Welcome to our community. I hope you will enjoy your new information about Clinton, IL. We are a friendly community conveniently located near the center of Illinois. Clinton has many things to offer its visitors and residents.
Recreation: Clinton Lake and Weldon Springs State Park offer many hours of relaxing fishing, boating and a chance to enjoy the great outdoors.
Industry: Action Technology, Miller Container, Thrall Car, Revere - Corning, and Wallace - Colorforms are but a few of the industries which have chosen to locate manufacturing plants here.
Location: Located at the crossroads of State routes 54 and 10. 54 gives easy access to a population of 400,000 within 50 miles, all with the small town charm out your front door.
Education: A fine school system, and many community colleges and State Universities are a close commute.
Healthcare: A full service hospital and ample medical doctors are always available. Add a healthy economy and low cost of living and you have a great place to relocate, either personally or your business.
Clinton: A great place to call home, raise your children or retire-we have a lot to offer- Come see and visit us soon, you will want to stay.
From its unique Apple 'N Pork Festival to the life-size statue of Abraham Lincoln standing in the town square, Clinton is a classic Midwestern small town. Its small town friendliness stands out in the warm way visitors are greeted - and more than a million visitors come to town annually, drawn to the community by Clinton Lake State Recreation Area and Weldon Springs State Recreation Area, both within a few miles of the city.
Clinton is a great place to live and raise a family. Homes range through every style and price, from grand old mansions to mobile homes, from splendid executive and mid-size single family homes to cozy apartments. There's even a midrise retirement center for seniors.
A variety of retail and service shops rim the town square and many more stores and restaurants line Van Buren Street, a few blocks south of the square. They include a major discount department store and several national fast food chains. Within 30 minutes of Clinton are the enclosed malls and stores of the Decatur area and Bloomington/Normal.
An excellent public school system serves the community, with neighborhood school buildings often within easy walking distance of home. An impressive high school facility and sports complex is located near Van Buren Street shopping. A community college, with its campus in nearby Decatur, has an extension in Clinton. Several exceptional colleges and universities are as near Decatur, Bloomington/Normal, and Champaign/Urbana.
A high quality in town hospital assures residents of quick, professional medical care when required. Eleven churches representing most major denominations dot Clinton's neighborhoods.
A mayor/council form of government, with a professional city administrator, effectively serves the community and encourages economic development and new home construction.
Come see Clinton and its recreational wonders and you may want to stay.
The year was 1828 when Benjamin and Landers Slatten, a pair of Kentucky brothers, arrived at what is now Clinton and built a small cabin. They cultivated enough land to meet their needs and stayed until 1830 when they sold their improvement right to Josiah Clifton, who arrived in the area in September of 1830. By 1836, 20 families had recorded deeds to land in the Clinton area. In 1831, Thomas Davenport started a subscription school in the fledgling settlement, accepting as tuition whatever his patrons could offer, including food and clothing.
Two Bloomington land speculators, Jess Fell and James Allen, are
credited with founding Clinton in 1835 when they made an initial
survey. However, they did not file the 10-acre plat until 1836. Allen
was an admirer of DeWitt Clinton, governor of New York, who had run
unsuccessfully for president against James Madison in 1812. To honor
DeWitt Clinton, Allen named the town for him and was instrumental in
having the county's name changed from Marion to DeWitt.
At the center of the platted community was a public square that was to play an important role. The square became the site of a new courthouse in 1839, when Clinton won the competition to become DeWitt County's seat of government.
During the 1840s, Abraham Lincoln had a law office in Clinton. At that time, the blocks around the square were nearly filled and a new hotel featured not only sleeping rooms, but a dining room, a drugstore, and a dry goods sales room. The hotel complex was owned by Dr. John Warner and Harry Merriman. Lincoln is said to have dined often in the hotel's dining room.
In 1846, citizens of Clinton pledged $1,000 toward the construction of a new courthouse, this one a red brick, two-story structure. The building was dedicated in 1850. Lincoln and Stephen Douglas debated at the northwest corner of the square in 1848. It was here that Lincoln said: "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all the people all of the time"
The railroad came to the community in the early 1850s, enhancing its economic standing and making it a significant agricultural shipping center. However, growth continued slow into the 20th century. Stimulated by the presence of the railroad, industry also came to Clinton. Revere Copper and Brass is the best known, oldest, and largest of the city's industrial employers.
In 1901, Judge Lawrence Weldon leased his 40-acre estate to a group of
Clinton entrepreneurs who established the Chautauqua programs, a
popular phenomenon of the period. The group changed the entire
character of the site. They built Weldon Springs Lake, created boat
houses, dock facilities, a pavilion, roads, and numerous concession and
service facilities. They also built a 5,000-seat amphitheater for the
Chautauqua programs which features well-known speakers. Among those who
appeared at the Chautauqua were Carrie Nation, William Howard Taft,
Helen Keller, Billy Sunday, and William Jennings Bryant.
Since then Clinton has survived wars, the Great Depression, and a sometimes up and sometimes down economy. Through it all, it developed a strong industrial base and a prosperous retail focus. And yes, it has retained many of its historic treasures, such as the C.H. Moore Homestead, an 1860s Victorian mansion that serves as a county historical museum. Today, the city is appealing to increasing numbers of families who work in the nearby metropolitan centers but wish to live in the safe, secure, and friendly environment a small community like Clinton offers.
Clinton's proximity to the exact geographic center of Illinois is so near the city can readily claim the spotlight. Moreover, it is almost equidistant from the metropolitan centers of Bloomington and Decatur, and Springfield and Champaign/Urbana.
The city is 21 miles north of Decatur and 25 miles south of
Bloomington. Both are reached via U.S. Highway 51, a four-lane divided
highway that joins Interstates 55, 74, and 39 at Bloomington and I-72
at Decatur. Route 51 is eventually to become Interstate 39, which now
extends from Bloomington to Rockford. Illinois Highway 10 courses
through the community between Champaign on the east and Lincoln on the
west. At Champaign, 45 miles away, Route 10 gives access to I-57. At
Lincoln, the highway links with I-55 to Peoria and I-55 to Springfield.
Clinton is linked more directly with Springfield (45 miles to the
southwest) by State Route 54, which intersects with Routes 10 and 51 in
Illinois Central Railroad serves the city's business and industry. About 10 motor freight carriers also serve the community, one with a Clinton terminal.
Business travelers and vacationers can choose between airports at Bloomington, Decatur, Springfield, Champaign, and Peoria for passenger service to anywhere in the U.S. and the world, all less than an hour's drive from Clinton. Private aircraft are based at Hooterville Airport at nearby Kenney
The homes of Clinton and its area reflect the gamut of styles, sizes, and prices. Truly, there is a home in Clinton to match every budget and every lifestyle. This is one of the reasons that people who work in surrounding metropolitan centers are choosing the Clinton area as the place to live and raise their families.
The area around Mr. Lincoln Square, in the center of the city, is filled with elegant homes built both before and after 1900. Spectacularly maintained Victorian-era mansions, frame bungalows, handsome Tudor styles, solid brick Cape Cods, and big and boxy American Foursquares line the streets that extend in all directions from the square. Here and there among them are equally well kept smaller homes from more recent decades. Beyond these center-of-town neighborhoods are the ranch, raised ranch, and split-level styles from mid-century and later.
Clinton is growing. The evidence is seen at the perimeter of the community. At the southwest corner, east of U.S. 51, are handsome, contemporary, single family subdivisions like Hillcrest West and Flair IV. To the west of Route 51 are impressive subdivisions of executive style homes, looming large and beautiful on acre-plus and often wooded lots. They bear such appealing names as Heather Meadows, Hickory Manor, Violet Valley, and Woodhaven Estates. White Oak, to the east of the community, is another impressive subdivision of large and relatively new homes. One of the area's newest housing developments is Lakeview Estates, set on a hilltop overlooking Clinton Lake.
Sheldon Manor and DeWitt Manor are two similar five-story buildings designed for senior retirement living. They stand near each other on spacious grounds.
In a limited way, rental apartments and duplexes are components of Clinton housing, as are mobile homes. However, more apartment complexes are anticipated as the city grows.
As in many small Midwestern towns, Clinton's residential areas frequently end abruptly at the edge of working farmland. But, follow the roadways and narrow lanes that extend outward from Clinton and here and there are found large, executive style homes set well back from the road and surrounded by mature trees.
Clinton, indeed, is a fine place to live and raise a family.
Vacationland USA! That's what the Clinton area ought to be called. Well over a million people already think of the area as just that, for they return again and again to enjoy such recreational wonders as the Clinton Lake State Recreation Area and the nearby natural splendors of Weldon Springs State Recreation Area. They come, as well, to browse the numerous antique and craft stores found in Clinton and the smaller towns of DeWitt County and to examine first hand the special history of the area.
Six miles east of Clinton, Clinton Lake, created by Illinois Power Company as a cooling lake for its nuclear plant, is a vast, 10,000-acre area operated by the State of Illinois. The 4,900-acre lake has 130 miles of shoreline, a beautiful 1,000-foot swimming beach, more than 300 camp sites, boat and canoe launch points, a marina, and numerous hiking trails and picnic sites. Anglers love the lake for its hybrid striped bass that frequently exceed 10 pounds in weight and put up a noble fight when hooked. Hikers can follow one or more of three trails, one 3.5 miles in length, another 12 miles, and a horse/hiking/cross country ski trail that's 10 miles long. Because of the length of the lake, water skiing is also a popular summertime sport. In winter, Clinton Lake remains open for ice skating, ice fishing, snowmobiling, and cross country skiing.
About two miles southeast of Clinton is Weldon Spring State Recreation Area. Early in Clinton history, the site was the 40-acre estate of Judge Lawrence Weldon who opened it to friends, associates, relatives, and residents of Clinton for picnics, outings, and other recreational activities. In succession, it has been the site of the "Chautauqua," a popular educational and entertainment program; an open recreation space that the public used, thanks to the benevolence of a private landlord; a city park; and finally a state-owned 442-acre park for all seasons.
Today, Weldon Springs State Recreation Area is a popular summertime camping, fishing, boating, picnicking, and hiking spot. The park has 78 camp sites and rentable tent camp sites. The latter offers a roomy tent with a wood floor that's equipped with cots and everything else needed for an enjoyable camping experience. There's also a group camp site that will accommodate from 200 to 300 campers. The 29-acre lake is stocked with bass, bluegill, crappie, channel catfish, flathead catfish, redear, sunfish, and bullhead. The two-mile-long shoreline is dotted with bank fishing platforms and there's also a boat ramp. Two amphitheaters in the park are used for plays, weddings, movies, church services, and other programs.
History buffs will be impressed by the C.H. Moore Homestead, an impressive Victorian mansion that is fully furnished and open to the public. The basement of the home contains a variety of artifacts of bygone years. Several outbuildings house an extensive collection of farm tractors and equipment for farm and home. There's even a tiny 1903 Oldsmobile and an ancient Model T Ford. And, a visit to Mr. Lincoln Square, in downtown Clinton, ought never be missed. On the northwest corner of the square is a statue of Abraham Lincoln that stands on the exact spot where Lincoln stood for the Lincoln-Douglas debate in which he spoke the famous words: "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all the people all of the time."
The Clinton area offers a wide range of restaurants from fine dining to fast food. The Three Stars Restaurant and Lounge offers an extensive menu of delightful meals. Other unique dining experiences in the community include Grecian Gardens, the Farm Cafe, The Shack, and Soto's Mexican Food. They feature home style cooking at economical prices. The city also has three motels with a combined total of 100 rooms. One is part of a national chain.
Clinton is a land of plenty when it comes to shopping opportunities. The atmosphere of downtown is warm and friendly. Shops and services rim the four sides of Mr. Lincoln Square and occupy quarters on the streets leading away from the square. A family steakhouse is at one corner of the square's ring of businesses and other family dining places are nearby.
A few blocks south of the square is the commercial artery of State Route 54. To the west, near the intersection with Route 51, is a major national discount department store and a row of antique and craft stores. All along Route 54 from west to east are auto dealers, fast food and family eateries, craft and antique stores, food stores, service stations, and other commercial services. The auto dealerships are family owned and draw buyers from a wide area surrounding the community.
Antique and craft devotees love to browse in the Clinton area's 16 or more shops that feature handmade craft products and fascinating collections of authentic antiques. A craft mall in Clinton has more than 100 crafters represented. But for a day of shopping, it's only about 15 minutes south on Route 51 to Hickory Point Mall, in Forsyth. The mall has five major department store anchors and some 70 other stores, shops, boutiques, and services. There's also a 12-screen cinema on the mall property.
For the shop-till-you-drop crowd, more malls and large shopping centers are located on Veteran Parkway on the east side of Bloomington, about a half-hour north of Clinton.
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