, but not the river), as well as a sports stadium used by the school system; Lustig Park, used for a disc golfcourse; and Palmer Park, which includes a 9-hole golf course and Camden Park (an accessible play area). Most of the parks in the city are linked by a paved bike trail, which will eventually connect to Beloit.
The Janesville School District [ [http://www.janesville.k12.wi.us/sdj School District of Janesville Home Page - Janesville, Wisconsin ] ] has twelve elementary schools, three middle schools, two high schools and two charter schools. The Janesville Academy for International Studies, a charter high school that focuses on teaching global perspectives, and the Guide Language Center, which offers over 10 foreign languages, are both located downtown. In addition, there are a number of parochial schools throughout the city.
The Wisconsin School for the Visually Handicapped [ [http://www.wcbvi.k12.wi.us/wsvh/index.html Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired ] ] has been located in Janesville since 1850. A two-year community college, the
University of Wisconsin-Rock County, located on the southwest side of Janesville, is part of the University of Wisconsin System. A two-year technical college, Blackhawk Technical College, is located midway between Janesville and Beloit; Blackhawk also offers degree programs through Upper Iowa University.
Business and industry
Janesville's largest employer is the Mercy Health System, followed by the Janesville School District. [ [http://www.rockcounty.org/demo/emppriv.htm WAGES ] ] Other major employers include automotive-related manufacturers Lear, SSI Technologies, and Bourns Automotive, and the
hazardous materialsequipment distributor Lab Safety Supply. A Simmons Bedding Company factory, makers of the Beautyrest line, and other manufacturing companies are also major employers. Janesville-based Swing'n'Slide, a maker of wood-and-plastic playground equipment, is a subsidiary of Playcore, Inc. Janesville is also the home of Hufcor(formerly Hough Shade Company), a manufacturer of room dividers that markets internationally, Gray's Brewing, maker of boutique beers and soft drinks, and Freedom Plastics, a PVCpipe manufacturer.
Regional employers include the non-profit
Mercy Health System, which has a multi-county market extending into Illinois; Blain's Farm and Fleet, a three-state retail chain with headquarters and a distribution center in Janesville; and Woodman's Food Market, a regional supermarket chain, which built its first warehouse store in Janesville.
On June 3, 2008, General Motors announced plans to close the Janesville assembly plant as part of a significant restructuring effort. [ [http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jr1xpHkrhMavw9nyii_2_5Ga0GAgD912TM300] Dead link|date=July 2008] Begun in 1919, when
General Motorsbought the Janesville Machine Company and merged it with the Samson Tractor Company, the Janesville plant was the oldest General Motors plant in North America. It assembled large trucks and sport utility vehicles, [ [http://www.janesvillecvb.com/tourgm.asp Janesville Convention and Visitors Bureau | Tour Opportunities ] ] which have declined in popularity as gasoline prices increased.
Parker Pen Companywas founded in Janesville; at one time its Main Street factory was the largest writing instrument plant in the world. The company later purchased Manpower, Inc., but eventually sold the pen business to Gillette and no longer operates in Janesville. It is now owned by the British company, Sanford. The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Companywas founded in Janesville in 1857 but moved to Milwaukee two years later.
Janesville Mallredeveloped in the late 1990s, and in 1998 Pine Tree Plaza opened. In November 2006, a Super Wal-Martand a Sam's Clubopened after a period of controversy. The site of the former Janesville Oasis, known for a large fiberglass cowat its entrance, began redevelopment in 2007; the anchor tenant will be a Super Menards and Bessie the cow, representing the local dairy industry, will be spared by popular demand.
There are four
Roman Catholicparishes in Janesville, all part of the Diocese of Madison. The oldest is [http://www.stpats.org/Parish/index.html St. Patrick's Parish,] established in a log chapel in 1844 when there were only six Catholic families in Janesville. St. Patrick's present church was built of cream colored brick in 1863 and is located at 315 Cherry Street. Located on a hill near the center of town, the architecturally prominent [http://www.nativitymary.org/ Nativity of Mary Parish] (St. Mary's) was organized in 1876 by German immigrants who wanted a parish of their own. The present red brick structure was completed in 1902. The remaining two Janesville parishes include [http://www.sjv.org/ St. John Vianney Parish] located on East Racine Street and St. William Parish on the near west side.
The city is also home to many other Christian churches including Lutheran, Methodist,
Episcopalian, Baptist, and others. The Seventh Day BaptistGeneral Conference has its offices in Janesville; the denomination's nearest church is in Milton.
Gideon Bibleorganization was founded at the Janesville YMCAin 1899 by Janesville resident John H. Nicholson and a Beloit man after they had shared a Boscobel hotel room. [ [http://www.gideons.org/Tgi.web/TGI.Web.PublicWebSite/pages/history.aspx The Gideons International ] ]
In 1994, a
white buffalodubbed "Miracle" was born at the Heider family farm just outside Janesville. Miracle lived until 2004. She was frequently visited by Native American ceremonial groups because of sacred symbolism of white buffaloes in many Native American religions. Another unrelated white buffalo, named Miracle's Second Chance, was born at the same farm in 2006, but died in a lightning strike later that year.
People from Janesville
David Adamany, president of Temple University2000-2006
Sanford Atwood, president of Emory University1963-1977, desegregated campus
Leslie Allen Bellrichard, Medal of Honor recipient, Vietnam [http://museum.dva.state.wi.us/Res_honorrecipients_List.asp]
* James H. Budd,
* Bob Carr, congressman from
John Henry Comstock, entomologist
James E. Croft, Medal of Honor recipient, Civil War [http://museum.dva.state.wi.us/Res_honorrecipients_List.asp]
* Tim Cullen, Majority Leader of the Wisconsin Senate from 1982 to 1987
Gerald L. Endl, Medal of Honor recipient, WWII [ [http://www.history.army.mil/html/moh/wwII-a-f.html Medal of Honor Recipients - World War II (A-F) ] ]
Russ Feingold, U.S. senator 1993-present
Jim Fitzgerald, former owner of the Milwaukee Bucksand the Golden State Warriors
Stan Fox, race car driver, eight-time starter of the Indianapolis 500
Tucker Fredricks, speedskater
Don and Gerry Hedberg, founders of Lab Safety Supply
Ken Hendricks, Forbes 400businessman (roofing supplies)
Lawrence Hough, president of Sallie Mae ~1990-1997
Carrie Jacobs Bond, songwriter, born in Janesville in 1862
John Johnson, Medal of Honor recipient, Civil War
Tad Kubler, guitarist for The Hold Steady[ [http://www.stylusmagazine.com/articles/interview/the-hold-steady.htm Stylus Interview] ]
Travis Kvapil, NASCARdriver
* Walter Lees, early aviator
* Don L. Love, mayor of
David W. Márquez, Alaska attorney general
Max Maxfield, WyomingSecretary of State (2007-)
Kerwin Mathews, actor
* George S. Parker, founder of the Parker Pen Company
James B. Pond, Medal of Honor recipient, Civil War [http://museum.dva.state.wi.us/Res_honorrecipients_List.asp]
Manilla Powers, singer, Vaudeville performer, musical theater comedian
Steve Preston, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (2008-)
Thomas H. Ruger, Civil War general and military governor of Georgia
* Paul Ryan, congressman 1993-present
* Terry Ryan,
Minnesota Twinsformer general manager, currently senior advisor to the general manager
Mike Sheridan, state assemblyman 2004-present
Brittini Sherrod, , 2008
Ithamar C. Sloan, congressman from Wisconsin
Tom Welling, actor, Smallville (lived in Janesville briefly during childhood)
Ella Wheeler Wilcox, poet
* Frances Willard, educator and activist (raised and first taught here)
Daniel Hale Williams, African-American surgeonand heart surgery pioneer, raised and first employed here
Mistie Williams, basketball player for the Houston Comets of the WNBA
Claron A. Windus, Medal of Honor recipient, Indian Wars [ [http://www.history.army.mil/html/moh/indianwars.html Medal of Honor Recipients - Indian Wars Period ] ]
Joseph A. Craig High School
George S. Parker High School
Oakhill Christian School
* [http://www.ci.janesville.wi.us/ City of Janesville]
* [http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/WI.JanesvillesPast Janesville's Past] : A digital resource of Hedberg (Janesville) Public Library resources, presented by the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections Center.
* [http://www.rotarygardens.org Rotary Gardens]
* [http://www.rootsweb.com/~wircgs/index.html Rock County Genealogical Society]
* [http://www.rchs.us/ Rock County Historical Society]
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