city, seat (1830) of McDonough county, western Illinois, U.S. It lies along the East Fork La Moine River, about 65 miles (105 km) southwest of Peoria. Settled in 1829 by John Baker, a Baptist minister, and originally called Washington, it was renamed the following year for General Alexander Macomb, an officer in the War of 1812. The city is the seat of Western Illinois University (founded 1899). The local economy is based on the university, light manufacturing (pottery, porcelain products, and roller bearings), and agriculture (corn [maize] and soybeans). Popular local events are Heritage Days (June), the Balloon Rally (September), and Dickens on the Square (December). Argyle Lake State Park is to the west. Inc. town, 1841; city, 1856. Pop. (1990) 19,952; (2000) 18,558.
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