Town Square Publications


Since 1826, when the first school opened in Galena, parents have sought excellence in their public and private educational systems. This mandate continues and is satisfied by Galena Unit School District 120 and four parochial and private schools in the community. In addition, there are preschools and daycare centers in the area.

District 120 operates three schools, Galena Primary, Galena Middle, and Galena High School. All three share one large campus.

Galena Primary School stands around a corner from the other two schools and houses kindergarten through the fourth grade, plus two early childhood programs. The curriculum focuses on language arts and mathematics, augmented by physical education, art, vocal music, social studies, science, health, current events, and computer. Approximately 365 students are enrolled in the school and many of their parents are actively involved. Some 20 to 30 serve as weekly volunteers while others are members of the PTK (Parents and Teachers for Kids), an advisory and support group.

Galena Middle School houses fifth through eighth grades and is recognized by the state as one of 27 lead middle schools in Illinois. It continues emphasis on teaching the basics, but guides students through the transition from a highly structured elementary school to the academic specialization and personal responsibility associated with high school.

Galena High School has an enrollment of more than 300 students who choose from more than 80 courses of study, including advanced placement courses in English and calculus. These provide opportunities to earn college credit while still in high school. Four years of Spanish is also in the high school curriculum.

Eight courses train students for positions in business. Junior and seniors can enroll in 17 career oriented courses at the Jo Daviess Carroll Area Vocational Center, in Elizabeth, attending classes half-days at the center and the balance at Galena High. Career courses include agriculture supply and service, automotive service, commercial art, graphic communications, accounting, office procedures, pre-engineering, and others.

The school also offers a full range of special education courses for students who are developmentally disabled.

Galena High encourages students to participate in several extracurricular clubs and organizations, among them band, chorus, and drama. Sports teams compete in a full roster of sport teams for boys and girls.

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Galena's proximity to Dubuque, Iowa, a distance of only 15 miles, gives students and adults easy access to two topnotch colleges and a university. An excellent two-year community college is located in Freeport, IL, about 40 miles east of Galena.

Highland Community College is set on 210 acres at the western edge of Freeport. Highland offers career and community education, vocational preparation, and comprehensive associate degree transfer programs in arts and science. The college has a diverse student population with an average age of 33. More than 4,000 students attend the college each semester. Students attend classes at the main campus, a downtown center, and at various sites throughout the district. One such site is at the Galena Arts and Recreation Center.

Some 1,790 students are enrolled in classes at Loras College, in Dubuque. An independent, coeducational, liberal arts college, Loras confers Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Music; Master of Arts in Education, English, Physical Education, Psychology, and Theology; Master of Ministry in Pastoral Studies and Religious Education; Associate of Arts, and Associate of Science degrees.

Dubuque's Clarke College occupies a 55-acre campus on a wooded bluff overlooking the city and the Mississippi River. Some 1,160 students attend classes on the campus. Clarke confers Associate of Arts, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master of Arts in Education, and Master of Science in Physical Therapy degrees in 24 majors.

The University of Dubuque has a student enrollment of 1,100 young men and women. Founded as a private, coeducational, liberal arts university and theological seminary in 1852, the university offers more than 30 majors in the Schools of Business, Liberal Arts, Professional Programs, and the UD Theological Seminary. Through its membership in the Tri-College Cooperative, University of Dubuque students can take courses at both Clarke and Loras Colleges.

The nearest state university to Galena is the University of Wisconsin-Plattville, in Platteville, WI, about 20 miles north of the city. Rockford College, in Rockford, awards bachelor degrees in nearly 50 majors in Arts, Fine Arts, Science, and Science in nursing. At its Rockford Education Center, Northern Illinois University offers about 35 courses in Business, Education, Engineering and Engineering Technology, Health and Human Sciences, and Liberal Arts and Sciences. Highly skilled physicians are training at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford.

Of course, the famed universities in Chicago are also available to Galena students. Among these are the University of Illinois-Chicago, the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Loyola University, and DePaul University.

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Walk the narrow sidewalks of downtown Galena and experience a rich past brought up to date. Here, in carefully preserved buildings from the middle decades of the nineteenth century, are sophisticated boutiques, craft and gift shops, antique stores, art galleries, clothiers, florists, jewelers, cozy restaurants, a winery, immaculate bed and breakfasts, restored hotels, and the occasional professional service. The full flavor of Galena is represented and that flavor is fun.

One million visitors a year come to Galena to view its history and to browse the mile of shops that line both sides of the city's historic Main Street. One-way traffic moves slowly down the narrow street, looking for parking or just looking. Display windows of shops are filled with the finest array of goods available, appealing to the tastes of visitors and enriching the community. Galena's shops and stores rack up more than $60 million in sales annually. The city's share of sales taxes currently adds over $600,000 to its coffers each year.

Old-time Galenians miss some aspects of downtown that have departed as the trendy stores increased in number. But these are now found in places like Galena Square, a modern shopping center on the city's west side. Here, in 10 stores and a major food market, residents can buy most of their needs. A new and expanding motor inn adjoins this shopping complex and there's also a popular fast food restaurant. Elsewhere along U.S. Highway 20 are more commercial outlets and family restaurants.

Galena's proximity to Dubuque, Iowa, opens its big city shopping centers, restaurants, and attractions to Galenians and visitors, as well.

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Its lead mining successes long past, the Galena area's economy is currently driven by tourism. But Galena leaders recognize the capriciousness of tourism and seek to balance it with new business and industry.

The city is not well known for its industry, but it does have at least one familiar corporate name. The Micro-Switch Division of Honeywell has facilities in the 65-acre Galena Industrial Park, on the city's northwest side. The industrial park has all utilities in place.

The Galena Square Commercial Center is a 25-acre commercial development containing 70,000 square feet of space, with another 25,000 square feet in the planning. It is designed for retail and service businesses and has both commercial lots and rental space available.

Jo Daviess Development, Inc., is a not-for-profit county-wide development corporation organized to facilitate economic development in the county. It offers a wide range of services to business and industry considering relocating to the county. Among these services are site location assistance, listing of available building and build sites; information on local, state, and federal economic development programs such as grants, loans, tax abatements, job training, and others; and low interest gap financing through a revolving loan fund.


The Community Development Fund of Galena, Inc., assists prospective businesses in locating appropriate sites. It has purchased and held property until a project is ready to proceed. It facilitates development efforts by serving as liaison between various groups. And, it oversees a revolving economic load fund which issues small loans at low interest rates to new expanding businesses and nonprofit organizations.

Galena has set its sights on attracting businesses that will round out the community and enhance its employment opportunities. Among the businesses being sought are small manufacturing or assembly operations, telecommunications, professional services, electronic sales and service, focused retail specialization in the downtown area, and a movie theater.

Agriculture has long played an important role in the economy of Galena and Jo Daviess County and continues to do so. The county has some 1,015 farms encompassing more than 290,400 acres of land. The average farm size is more than 300 acres. Total crop land is 220,240 acres and total crop cash receipts run about $9,360,000 annually. Cash receipts from all livestock and products amounts to about $63,370,000 annually. Corn, hay, oats, soybeans, and wheat are the principal crops, with corn in first position with more than 11,000,000 bushels produced annually.

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Galenians have speedy access to quality medical care at an in-town hospital when needed.

Galena-Stauss Hospital has 25 acute care beds and operates a 24-hour emergency service. Three physicians and a physician's assistant serve on its medical staff. They are officed in the Galena Medical Associates Clinic that adjoins the hospital. Sixteen more physicians have consulting privileges at the hospital.

The Galena hospital offers obstetrics, lab, x-ray, ultrasound, cardiac rehabilitation, and physical and speech therapies. Orthopedic and urology clinics are held each month, conducted by specialists from hospitals in Dubuque.

Two hospitals in Dubuque assure that residents of the Galena area have access to state-of-the-art medical attention. Mercy Health Center is a 415-bed medical center with campuses in Dubuque and Dyersville, Iowa. Mercy has a medical staff of 231 and employs a staff of some 1,400 medical professionals and other workers. Its medical services include general medical, neurology, oncology, intensive care, pediatrics, a birth center with neonatal intensive care, a sleep disorders lab, radiology, and respiratory care. Its radiology department offers CT scans, vascular radiology, mammography, nuclear medicine, and general radiology procedures.

Dubuque's Finley Hospital is a 158-bed facility with more than 800 full- and part-time employees. Among its variety of medical services is a 24-hour emergency room with air ambulance. A 10-bed Intensive Care Unit is geared toward minimizing patient anxiety and providing comprehensive intensive health care. Convenient Care is a drop-in urgent care center located at the hospital that provides after hours medical care for minor injuries and illnesses.

The hospital's leading-edge technology includes a dual-head SPECT (Single-Photon Emission Computer Tomography) system, diagnostic ultrasound systems, x-ray, stereotactic breast biopsy, and MRI systems.

Finley Business Health helps businesses of all sizes with their occupational health needs. All services are customized to meet the specific needs.

Galena-Stauss Medical Center houses a 60-bed long-term skilled nursing home. In addition, nine other quality nursing homes are located in the Galena area. There are eight retirement centers in the area, as well.

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Galenians enjoy the best of two worlds, the responsiveness of elected officials, and the professional management skills of a career administrator. The city operates under a mayor-council form of government. The council appoints a professional city administrator to oversee the day-to-day operations of government and to carry out council mandates.

All of Jo Daviess County is covered by an enhanced 911 emergency dialing system for police, fire, and emergency assistance.The Galena Police Department is headquartered in the City Hall on Main Street in the downtown area. The department has nine sworn officers and a civilian staff of two. Officers promote the national D.A.R.E anti-drug program in the schools and sponsor the American Youth Council's Safety Program and the annual Bicycle Rodeo. Officers are assigned to summertime bicycle patrols that cover the downtown business district as well as residential areas. Security of residents and visitors is a prime concern of the department.

The Galena Fire Department has 31 paid-on-call volunteer firefighters who maintain a Class 5 fire insurance rating for the city. Firefighters operate out of one firehouse located on Bench Street, one block up the hill from Main Street.


The station houses a 1,250-gallon-per-minute pumper, a 95-foot aerial platform, a rescue vehicle, and a 350-gallon mini-pumper. As part of a Rural Fire District that serves Vinegar, West Galena, and Rice Townships, the firehouse also holds a 750-gallon-per-minute rural pumper and a tanker carrying 2,100 gallons of water.

Ambulance services is provided by Emergency Medical Services - Galena, which has 37 state-certified Emergency Medical Technicians who operate two I-level ambulances 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Galena is the seat of government for Jo Daviess County. Government offices are divided between a building on Galena's Bench Street and a facility on U.S. 20 on the city's west side.

The Sheriff's Department has 29 full-time officers who utilize such programs as McGruff, bicycle safety, Stranger Danger, D.A.R.E., Neighborhood Watch, and the Jo Daviess County Youth Wellness Conference to serve and protect.

The city provides its own water from two wells and three towers. It has a storage capacity of 1,550,000 gallons and a water plant with a design capacity of 3,880,000 gallons. Average daily consumption is only 750,000 gallons. Waste water treatment is also a city service. Solid waste disposal is handled by a private firm, however, the city offers curbside recycling with two pickups each month.

Galena is served by two electric power companies: Interstate Power Company and Commonwealth Edison. Member-owned Jo-Carroll Electric Cooperative services 5,000 residential, farm, business, and industrial members in Jo Daviess and Carroll Counties.Northern Illinois Gas Company provides the city with natural gas. Telephone services is provided by Ameritech and GTE.

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