Introduction to Watseka, Illinois

Watseka, Illinois is 51 miles NWLafayette, Indiana and 75 miles S of Chicago, Illinois. It is in Iroquois county.

Watseka History

Watseka is the county seat of the Iroquois County. Established in March 4, 1867, the city was named Watseka after the wife of an early settler in the region, Gurdon Saltonstall Hubbard. The city was incorporated in 1865. In 1963, a resident of Iroquois County, Katherine Clifton, donated a large sum of money to the county along with land on which to build a new courthouse, which is located in the east side of Watseka. It is the only county courthouse in the US to be constructed without spending any tax dollars.

Watseka and nearby Attractions

  • Willow Slough State Game Preserve
  • Tippecanoe Battlefield
  • Exploration Station
  • Balmoral Race Track
  • Staerkel Planetarium

Things To Do In Watseka

Local museums include the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette, the Brauer Museum of Art, the Early American Museum and the Exploration Station. Other nearby historical sites include the Bryant Cottage State Historic Site, Farnsworth House and the Lockport Pioneer Settlement. The Buckley Homestead County Park, the Kankakee River State Park and the Mazonia Braidwood State Fish & Wildlife Area are some of the popular nearby parks and recreational destinations. The Balmoral Race Track, the Deep River Waterpark and the Staerkel Planetarium are all accessible from Watseka as well.

Watseka Transportation

Indianapolis International is the nearest major airport.

Watseka Higher Education

Nearby colleges include Kankakee Community College, Olivet Nazarene University and Saint Joseph's College.


Total Population 5,426
Male Share of the Population 43.5%
Female Share of the Population 56.5%
Senior Citizens 22.7%
Employed Population 16+ 2,350
Age of the Population 46


% of people married 49.6%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 14.8%
Median Earnings25+ $0
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $0
Median Earnings With High School Degree $0


Median Family Income $48,527
% Above Poverty Level 75.3%
% Below Poverty Level 24.7%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 21 minutes
% Working from Home 3.9%
% Walking and Biking to Work 5%
% Using Public Transportation %


People Living Alone 35.1%
Median Gross Rent $530
Median House Value $79,800


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 17.5%
US/American 0%
English 10.4%
Irish 9.3%

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

Watseka Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 51 miles NW of Lafayette, Indiana (center to center)
Nearest Large City 75 miles S of Chicago, Illinois
County Iroquois
Standard Zip Codes 60970
Phone Area Codes 815
Time Zone Central (-6 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 40.776
Longitude -87.736

Watseka Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


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

Station WATSEKA 2 NW
Distance 1.8 miles
Jan Temp 14 to 30 F
Apr Temp 39 to 60 F
Jul Temp 63 to 84 F
Oct Temp 41 to 64 F
Annual Precip 39.2 inches
Distance 24.3 miles
Jan Temp 13 to 31 F
Apr Temp 38 to 62 F
Jul Temp 62 to 86 F
Oct Temp 41 to 66 F
Annual Precip 36.8 inches
Distance 25.9 miles
Jan Temp 12 to 31 F
Apr Temp 38 to 61 F
Jul Temp 63 to 86 F
Oct Temp 40 to 65 F
Annual Precip 38.5 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Donovan 281 $43,125

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

Watseka Public Libraries

Watseka P.l.
Watseka, Illinois
(815) 432-4544
Library Web Site

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More Information for Librarians

Watseka Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Private)
(815) 432-5201
Emergency Service: Yes

These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
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Watseka High Schools

Serves 366 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16.6

Study Online in Watseka

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