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Overview

Introduction to Ottawa, Illinois

Ottawa, Illinois, in La Salle county, is 40 miles SW of Aurora, Illinois (center to center) and 71 miles SW of Chicago, Illinois.

Ottawa History

Ottawa was incorporated in 1853. The first Lincoln-Douglas debate was held in historic Washington Square in Ottawa on August 21, 1858. The city actively participated in the abolitionist movement, and the house of John Hossack served as the Underground Railroad station. Ottawa is also the site of the famous abduction of 1859 where prominent civic leaders, such as John Hossack, James Stou, and Dr. Joseph Stout, abducted a runaway slave named Jim Gray from the courthouse.

Ottawa and nearby Attractions

  • Buffalo Rock State Park
  • Starved Rock State Park
  • Ottawa Scouting Museum
  • Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail
  • LaSalle Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area

Things To Do In Ottawa

In Ottawa, you can visit the Lincoln-Douglas Park, Peck Park, Walsh Park, Allen Park, Varland Park, Kiwanis Park, and Rigden Park. The city is the scenic gateway to the Starved Rock State Park. You can also spend your leisure at Skydive Chicago, one of the largest skydiving operations in the United States. Shopping can be enjoyed at the South Towne Mall Shopping Center. You can also visit the Ottawa Scouting Museum and Reddick Mansion.

Ottawa Transportation

The nearest airport is Greater Rockford Airport.

Ottawa Higher Education

Opportunities for higher education are provided by Illinois Valley Community College, University of St Francis, Waubonsee Community College, and Joliet Junior College.

People

Total Population 18,565
Male Share of the Population 48.7%
Female Share of the Population 51.3%
Senior Citizens 16.9%
Employed Population 16+ 8,267
Age of the Population 41

Families

% of people married 46.8%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 18.3%
Median Earnings25+ $30,873
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $14,167
Median Earnings With High School Degree $26,957

Wealth

Median Family Income $59,658
% Above Poverty Level 84.6%
% Below Poverty Level 15.4%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 20 minutes
% Working from Home 3.7%
% Walking and Biking to Work 3.6%
% Using Public Transportation 0.6%

Housing

People Living Alone 30.2%
Median Gross Rent $721
Median House Value $134,900

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 19.7%
US/American 0%
English 9.1%
Irish 22.9%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Ottawa Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 40 miles SW of Aurora, Illinois (center to center)
Nearest Large City 71 miles SW of Chicago, Illinois
County La Salle
Standard Zip Codes 61350
Phone Area Codes 815
Time Zone Central (-6 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 41.345
Longitude -88.842

Ottawa Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

Notes:

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Station OTTAWA 5 SW
Distance 3.9 miles
Jan Temp 12 to 31 F
Apr Temp 39 to 62 F
Jul Temp 63 to 85 F
Oct Temp 41 to 65 F
Annual Precip 35.6 inches
Station PERU
Distance 13.4 miles
Jan Temp 12 to 29 F
Apr Temp 38 to 61 F
Jul Temp 63 to 85 F
Oct Temp 41 to 65 F
Annual Precip 37.7 inches
Station GEBHARD WOODS STATE PARK
Distance 21.2 miles
Jan Temp 13 to 30 F
Apr Temp 39 to 61 F
Jul Temp 63 to 85 F
Oct Temp 41 to 64 F
Annual Precip 35.7 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Ottawa, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Brickton (61350)

Dayton (61350)

North Ottawa (61350)

Prairie Center (61350)

Stoneyville (61350)

Woodland Addition (61350)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Grand Ridge 538 $73,750

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Ottawa Public Libraries

Library
Reddick Library
1010 CANAL STREET
Ottawa, Illinois
(815) 434-0509
Library Web Site

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Ottawa Hospitals

COMMUNITY HOSPITAL OF OTTAWA
(Voluntary non-profit - Private)
1100 EAST NORRIS DRIVE
(815) 433-3100
Emergency Service: Yes

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Ottawa High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

OTTAWA TOWNSHIP HIGH SCHOOL
211 E MAIN ST
815-433-1323
Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 1,576 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16.2

REGIONAL SAFE SCHOOL
119 W MADISON RM 102
815-434-0780
A Non-traditional School
Serves 53 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 12

Study Online in Ottawa
Additional Resources
Info for Ottawa Government Officials


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