JANESVILLE, a city and the county-seat of Rock County, Wisconsin, U.S.A., situated on both sides of the Rock river, 70 m. S.W. of Milwaukee and 90 m. N.W. of Chicago. Pop. (1900), 13,185, of whom 2409 were foreign-born; (estimated, 1906), 13,887. It is served by the Chicago & North-Western and the Chicago, Milwaukee & St Paul railways, and by electric lines connecting with Madison and Beloit, Wis., and Rockford, Illinois. The Rock river is not commercially navigable at this point, but furnishes valuable water-power for manufacturing purposes. The city is picturesquely situated on bluffs above the river. Janesville is the centre of the tobacco trade of the state, and has various manufactures. The total value of the city's factory product in 1905 was $3,846,038, an increase of 20.8% since 1900. Its public buildings include a city hall, court house, post office, city hospital and a public library. It is the seat of a school for the blind, opened as a private institution in 1849 and taken over by the state in 1850, the first charitable institution controlled by the state, ranking as one of the most successful of its kind in the United States. The first settlement was made here about 1834. Janesville was named in honour of Henry F. Janes, an early settler, and was chartered as a city in 1853.
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