Better Know A Midwest League West Division City: Geneva, Illinois

Tip of the cap to Stephen Colbert, who during the week was named the next host of The Late Show on CBS after Indianapolis native and Ball State alum David Letterman retires next year.

I still remember the first time I ever saw Mr. Colbert’s show in 2006. It had been on for a few months at that point but I had never heard of it before. Then one night while on vacation in Rhode Island I was flipping through channels and came across The Report. Watching alone, I found myself laughing out loud. And ever since, every time I watch, the show makes me literally “lol.” I can’t think of many other forms of entertainment that deliver with such consistency.

Anyway, I recall in the first episode of The Colbert Report that I ever saw, Stephen did one of his “Better Know A District” interviews with Congressman Robert Wexler from Florida’s “Fightin’ 19th.” That had me in stitches.

As much fun as it could be to do satirical interviews with representatives from Midwest League West Division clubs, we won’t try for that here. However, we will use the powers of the Internet to get to “better know” the teams the TinCaps only see once a year, and only visit every other year. First up…

GENEVA, ILLINOIS (KANE COUNTY COUGARS)

GENEVAPopulation as of ’11: 21,707 (Kane County’s population is 515,000+)

Proximity To Larger City: About 40 miles west of Downtown Chicago

Person You’ve Heard Of From Here: Bob Woodward, of Watergate reporting fame

Demographics: 96% White, 2% Hispanic or Latino, 1% African American, 1% Asian

Median Household Income as of ’11: $95,467

History: According to the town’s official website, “Two Indian trails passed through Geneva, long before the first white settlers entered the area. The first was the Waubonsee trail, which roughly ran along the lines of modern day Route 31, following the springs between Aurora and Geneva. The second roughly followed the route of State Street. The Pottawatomi called the Geneva area home for many years. Their primary chief in the area was Waubonsee, whose people congregated just north of Aurora. Christian Bowman Dodson and Archibald Clybourn were also among the early settlers in the area, opening a trading post at the mouth of Mill Creek in 1834 to trade with the Pottowatomi and settlers. Their establishment included a saw mill and general store and they traded goods for furs.” More here.

Top Employers: Kane County Government (1,260), Cadence Health/Delnor Hospital (869), Geneva School District (654), the Cougars (370) — per Geneva, IL Official Website

Point of Pride: In addition to boasting the Fox River Bike Trail and operating more than 50 public parks, Geneva seems to take pride in its history. The Fabyan Windmill is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The City’s Pitch: “Geneva’s population is rapidly approaching 25,000. The city has grown from a quaint river town to a flourishing community. Household incomes in Geneva are nearly double those found nationwide and the community boasts one of Illinois’ strongest school systems. Unlike most Illinois’ communities, Geneva still has a vibrant downtown and well-maintained historic homes and businesses, which charm residents and visitors alike. It is little wonder that so many individuals consider Geneva a desirable place to live and work.”

My Lasting Impression: Unfortunately, we didn’t get to spend much time in Geneva. Arrived Tuesday afternoon, essentially went right to the park for a 12-inning game. It was up early Wednesday morning for a nooner, then a morning game Thursday, and we were on our way to Clinton after that. So that provided just enough time to walk to Chipotle (where else) for dinner on Wednesday. So I’m left with the irony of where we stayed, Pheasant Run Resort, having a “Bourbon Street” that was a ghost town by 10 (maybe even earlier).

image

See, it looks nice, right? But even on a weeknight, I believe the real Bourbon Street would still be open for business when the local news comes on. Sigh.

Stay tuned for the next installment of Better Know A Midwest League West Division City when we explore Clinton, Iowa. Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @John_G_Nolan if you have any suggestions for other information we should include in this series. Thanks for stopping by.

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