Joliet - Encyclopedia




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JOLIET, a city and the county-seat of Will county, Illinois, U.S.A., in the township of Joliet, in the N.E. part of the state, on the Des Plaines river, 40 m. S.W. of Chicago. Pop. (1890), 23,264; (1900), 29,353, of whom 8536 were foreign-born, 1889 being German, 1579 Austrian, 1206 Irish and 951 Swedish; (1 9 10 census) 34,070. In addition there is a large population in the immediate suburbs: that of the township including the city was 27,438 in 1890, and 40,537 in 1900. Joliet is served by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, the Chicago & Alton, the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific, the Michigan Central, the Illinois, Iowa & Minnesota, and the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern railways, by interurban electric lines, and is on the Illinois & Michigan canal and the Chicago Sanitary (ship) canal. The city is situated in a narrow valley, on both sides of the river. It is the seat of the northern Illinois penitentiary, and has a public library (in front of which is a statue, by S. Asbjornsen, of Louis Joliet), the township high school, two hospitals, two Catholic academies and a club-house, erected by the Illinois Steel Company for the use of its employees. There are two municipal parks, West Park and Highland Park; Dellwood Park is an amusement resort, owned by the Chicago & Joliet Electric Railway Company. In the vicinity are large deposits of calcareous building stone, cement and fireclay, and there are coal mines 20 m. distant. Mineral resources and water-power have facilitated the development of manufactures. The factory product in 1905 was valued at $33,788,700 (29.3% more than in 1900), a large part of which was represented by iron and steel goods. There are large industrial establishments just outside the city limits. The first settlement on the site of Joliet (1833) was called Juliet, in honour of the daughter of James B. Campbell, one of the settlers. The present name was adopted in 1845, in memory of Louis Joliet (1645-1700), the French Canadian explorer of the Mississippi, and in 1852 a city charter was secured.

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