Decatur (Illinois)

Decatur is a city in Illinois.

Decatur is home to approximately 75,000 people and covers over 42 square miles. Residents enjoy an average temperature of 31 degrees in the winter and 75 degrees in the summer, with enough rainfall, snowfall and sunshine to make everyone happy. The central location of Decatur is one of the main reasons so many people choose to live and open businesses here.

Surrounding communities, such as Forsyth, located to the north, and Mt. Zion, located to the southeast, are located within minutes for Decatur. Both communities provide the feel of small town living; yet offer shopping malls, movie theatres and many dining and recreation opportunities.

Founded in the early 1800s, Decatur is rich in history. President Abraham Lincoln spent 30 years in and out of Decatur, allowing the city to play a pivotal role in Lincoln’s political career. Three-time Illinois Governor and close friend Richard Oglesby nominated Lincoln for Presidency during the 1860 Illinois Republican Convention where the Main Street Bank and Trust’s parking lot stands today. Several of Lincoln’s “paths” through Decatur are marked with plaques and statues throughout the city.

The Chicago Bears started in Decatur. Originally named the “Decatur Staley’s”, the Bears were born here in 1920 as a company team for Staley Starch Works. “Black Bart”, the West’s most infamous stagecoach robber, and civil war hero, once lived in Decatur.

Get in

U.S. Route 51 from Bloomington. I-72E from Springfield. I-72W from Champaign Urbana.

By plane

By car

Interstate 72, U.S. 51 and 36 and Illinois Routes 48, 121 and 105, all connect Decatur. Cities such as Springfield, Bloomington and Champaign are all a quick 45 minutes drive away, while larger cities, such as St. Louis, Chicago and Indianapolis are only a short 2.5 hours away.



There are plenty of local attractions to keep everyone busy. For art lovers Decatur is the home to over seven art galleries, highlighting both local and national artists. For those who are history buffs, museums such as Governor Oglesby’s Mansion, Mueller Museum, Macon County Museum and the Millikin Homestead will keep one busy for hours. The Scovill Children’s Zoo, home to the only pack of socialized wolves in Illinois, and the Children’s Museum of Illinois, offers fun for all ages. The Kirkland Fine Arts Center at Millikin University hosts nationally known musicians and entertainers, as well as university productions.



Go next

Routes through Decatur

Hannibal Springfield  W  E  Monticello Champaign
Hannibal Springfield  W  E  Tuscola Indianapolis
RockfordBloomington Jct W E  N  S  Vandalia Carbondale

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