Riverdale, Illinois
—  Village  —
Village of Riverdale
Motto: "A Village with a Vision"
Location of Riverdale in Cook County, Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
Country  United States
State Illinois
County Cook
Townships Thornton, Calumet
 • Mayor Lawrence Jackson
 • Total 3.75 sq mi (9.71 km2)
 • Land 3.58 sq mi (9.26 km2)
 • Water 0.17 sq mi (0.45 km2)  4.80%
Population (2010)
 • Total 13,549
 • Estimate (2018)[2] 13,205
 • Density 3,747.69/sq mi (1,446.87/km2)
  Down 10.00% from 2000
Standard of living (2007-11)
 • Per capita income $16,463
 • Median home value $101,300
ZIP code(s) 60827
Area code(s) 708
Geocode 64278
FIPS code 17-64278
Demographics (2010)[3]
White Black Asian
4.3% 93.7% 0.1%
Islander Native Other Hispanic
(any race)
0.0% 0.2% 1.7% 1.7%

Riverdale is a village and a south suburb of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 13,549 at the 2010 census.[3]


The Charles Pope Beet Sugar Works c.1910

In 1904 the Englishman and former Chicago glucose manufacturer Charles Pope (1843-1922) [4] purchased property in Riverdale at what is today the west side of Indiana Avenue [5] with the intention of establishing a beet sugar factory. The property was previously occupied by The Riverdale Distillery, which had been established by the Union Copper Distilling Company of Chicago in 1871 to manufacture fermentum yeast. Located on the south bank of the Little Calumet river with access to the Illinois Central tracks, the beet sugar factory opened in 1905 with a capacity of 350 tons of beet sugar per day, a production rate that was eventually increased to 500 tons per day.[6] The factory was sold by Pope’s heirs in 1922 to the Midwest Sugar Refining Company, who added sugar to the product line that was produced from cane supplied from Cuba and Puerto Rico.[7] and who the following year began a program that was intended “to expand this enterprise far beyond its present capacity so as to make the company one of the leading producers and refiners of sugar in the Middle West.” [8] In 1947 this enterprise was replaced by The Chromium Mining and Smelting Corporation.[9]
An advertisement from the Riverdale Distillery c.1885
Indiana Avenue and the Calumet River

Riverdale is located at 41°38′26″N 87°37′50″W / 41.64056, -87.63056 (41.640684, -87.630645).[10]

According to the 2010 census, Riverdale has a total area of 3.745 square miles (9.70 km2), of which 3.57 square miles (9.25 km2) (or 95.33%) is land and 0.175 square miles (0.45 km2) (or 4.67%) is water.[11]


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1880 450
1900 558
1910 917 64.3%
1920 1,166 27.2%
1930 2,504 114.8%
1940 2,865 14.4%
1950 5,840 103.8%
1960 12,008 105.6%
1970 15,806 31.6%
1980 13,233 −16.3%
1990 13,671 3.3%
2000 15,055 10.1%
2010 13,549 −10.0%
Est. 2018 13,205 [2] −12.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]

As of the 2010 census, there were 13,549 people, 4,595 households, and 3,204 families residing in the village. The racial makeup of the village was 4.9% White, 94.9% African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.7% from other races, and 0.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.7% of the population.

There were 4,595 households out of which 36.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 24.8% were married couples living together, 37.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 7.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 30.3% were non-families. 25.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.92 and the average family size was 3.50.

In the village, the population was spread out with 41.8% at the age 16 and over, 39.6% at the age 18 and over, 36.6% at the age 21 and over, 5.7% at the age of 62 and older, and 4.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32.8 years. The female population was 7,521 and the male population was 6,028.

The median income for a household in the village was $37,792.


Riverdale is divided between two congressional districts. Most of the city is in Illinois' 2nd congressional district; the area west of Ashland Avenue and the area southwest of 141st and Halsted Streets are in the 1st district. The local government of Riverdale consists of six elected trustees, one elected village clerk, and one elected mayor. On April 9, 2013 incumbent mayor Deyon Dean was defeated by Trustee and mayor Lawrence Jackson was sworn in on May 2, 2013

Police department[]

In the history of the Riverdale Police Department, one officer has been killed while on duty.

Notable people[]

  • Jonathan Periam (1823-1911), noted horticulturalist and long-time editor of the magazine Prairie Farmer,[13] spent 20 years farming on land spanning the Calumet River at Halsted Street.[14]
  • Marcheline Bertrand, actress; mother of actress Angelina Jolie; grew up in Riverdale
  • Antwaan Randle El, wide receiver for the Washington Redskins, and Pittsburgh Steelers; Super Bowl champion (XL); born in Riverdale
  • Charles Christian Hammer, classical guitarist [15]
  • Marjorie Pebworth, Illinois politician; lived in Riverdale.[16]
  • Betty Robinson, Olympic gold medalist in the 100 and 400 meter relays (1928 & 1936); born in Riverdale
  • Steamboat Struss, pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates; born in Riverdale
  • Joseph C. Szabo, 12th Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration. He previously served as a Village Trustee and Village President of Riverdale.[17]


  1. ^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jun 30, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved August 5, 2019. 
  3. ^ a b "Riverdale, Illinois Population: Census 2010 and 2000 Interactive Map, Demographics, Statistics, Quick Facts". CensusViewer. Retrieved April 6, 2016. 
  4. ^ (March 26, 1922) "Charles Pope, Sugar Refiner, Passes Away". The Chicago Daily Tribune: 9. 
  5. ^ (October 31, 1914) "Some Success with Sugar Beets". The Louisiana Planter and Sugar Manufacturer LIII (18): 283–284. 
  6. ^ Wilson, James (1905). U.S. Department of Agriculture – Report No. 80 – Progress of the Beet-Sugar Industry in The United States in 1904. New York: Government Printing Office. pp. 60–61. 
  7. ^ (November 11, 1922) "New Refining Company ACQUIRES Pope Factory – Plant at Riverdale, Ill, Purchased by Midwest Refining Company from Charles Pope Heirs". Facts about Sugar – A weekly Journal of the Sugar Industry XV (20): 391. 
  8. ^ (November 11, 1922) "General Manager McKinney Tells About The Future Plans Of The Company". The (Riverdale) Pointer XVII (8): 1. 
  9. ^ Brennan, J.H. , H.E. Dunn and C.M. Cosman (1961). HISTORY OF IRON AND STEELMAKING IN THE UNITED STATES - Publication in One Book of a Series of Historical Articles That Have Appeared in Journal of Metals, 1956-1961. New York: Metallurgical Society of AIME. pp. 100. 
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  11. ^ "G001 - Geographic Identifiers - 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-12-25. 
  12. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  13. ^ (December 10, 1911) "JONATHAN PERIAM DIES AT 88: Pioneer Agriculturist Came to Chicago in 1838. SERVED IN THE CIVIL WAR. Then Became Editor of Farm Journal; Retired 13 Years Ago.". The Chicago Daily Tribune: 4. 
  14. ^ Volp, Henry (1937). The first hundred years, 1835-1935: historical review of Blue Island, Illinois. Blue Island: Blue Island Publishing. pp. 80–83. 
  15. ^ Sir Charles' Biography - Sir Charles Hammer Retrieved 2017-02-19.
  16. ^ 'Illinois Blue Book 1967-1968,' Biographical Sketch of Marjorie Pebworth, pg. 203
  17. ^ Doneski, Ellen L., ed (April 21, 2009). "Nominations to the Department of Transportation, The Department of Commerce, and the Executive Office of the President". Hearing before the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Publishing Office. pp. 20-26. 

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