Antioch, Illinois

Antioch, Illinois

name = Antioch
native_name =
other_name = Anti Oak
category = Village
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country = United States
state = Illinois
region = Lake
region_type = County
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district_type = Township
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lat_d = 42
lat_m = 28
lat_s = 45
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population_date = 2000
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leader_type = Village president
timezone = CST
utc_offset = -6
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postal_code = 60002
area_code = 847
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map_caption = Location of Antioch within Illinois
map_background = Illinois - background map.png map_locator = Illinois2
commons = Antioch, Illinois
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Antioch is a village in the Antioch Township of Lake County, Illinois, United States. The population was approx. 13,400 as of the 2005 Illinois Census [ [ City data. 2000 census information] Retrieved on April 16 2007] . Antioch is part of the Chicago metropolitan area.


The Pottawatomi Indian Tribe, nomadic hunters who lived in tepees, inhabited Antioch when white men began to arrive. They fought with the British in the War of 1812 and then with the American settlers in the Blackhawk War of 1832. It was in 1832 that the Indians began to leave the area, although arrowheads and other remnants of their history can still be found today if one knows where to look. The winding Highway 173 was once an Indian trail and Highway 83 was the Muquonago Trail. []

The first permanent white settlement in Antioch was the Gage Brothers' cabin on Sequoit Creek, a tributary of the Fox River. In 1839, Hiram Buttrick built a sawmill along the creek, making Antioch a center of commerce. A replica of the mill has been built a few hundred feet downstream from where it once stood. []

The influence of the Gage brothers is important when trying to understand the history and names of the Antioch area, as many local businesses, as well as ACHS sports teams, bare the word "Sequoit." There is no Native American tribe named “Sequoit” or any Native American word for that matter stemming from Antioch's Pottawatomi inhabitants. Though the word “sequoit” has Native American origins, the story behind the name is as complicated as it is historically interesting. Fred Willman explains in his in-depth book examining Illinois high school nicknames, “Why Mascots Have Tales”, “The word Sequoit is a form of spelling of the Iroquois Indian word Sa-da-quoit, which was the name the Iroquois Indians gave to a stream that flows through Oneida County in New York state. In the Iroquois language, Sa-da-quoit literally means ‘smooth pebbles in the bed of a stream.’ When white settlers moved into Oneida County, they modified the spelling and pronunciation of the stream to Sauquoit Creek.” This was later transplanted and modified when the Gage brothers moved from New York State to northern Illinois.

Antioch was officially founded just prior to the United States Civil War by a small Protestant sect known as the Disciples of Christ, later known as the Church of Christ. In 1843, less enthusiastically religious residents mockingly recommended the biblical name "Antioch," and the name stuck. Partly due to being a regional center of the Abolitionist movement, Antioch is noted as having sent a disproportionately high number of its young men to the Union Army. Shortly after the Civil War, the town dis-incorporated, as many of the initial religious settlers moved away. In 1892, Antioch reincorporated as a village, which it has been continuous to this day. The town grew as new settlers (primarily of English and German descent) established farms and businesses.

In the late 1800s, Antioch became a popular vacation spot for Chicagoans. Tourism grew quickly once the rail line to Chicago was laid in 1886. Originally, farmers near the lake accepted boarders, then they added guest rooms onto their homes. Eventually hotels and subdivisions of summer cottages were built. The tourists took excursion boats through the renowned flowering lotus beds. Hunting, fishing, dancing and gambling were big draws, but most tourists (not to mention year-round residents) simply preferred the quiet country life over the hustle and bustle of Chicago. During Prohibition, one famous Antioch resident was Al Capone, who owned a summer home on nearby Bluff Lake. []

Fire destroyed much of downtown in 1891, 1903, and 1904. What remained was a little known cottage, entitled "Steve's Cottage", on what is commonly called "Loon Lake." In 1905, the town rebuilt with brick and started a public water system. The base of the first water tower is still found at the corner of Toft and Orchard Streets. A volunteer Fire Department was formed in 1913. []

The town grew at a steady pace through the years. Harvesting ice to supply ice boxes was a major industry in the area for many years. Pickard China, America's finest china company, has been a steady employer in Antioch since 1937. In the 1950s, the village developed the large industrial park along Anita Avenue, which greatly contributes to the tax and employment base. []

Political makeup

Antioch's government is made up of a mayor and six trustees elected at large, with staggered terms. The current mayor is Dorothy Larson. The Village leans Republican, but partisan politics rarely figure in local elections. Pro and anti-Walmart as well as pro and anti-development factions dominate the political landscape.


Most of Antioch's residents work outside of the village, in Chicago or neighboring villages. Residents can reach both Chicago and Milwaukee by way of Interstate 94 and U.S. Route 41. Since 1996, Metra's North Central Service has played an increasingly important role in the development of Antioch. Weekday train service to and from Chicago appeals to many commuters and has given rise to new commercial development near the train depot. The village is currently undergoing rapid commercial and residential growth, with a majority of it along the Illinois Route 173 corridor.

The village has some small industry, including the world famous Pickard China factory (where Air Force One and Camp David china comes from). Downtown has a mix of small retail focused on antiques, quilting, small clothing boutiques and a wide range of ethnic restaurants.


Public high school in Antioch:
* Antioch Community High School (Students: 2,232; Location: 1133 Main Street; Grades: 09 - 12)LAKES COMMUNITY HIGH SCHOOLPublic primary/middle schools in Antioch:
* Antioch Upper Grade School (Students: 995; Location: 800 Highview Drive; Grades: 06 - 08)
* Hillcrest Elementary School (Students: 628; Location: 433 East Depot Street; Grades: PK - 02)
* W C Petty Elementary School (Students: 382; Location: 850 Highview Drive; Grades: 02 - 05)
* Emmons Grade School (Students: 375; Location: 24226 West Beach Grove; Grades: KG - 08)
* Oakland Elementary School (Students: 343; Location: 22018 West Grass Lake; Grades: 02 - 05)
* Antioch Elementary School (Students: 302; Location: 817 North Main Street; Grades: 02 - 05)
* Grass Lake Elementary School (Students: 236; Location: 26177 West Grass Lake; Grades: PK - 08)

Private primary/middle schools in Antioch:
* Saint Peter Elementary School (Students: 288; Location: 900 Saint Peter Street; Grades: KG - 8)
* Faith Evangelical Lutheran School (Students: 183; Location: 1275 South Main Street; Grades: PK - 8)

Library in Antioch:
* Antioch P.L.D. (Operating income: $1,406,272; Location: 757 Main Street; 84,435 books; 6,920 audio materials; 6,192 video materials; 529 serial subscriptions)

Public safety

The Antioch Police Department employs 42 persons, consisting of 30 sworn personnel. The Department has a Chief of Police, 2 Commanders, and 5 Sergeants with the remaining sworn personnel being in the Detective Division and the Patrol Division. The Department also has an explorer post consisting of an explorer chief, lieutenant, 2 sergeants, and 3 explorers. The entire department continues to grow as the Village of Antioch expands.

The Antioch Fire Department staffs 24 x 7 with paid on call firefighters. The fire department currently uses 3 fire stations to house its different equipment, although currently only Station #1 in the downtown area is staffed 24/7. Antioch Fire Department has a vast array of equipment to use including several engines, a ladder truck, 2 tankers, 2 boats including an air boat, and a six wheeled vehicle to access hard to reach areas. Antioch Fire Dept. also owns several pieces of special equipment including new state of the art extrication equipment used to extricate injured people from wrecked cars. The Antioch First Fire Protection District was the first organized fire protection district in that state.

A volunteer rescue squad provides 911 ambulance service to the community. The Antioch Rescue Squad was the first Advanced Life Support (ALS) licensed rescue squad in the state, with the first licensed paramedics in the State of Illinois. Currently, the Antioch Rescue Squad maintains a fleet of 4 ALS ambulances and 3 Non transport vehicles and is the sole 911 ambulance service provider for the Antioch community. The Antioch Rescue Squad operates out of the north side of Antioch Fire Station 1 which is located in downtown Antioch. Rescue squad paramedics also staff Antioch Fire Station 2 (located on Deep Lake Rd) with an ambulance crew during the day. Visit the Antioch Rescue Squad's Website at for more information.

The police department and the fire department are housed in separate buildings next to each other. The Antioch police department communications division dispatches for the Police Departments of Antioch, Lake Villa, and Lindenhurst - along with fire and rescue departments of Antioch and Lake Villa. The 911 Center serves 65,000 residents in these three communities. In March 1993, the Antioch Police Department became a part of the Lake Country Enhanced 911 system . The Antioch Police Department has a state-of-the-art 911 center -- one of the most sophisticated 911 centers in the State of Illinois.

Arts and recreation

The Chain O Lakes, an Illinois State Park found along the Fox River, serves as an aquatic mecca for boating and summer leisure while skiing and snowmobiling abound during the winter months. Along with neighboring Fox Lake, Antioch has become host to numerous pro and amateur national fishing tournaments. For instance, on Loon Lake every July, fishers from all over the world try to catch the elusive "Batman fish."

The "Batman Fish" has been a legend ever since Forest Lithgard claimed to have discovered a new breed of fish with a brownish pattern resembling the Batman symbol. The Batman fish is believed to have been imported by Lithgard, who claimed to have caught the fish near the Malay Archipelago. Marine biologist Dr. McBunty disputes this, pointing out that the dark brown markings indicate a species native to the Atlantic Ocean.

Kite flying is also a popular sporting event on Loon Lake during Labor Day Weekend. Currently, the Swiss Kiting Federation holds the record for the longest kite flight of 1 hour and 24 minutes.

The village is bordered by four holdings of the Lake County Forest Preserve District, an award winning and nationally recognized land conservation organization (

Along with the neighboring city of Waukegan, Antioch has benefited from the record number of new films being developed in and around Chicagoland. The village has had a cameo in the blockbuster hit The Amityville Horror (2005 film) and in a commercial for Hunts salad dressing spoofing the Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. There is currently a thriving performing arts scene, centered around the PM&L Theatre as well as the civic bandstand behind Main Street.

Antioch is the home of the Antioch Fine Arts Foundation (AFAF) (, serving Antioch, Greater Lake County, IL and Southeast WI Since 2001. AFAF is a not-for-profit organization whose function is to coordinate and promote area arts programs. AFAF offers a gallery, regular special exhibits, an artists' library, classes, workshops, and other special events. Membership is open to artists, patrons of the arts, and anyone interested in art appreciation. The charming AFAF Gallery is a not-for-profit gallery staffed by member volunteers. The gallery displays work by area artists and presents exhibits of unique diversity and excellence. Throughout the year, the gallery hosts special receptions and openings for artists' new works. The AFAF Gallery is conveniently located at 983 Main Street, Antioch, Illinois 60002 (corner of Main (Rt. 83) and Ida). AFAF Gallery also hosts a casual folk music presentation on the second Saturday of every month from 1 to 4 pm. The music is free, and open to the public.

The town is the namesake of Antioch the Spider from the The Rock-afire Explosion.


Antioch is located nearly halfway between Chicago and Milwaukee at coor dms|42|28|45|N|88|5|27|W|city (42.479069, -88.090878).GR|1

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 7.6 square miles (19.8 km²), of which, 7.4 square miles (19.1 km²) of it is land and 0.3 square miles (0.7 km²) of it (3.40%) is water.

Major Streets

* Main Street
* Lake Street
* North Avenue
* Depot Street


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 8,788 people, 3,235 households, and 2,351 families residing in the village. A special census has since been ordered, and it is believed the village's population has risen above 14,000.

The population density was 1,190.4 people per square mile (459.8/km²). There were 3,346 housing units at an average density of 453.2/sq mi (175.1/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 95.19% White, 1.07% African American, 0.35% Native American, 1.16% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.08% from other races, and 1.14% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.42% of the population.

There were 3,235 households out of which 41.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.4% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.3% were non-families. 22.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.20.

In the village the population was spread out with 29.9% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 32.4% from 25 to 44, 21.1% from 45 to 64, and 8.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 95.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.9 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $56,481, and the median income for a family was $66,589. Males had a median income of $51,503 versus $31,389 for females. The per capita income for the village was $25,711. About 2.3% of families and 3.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.9% of those under age 18 and 8.0% of those age 65 or over.

Recent growth

Like most villages in the area, Antioch has had a lot of commercial development. For instance, a Wal-Mart, Menards, restaurants such as Culvers, Popeyes, and Arbys. There will be a new Kohls, Lowe's, Best Buy, PetSmart, and more coming soon, though some companies have pulled out recently.


Like most villages in the area, Antioch has had a lot of commercial development. For instance, a Wal-Mart, Menards, restaurants such as Culvers, Popeyes, and Arbys. There will be a new Target, Lowe's, Best Buy, PetSmart, and more coming soon, though some companies have pulled out recently. In addition to all the new retail development there has been a boom in the automotive service area with companies such as fast tire and the even larger company of National Tire and Battery, both of which are located near the Wal-Mart on Rt. 173.

External links

* [ Village of Antioch Website]
* [ Antioch Chamber of Commerce and Industry]
* [ Antioch Rescue Squad]

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