Vandalia, Illinois
Overview
Vandalia is a city in Fayette County
Fayette County, Illinois
Fayette County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 22,140, which is an increase of 1.6% from 21,802 in 2000. Its county seat is Vandalia...

, Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, 69 miles (111 km) northeast of St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

, on the Kaskaskia River
Kaskaskia River
The Kaskaskia River is a tributary of the Mississippi River, approximately long, in central and southern Illinois in the United States. The second largest river system within Illinois, it drains a rural area of farms, as well as rolling hills along river bottoms of hardwood forests in its lower...

. From 1819 to 1839 it served as the state capital of Illinois. Vandalia was the western terminus of the National Road
National Road
The National Road or Cumberland Road was the first major improved highway in the United States to be built by the federal government. Construction began heading west in 1811 at Cumberland, Maryland, on the Potomac River. It crossed the Allegheny Mountains and southwestern Pennsylvania, reaching...

. Today it is the county seat
County seat
A county seat is an administrative center, or seat of government, for a county or civil parish. The term is primarily used in the United States....

 of Fayette County
Fayette County, Illinois
Fayette County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 22,140, which is an increase of 1.6% from 21,802 in 2000. Its county seat is Vandalia...

and the home of the Vandalia State House State Historic Site
Vandalia State House State Historic Site
The Vandalia State House, built in 1836, is the fourth capitol building of the U.S. state of Illinois. It is also the oldest capitol building in Illinois to survive, as the first, second, and third capitol buildings have all disappeared. The brick Federal style state house has been operated by...

 (1836). The population was 6,975 at the 2000 census
United States Census, 2000
The Twenty-second United States Census, known as Census 2000 and conducted by the Census Bureau, determined the resident population of the United States on April 1, 2000, to be 281,421,906, an increase of 13.2% over the 248,709,873 persons enumerated during the 1990 Census...

.
The history of the name Vandalia is uncertain.
Encyclopedia
Vandalia is a city in Fayette County
Fayette County, Illinois
Fayette County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 22,140, which is an increase of 1.6% from 21,802 in 2000. Its county seat is Vandalia...

, Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, 69 miles (111 km) northeast of St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

, on the Kaskaskia River
Kaskaskia River
The Kaskaskia River is a tributary of the Mississippi River, approximately long, in central and southern Illinois in the United States. The second largest river system within Illinois, it drains a rural area of farms, as well as rolling hills along river bottoms of hardwood forests in its lower...

. From 1819 to 1839 it served as the state capital of Illinois. Vandalia was the western terminus of the National Road
National Road
The National Road or Cumberland Road was the first major improved highway in the United States to be built by the federal government. Construction began heading west in 1811 at Cumberland, Maryland, on the Potomac River. It crossed the Allegheny Mountains and southwestern Pennsylvania, reaching...

. Today it is the county seat
County seat
A county seat is an administrative center, or seat of government, for a county or civil parish. The term is primarily used in the United States....

 of Fayette County
Fayette County, Illinois
Fayette County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 22,140, which is an increase of 1.6% from 21,802 in 2000. Its county seat is Vandalia...

and the home of the Vandalia State House State Historic Site
Vandalia State House State Historic Site
The Vandalia State House, built in 1836, is the fourth capitol building of the U.S. state of Illinois. It is also the oldest capitol building in Illinois to survive, as the first, second, and third capitol buildings have all disappeared. The brick Federal style state house has been operated by...

 (1836). The population was 6,975 at the 2000 census
United States Census, 2000
The Twenty-second United States Census, known as Census 2000 and conducted by the Census Bureau, determined the resident population of the United States on April 1, 2000, to be 281,421,906, an increase of 13.2% over the 248,709,873 persons enumerated during the 1990 Census...

.

History

The history of the name Vandalia is uncertain. Different theories can be found in almost all of the books written about Vandalia over the years.

In her book Vandalia: Wilderness Capital of Lincoln's Land, Mary Burtschi tells of a conversation between one of the original surveyors of the town and a Vandalia resident. The surveyor, Colonel Greenup, explained that Van was suggested by one of the men. He recommended this as an abbreviation to the word vanguard meaning the forefront of an advancing movement. Another suggestion was made for the term dalia, derived from the Anglo-Saxon word dale which means a valley between hills. Greenup takes credit in the conversation for connecting the two terms to form the name Vandalia. This theory does hold water since Greenup was one of the surveyors and the terms describe the capital city.

Another possible source of the name is the Vandalia colony, a failed attempt to establish a colony in part of what is now West Virginia
West Virginia
West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian and Southeastern regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the northeast and Maryland to the east...

 and Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

. The Vandalia colony was named in honor of Queen Charlotte, who claimed descent from the Wendish
Wendish
Wendish may refer to:* the Sorbian languages used by the Slavs* the Wends, a Slav people of Northern Europe...

 tribe of Obodrites, also called the Vandals
Vandals
The Vandals were an East Germanic tribe that entered the late Roman Empire during the 5th century. The Vandals under king Genseric entered Africa in 429 and by 439 established a kingdom which included the Roman Africa province, besides the islands of Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia and the Balearics....

.

Another theory put forth is that Vandalia was named by those who located the state capitol in the town; according to the story, they mistakenly thought the Vandals
Vandals
The Vandals were an East Germanic tribe that entered the late Roman Empire during the 5th century. The Vandals under king Genseric entered Africa in 429 and by 439 established a kingdom which included the Roman Africa province, besides the islands of Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia and the Balearics....

 were a brave Native American
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

 tribe, rather than of Germanic origins.

On November 21, 1915, the Liberty Bell
Liberty Bell
The Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol of American Independence, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Formerly placed in the steeple of the Pennsylvania State House , the bell was commissioned from the London firm of Lester and Pack in 1752, and was cast with the lettering "Proclaim LIBERTY...

 passed through Vandalia on its nationwide tour, returning to Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

 from the Panama-Pacific International Exposition
Panama-Pacific International Exposition (1915)
The Panama-Pacific International Exposition was a world's fair held in San Francisco, California between February 20 and December 4 in 1915. Its ostensible purpose was to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal, but it was widely seen in the city as an opportunity to showcase its recovery...

 in San Francisco. The Liberty Bell has not been moved since that trip.

Education

In addition to its public schools, Vandalia has a private Christian school, Vandalia Christian Academy.

Vandalia is home to the Okaw Valley Area Vocational Center, which trains high school students in vocational trades and also attracts vocational students from nearby high schools such as those in Greenville
Greenville High School (Greenville, Illinois)
Greenville High School, official name Bond County Community Unit #2 High School, is a high school for grades 9-12 students located in Greenville, Illinois...

 and Mulberry Grove
Mulberry Grove, Illinois
Mulberry Grove is a village in Bond County, Illinois, United States. The population was 671 at the 2000 census.-History:Mulberry Grove has existed under the names Bucktown, Houston and Shakerag...

. The building trades class at the center each year purchases property in Vandalia, builds a house, and re-sells it, and they have sold 33 homes this way.

Geography

Vandalia is located at 39°58′5"N 89°6′7"W (39.568077, -89.101995).

According to the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, the city has a total area of 5.7 square miles (14.8 km²), of which 5.7 square miles (14.8 km²) is land and 0.04 square mile (0.1035995244 km²) (0.35%) is water.

Vandalia is situated on Interstate 70
Interstate 70
Interstate 70 is an Interstate Highway in the United States that runs from Interstate 15 near Cove Fort, Utah, to a Park and Ride near Baltimore, Maryland. It was the first Interstate Highway project in the United States. I-70 approximately traces the path of U.S. Route 40 east of the Rocky...

, U.S. Route 40
U.S. Route 40
U.S. Route 40 is an east–west United States highway. As with most routes whose numbers end in a zero, U.S. 40 once traversed the entire United States. It is one of the original 1920s U.S. Highways, and its first termini were San Francisco, California, and Atlantic City, New Jersey...

 (the National Road) and U.S. Route 51
U.S. Route 51
U.S. Route 51 is a north–south United States highway that runs for 1,286 miles from the western suburbs of New Orleans, Louisiana to within of the Wisconsin-Michigan border. Much of the highway in Illinois and southern Wisconsin runs parallel to or overlaps Interstate 39...

.

Demographics

As of the census
Census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

of 2000, there were 6,975 people, 2,344 households, and 1,425 families residing in the city. The population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 was 1,231.3 people per square mile (475.8/km²). There were 2,543 housing units at an average density of 448.9 per square mile (173.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 83.57% White, 15.01% African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 0.50% from other races
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, and 0.49% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.71% of the population.

There were 2,344 households out of which 28.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.3% were married couples
Marriage
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

 living together, 11.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.2% were non-families. 35.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the city the population was spread out with 18.3% under the age of 18, 12.4% from 18 to 24, 34.3% from 25 to 44, 17.9% from 45 to 64, and 17.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 134.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 144.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,857, and the median income for a family was $39,762. Males had a median income of $27,342 versus $19,109 for females. The per capita income
Per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...

 for the city was $14,918. About 8.9% of families and 15.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.4% of those under age 18 and 13.8% of those age 65 or over.

Government

Vandalia is governed using the mayor council system. The council consists of eight members elected from one of four ward with each ward electing two members. The mayor along with the city clerk and treasurer are elected in a citywide vote.

In fiction and popular culture

Vandalia is the town where Dirk Peters, AKA Hunt, lived for many years before resuming his quest for his companion Arthur Gordon Pym, in the novel An Antarctic Mystery
An Antarctic Mystery
An Antarctic Mystery , is an 1897, two-volume novel by Jules Verne and is a response to Edgar Allan Poe's 1838 novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket...

by Jules Verne
Jules Verne
Jules Gabriel Verne was a French author who pioneered the science fiction genre. He is best known for his novels Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea , A Journey to the Center of the Earth , and Around the World in Eighty Days...

, published in 1897. This novel is a sequel to the only novel written by Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe was an American author, poet, editor and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is considered the inventor of the detective...

, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket
The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket
The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket is the only complete novel written by American writer Edgar Allan Poe. The work relates the tale of the young Arthur Gordon Pym, who stows away aboard a whaling ship called the Grampus...

.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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