St. Clair County, Illinois
St. Clair County is the oldest county in the U. S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 United States Census, it had a population of 270,056, making it the eighth-most populous county in Illinois and the most populous in the southern portion of the state, its county seat is Belleville. The county was founded in 1790 by the government of the Northwest Territory, before the establishment of Illinois as a state. Cahokia Village in the county was founded in 1697 and was a French settlement and former Jesuit mission. St. Clair County is part of the American Bottom or Metro-East area of the St. Louis, MO-IL Metropolitan Statistical Area. In 1970, the United States Census Bureau placed the mean center of U. S. population in St. Clair County; this area was occupied for thousands of years by cultures of indigenous peoples. The first modern explorers and colonists of the area were French and French Canadians, founding a mission settlement in 1697 now known as Cahokia Village. After Great Britain defeated France in the Seven Years' War in 1763 and absorbed its territory in North America east of the Mississippi River, British-American colonists began to move into the area.
Many ethnic and Catholic French moved to settlements west of the river rather than live under British Protestant rule. After the United States achieved independence in the late 18th century, St. Clair County was the first county established in present-day Illinois; the county was established in 1790 by a proclamation of Arthur St. Clair, first governor of the Northwest Territory, who named it after himself; the original boundary of St. Clair county covered a large area between the Ohio rivers. In 1801, Governor William Henry Harrison re-established St. Clair County as part of the Indiana Territory, extending its northern border to Lake Superior and the international border with Rupert's Land; when the Illinois Territory was created in 1809, Territorial Secretary Nathaniel Pope, in his capacity as acting governor, issued a proclamation establishing St. Clair and Randolph County as the two original counties of Illinois. Developed for agriculture, this area became industrialized and urbanized in the area of East St. Louis, Illinois, a city that developed on the east side of the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Missouri.
It was always influenced by actions of businessmen from St. Louis, who were French Creole fur traders with western trading networks. In the 19th century, industrialists from St. Louis put coal plants and other heavy industry on the east side of the river, developing East St. Louis. Coal from southern mines was transported on the river to East St. Louis fed by barge to St. Louis furnaces as needed. After bridges spanned the river, industry expanded. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the cities attracted immigrants from southern and eastern Europe and from the South. In 1910 there were 6,000 African Americans in the city. With the Great Migration underway from the rural South, to leave behind Jim Crow and disenfranchisement, by 1917, the African-American population in East St. Louis had doubled. Whites were hired first and given higher–paying jobs, but there were still opportunities for American blacks. If hired as strikebreakers, they were resented by white workers, both groups competed for jobs and limited housing in East St. Louis.
The city had not been able to keep up with the rapid growth of population. The United States was developing war industries to support its eventual entry into the Great War, now known as World War I. In February 1917 tensions in the city arose. Employers fiercely resisted union organizing, sometimes with violence. In this case they hired hundreds of blacks as strikebreakers. White workers complained to the city council about this practice in late May. Rumors circulated about an armed African American man robbing a white man, whites began to attack blacks on the street; the governor ordered in the National Guard and peace seemed restored by early June. "On July 1, a white man in a Ford shot into black homes. Armed African-Americans gathered in the area and shot into another oncoming Ford, killing two men who turned out to be police officers investigating the shooting." Word spread and whites gathered at the Labor Temple. From July 1 through July 3, 1917, the East St. Louis riots engulfed the city, with whites attacking blacks throughout the city, pulling them from streetcars and hanging them, burning their houses.
During this period, some African Americans tried to use boats to get to safety. The official death toll was 39 blacks and nine whites, but some historians believe more blacks were killed; because the riots were racial terrorism, the Equal Justice Initiative has included these deaths among the lynchings of African Americans in the state of Illinois in its 2017 3rd edition of its report, Lynching in America. The riots had disrupted East St. Louis, which had seemed to be on the rise as a flourishing industrial city. In addition to the human toll, they cost $400,000 in property damage, they have been described as among the worst labor and race-related riots in United States history, they devastated the African-American community. Rebuilding was difficult as workers were being drafted to fight in World War I; when the veterans returned, they struggled to find jobs and re-enter the economy, which had to shift down to peacetime. In the late 20th c
Interstate 70 is a major east–west Interstate Highway in the United States that runs from I-15 near Cove Fort, Utah, to I-695 near Baltimore, Maryland. I-70 traces the path of U. S. Route 40 east of the Rocky Mountains. West of the Rockies, the route of I-70 was derived from multiple sources; the Interstate runs through or near many major cities, including Denver, Kansas City, St. Louis, Columbus and Baltimore; the sections of the interstate in Missouri and Kansas have laid claim to be the first interstate in the United States. The Federal Highway Administration has claimed the section of I-70 through Glenwood Canyon, completed in 1992, was the last piece of the Interstate Highway system, as planned, to open to traffic; the construction of I-70 in Colorado and Utah is considered an engineering marvel, as the route passes through the Eisenhower Tunnel, Glenwood Canyon, the San Rafael Swell. The Eisenhower Tunnel is the highest point along the Interstate Highway system, with an elevation of 11,158 ft. Interstate 70 begins at an interchange with Interstate 15 near Cove Fort.
Heading east, I-70 crosses between the Tushar and Pahvant ranges via Clear Creek Canyon and descends into the Sevier Valley, where I-70 serves Richfield, the only town of more than a few hundred people along I-70's path in Utah. Upon leaving the valley near Salina, I-70 crosses the 7,923 ft Salina Summit and crosses a massive geologic formation called the San Rafael Swell. Prior to the construction of I-70, the swell was inaccessible via paved roads and undiscovered. Once this 108 mi section was opened to traffic in 1970, it became the longest stretch of interstate highway with no services and the first highway in the U. S. built over a new route since the Alaska Highway. It became the longest piece of interstate highway to be opened at one time. Although opened in 1970, this section was not formally complete until 1990, when a second steel arch bridge spanning Eagle Canyon was opened to traffic. Since I-70's construction, the swell has been noted for its desolate beauty; the swell has since been nominated for National Park or National Monument status on multiple occasions.
If the swell is granted this status, it arguably would be the first time a National Park owes its existence to an interstate highway. Most of the exits in this span are rest areas, brake check areas, runaway truck ramps with few traditional freeway exits. I-70 exits the swell near Green River. From Green River to the Colorado state line, I-70 follows the southern edge of the Book Cliffs. Entering from Utah, I-70 descends into the Grand Valley, where it meets the Colorado River, which provides its path up the western slope of the Rocky Mountains. Here I-70 serves the Grand Junction metro area before traversing more mountainous terrain; the last section of I-70 to be completed was the 15-mile Glenwood Canyon. This stretch was completed in 1992 and was an engineering marvel, due to the difficult terrain and narrow space in the canyon, which requires corners that are sharper than normal Interstate standards. Construction was delayed for many years due to environmental concerns; the difficulties in building the road in the canyon were compounded by the fact the Denver & Rio Grande Western railroad occupied the south bank, many temporary construction projects took place to keep US 6 open, at the time the only east–west road in the area.
Much of the highway is elevated above the Colorado River. The speed limit in this section is due to the limited sight distance and sharp corners; the Eisenhower–Johnson Memorial Tunnel, the highest vehicular tunnel in North America and the longest tunnel built under the Interstate program, passes through the Continental Divide. Because of the rugged and narrow terrain of the Rocky Mountains, I-70 is one of few roads connecting Colorado's ski resorts with Denver. Descending through the eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains, one can see the Denver skyline on a clear day; this can fool truckers and other unsuspecting drivers, because one must still traverse 10 miles of steep grade road before reaching the city. A series of signs warns truckers of the steep grade; as I-70 leaves the foothills, it goes through Denver and intersects Interstate 25, serving as the central east-west artery through the city. Leaving Denver, I-70 levels out and traverses the wide plains through eastern Colorado. East of Denver, I-70 makes a broad turn to the south-southeast for 30 miles before reaching Limon and resuming its eastward journey toward Kansas.
Coming from Colorado, I-70 enters the prairie and rolling hills of Kansas. This portion of I-70 was the first segment to start being paved and to be completed in the Interstate Highway System, it is given the nickname "Main Street of Kansas", as the interstate extends from the western border to the eastern border of the state, covering 424 miles and passing through most of the state's principal cities in the process. In Salina, I-70 intersects with I-135, the longest "spur" route in the Interstate system, forming the latter's northern terminus. In Topeka, I-70 intersects I-470, twice. At the eastern intersection, the Kansas Turnpike merges, with I-70 becoming a toll road; this is one of only two sections of I-70. I-70 carries this designation from Topeka to the eastern terminus of the turnpike. About halfway between Topeka and Kansas City, Kansas, I-70 passes through Lawrence; the tolled portion of the turnpike ends near Bonner Springs, just west of Kansas City. There is a third child route in Topeka, I-335, which runs from I-470 south to meet up wit
Marion County, Illinois
Marion County is a county located in the U. S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it had a population of 39,437, its county seat is Salem. Marion County comprises the Centralia, IL Micropolitan Statistical Area, included in the St. Louis-St. Charles-Farmington, MO-IL Combined Statistical Area. Marion County was organized on 24 January 1823 from portions of Fayette counties, it was named in honor of Revolutionary War Gen. Francis Marion, the "Swamp Fox". According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 576 square miles, of which 572 square miles is land and 3.7 square miles is water. The southwest corner of Marion County is the intersection of the Baseline with the Third Principal Meridian, the point of origin for the third survey of the Northwest Territory under the Land Ordinance of 1785; the origin is marked with a boulder south of Centralia just off U. S. 51. In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Salem have ranged from a low of 18 °F in January to a high of 88 °F in July, although a record low of −23 °F was recorded in January 1994 and a record high of 105 °F was recorded in August 1983.
Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.46 inches in January to 4.37 inches in May. Interstate 57 U. S. Route 50 U. S. Route 51 Illinois Route 37 Illinois Route 161 Fayette County - north Clay County - east Wayne County - southeast Jefferson County - south Washington County - southwest Clinton County - west As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 39,437 people, 16,148 households, 10,746 families residing in the county; the population density was 68.9 inhabitants per square mile. There were 18,296 housing units at an average density of 32.0 per square mile. The racial makeup of the county was 93.1% white, 3.9% black or African American, 0.6% Asian, 0.3% American Indian, 0.4% from other races, 1.6% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 1.4% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 27.5% were German, 15.8% were Irish, 13.6% were English, 10.8% were American. Of the 16,148 households, 30.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.9% were married couples living together, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 33.5% were non-families, 28.8% of all households were made up of individuals.
The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.91. The median age was 41.4 years. The median income for a household in the county was $38,974 and the median income for a family was $50,518. Males had a median income of $41,428 versus $28,042 for females; the per capita income for the county was $20,493. About 12.2% of families and 16.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.9% of those under age 18 and 9.6% of those age 65 or over. Centralia Kinmundy Salem Wamac Marion County is divided into seventeen townships: Initially a Democratic anti-Yankee county, Marion County has undergone two transitions. Between 1912 and 2004 it was a perfect bellwether apart from the Catholicism-influenced 1960 election when substantial anti-Catholic voting by its southern white population caused it to support Republican Richard Nixon. Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, strong opposition to the Democratic Party’s liberal views on social issues has transformed the county into a powerfully Republican one, with Hillary Clinton receiving a vote share over twelve percent smaller than any pre-2010 Democratic presidential nominee.
National Register of Historic Places listings in Marion County, Illinois
U.S. Route 50
U. S. Route 50 is a major east–west route of the U. S. Highway system, stretching just over 3,000 miles from West Sacramento, California, to Ocean City, Maryland, on the Atlantic Ocean; until 1972, when it was replaced by Interstate Highways west of the Sacramento area, it extended to San Francisco, near the Pacific Ocean. The Interstates were constructed and are separate from this route, it serves a corridor south of Interstates 70 and 80 and north of Interstates 64 and 40. The route runs through rural desert and mountains in the Western United States, with the section through Nevada known as "The Loneliest Road in America". In the Midwest, US 50 continues through rural areas of farms as well as a few large cities including Kansas City, Missouri; the route continues into the Eastern United States, where it passes through the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia before heading through Washington, D. C. From there, US 50 continues through Maryland as a high-speed road to Ocean City. Signs at each end give the length as 3,073 miles, but the actual distance is less, due to realignments since the former figure was measured.
US 50 passes through a total of 12 states. US 50 was created in 1926 as part of the original U. S. Highway system; the original route planned in 1925 ran from Wadsworth, Nevada east to Annapolis, Maryland along several auto trails including the Lincoln Highway, Midland Trail, the National Old Trails Road. The final 1926 plan had US 50 running from Sacramento, California east to Annapolis with a gap in west Utah, bridged by running the route north via Salt Lake City before rerouting it to U. S. Route 6 in the 1950s. US 50 was extended west from Sacramento to San Francisco in the 1930s, replacing U. S. Route 48. In addition, US 50 was extended east from Annapolis to Ocean City prior in 1949, replacing a portion of U. S. Route 213. US 50 had two split configurations into U. S. Route 50N and U. S. Route 50S, one in Kansas and another in Ohio and West Virginia. US 50 begins as a major freeway at its junction with Interstate 80 in West Sacramento and continues into Sacramento; the portion of US 50 west of and including its interchange with California's State Highway 99 in Sacramento is designated, but not signed as, Interstate 305.
The signage along this portion of the highway indicates Business Loop I-80 and a portion of the way as California State Highway 99. From Sacramento, the highway heads eastward as the William Alexander Leidesdorff, Jr. Memorial Highway, continuing as a freeway to the Gold Country foothills following the American River up the Sierra Nevada as a conventional highway, until cresting the Sierras at Echo Summit and descending to Lake Tahoe, where the highway enters Nevada. In Nevada, the highway crosses a series of north–south running mountain ranges that break up the Nevada desert which are called Basin and Range. East of Carson City, the road enters the heart of the Great Basin, passing by few communities and minimal services, giving it the name "Loneliest Road in America" until reaching Utah. In Utah, US 50 passes through desolate, remote areas with few inhabitants. After crossing the Confusion Range via Kings Canyon and the House Range, the road traverses the north shore of the endorheic Sevier Lake.
In Holden, US 50 shortly overlaps Interstate 15 to cross the Pavant Range. The road begins a much longer overlap with Interstate 70 in Salina crossing the Wasatch Plateau and San Rafael Swell into Colorado. US 50 leaves I-70 upon entering the state and heads southeast through Grand Junction and into the southern part of Colorado. Once there, the road climbs to its highest elevation of 11,312 feet over the Rocky Mountains and in Monarch Pass where it crosses the Continental Divide. After descending from the Rockies, US 50 passes by Royal Gorge near Cañon City joins U. S. Route follows the Arkansas River into Kansas. Upon entering Kansas, US 50, concurrent with US 400, runs along the Arkansas River to Dodge City where US 50 splits from US 400 and takes a more northerly course. US 50 continues to traverse the farmlands and small towns of the Great Plains as a straight two-lane road until Emporia where it joins Interstate 35 and splits onto Interstate 435 to bypass the center of the Kansas City Area.
In Missouri, US 50 leaves I-435 for Interstate 470 splitting at Lee's Summit. US 50 runs as a four-lane divided highway across the Western Plain to Sedalia where it continues as a two-lane road until reaching California, MO about 20 miles west of Jefferson City; the road continues as a four-lane divided highway into Jefferson City where it joins US 63 just south of the Missouri River Bridge. It continues 12 miles east of Jefferson City to the Osage River, it continues as a two-lane road as it traverses the northern sections of the Ozark Highlands east to Union where it begins an overlap with Interstate 44 which goes through Pacific. The routes separate in Sunset Hills where US 50 migrates southeast bypassing St Louis by joining Interstate 255 to cross Mississippi River into Illinois. In that state, US 50 switches to Interstate 64 before splitting onto its own alignment in eastern O'Fallon, it heads east through Trenton, Carlyle crossing the Kaskaskia River, Salem and Lawrenceville to the Wabash River along a corridor between Interstates 64 and 70.
US 50 enters Indian
Lawrenceville is a city in and the county seat of Lawrence County, United States, located along the Embarras River. The population was 4,348 at the 2010 census. Lawrenceville is located in southeast Illinois, northwest of Indiana; the city is home of the Lawrenceville "Indians", Illinois Class A high school state basketball champions in 1972, 1974, back-to-back in 1982 and 1983, which had a combined two season win-loss record of 68-0. The team was coached by Ron Felling, after the 1983 season at Lawrenceville, went on to Indiana University as assistant coach to Bobby Knight. Lawrenceville is located at 38°43′32″N 87°41′4″W. According to the 2010 census, Lawrenceville has a total area of all land; as of the census of 2000, there were 4,745 people, 2,024 households, 1,190 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,346.8 people per square mile. There were 2,262 housing units at an average density of 1,118.8 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 97.85% White, 0.91% African American, 0.08% Native American, 0.23% Asian, 0.40% from other races, 0.53% from two or more races.
Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.43% of the population. There were 2,024 households out of which 24.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.6% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 41.2% were non-families. 37.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 20.6% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.16 and the average family size was 2.82. In the city the population was spread out with 20.0% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 23.7% from 25 to 44, 20.7% from 45 to 64, 28.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females, there were 78.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 74.4 males. The median income for a household in the city was $24,951, the median income for a family was $32,042. Males had a median income of $27,128 versus $20,451 for females; the per capita income for the city was $16,717. About 13.9% of families and 16.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.7% of those under age 18 and 9.0% of those age 65 or over.
Mordecai Brown, Hall of Fame pitcher for Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals, he has written four books, one adapted to a movie, is the executive editor for Cracked.com. Maurice Cole Tanquary A professor of entomology and member of the Crocker Land Expedition. City website Daily Record City Data website Community Unit School District website Southeastern Illinois CVB – Tourism Website of area
Clinton County, Illinois
Clinton County is a county located in the U. S. state of Illinois. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 37,762, its county seat is Carlyle. In 1960, the United States Census Bureau placed the mean center of U. S. population in Clinton County. Clinton County is part of MO-IL Metropolitan Statistical Area. In 1805, prior to the establishment of the county, the territorial government established a post road from its capital to St. Louis, passing through the county. In 1808 a wagon road was laid out through the future Clinton County, it extended from the Goshen Settlement to the Ohio salt works and crossed the Kaskaskia River at Carlyle. Clinton County was created on 27 December 1824, from portions of Washington and Bond Counties, it was named for the seventh Governor of DeWitt Clinton, who helped build the Erie Canal. Crossing the Kaskaskia became much easier when the bridge now known as the General Dean Suspension Bridge was built in 1859, at a cost of $40,000. Before the bridge was constructed, crossings involved a mud bridge.
The Illinois General Assembly set aside $20,000 for bridge restoration in 1951, in 1953 the bridge was named after William F. Dean. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 503 square miles, of which 474 square miles is land and 29 square miles is water. Eldon Hazlet State Recreation Area and South Shore State Park are in Clinton County, its southern border is the Kaskaskia River. In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Carlyle have ranged from a low of 19 °F in January to a high of 88 °F in July, although a record low of −22 °F was recorded in January 1994 and a record high of 104 °F was recorded in July 1980. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.17 inches in January to 4.44 inches in June. As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 37,762 people, 14,005 households, 9,760 families residing in the county; the population density was 79.7 inhabitants per square mile. There were 15,311 housing units at an average density of 32.3 per square mile.
The racial makeup of the county was 93.4% white, 3.5% black or African American, 0.4% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 1.2% from other races, 1.1% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 2.8% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 54.8% were German, 9.8% were Irish, 5.8% were English, 5.6% were American. Of the 14,005 households, 32.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.5% were married couples living together, 8.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 30.3% were non-families, 25.1% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.02. The median age was 39.3 years. The median income for a household in the county was $55,278 and the median income for a family was $66,682. Males had a median income of $45,119 versus $34,051 for females; the per capita income for the county was $25,392. About 5.2% of families and 7.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.2% of those under age 18 and 5.7% of those age 65 or over.
As part of German Catholic Central Illinois, nineteenth-century Clinton County was opposed to the “Yankee” Civil War and the Northern Illinois residents who supported it and the Republican Party. The county was solidly Democratic for the six decades after the Civil War, turning Republican only due to opposition to Woodrow Wilson’s post-World War I policies towards Germany, its first flirt with Republicanism was short-lived: in 1924 Clinton was the nation's southeasternmost county – and the solitary one in Illinois – to give a plurality to Robert M. La Follette Sr. and in 1928 its residents voted powerfully for coreligionist Al Smith despite a landslide loss nationally. 1936, despite a landslide win for Franklin D. Roosevelt, saw Clinton County, like many other German Catholic counties in the Midwest, show a more permanent trend away from the Democratic Party: owing to a strong vote for Union Party candidate William Lemke, Roosevelt only won a plurality, with powerful local opposition to World War II Wendell Willkie and Thomas E. Dewey won over 62 percent of the county's vote in the two elections held whilst World War II was in progress.
Since only Catholic John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson during his 1964 landslide have obtained a majority in the county for the Democratic Party, although county namesake Bill Clinton did win pluralities in both 1992 and 1996. Since 2000, opposition to the Democratic Party's liberal views on social issues has caused a powerful swing towards the Republican Party: Donald Trump won the county against namesake Hillary Clinton by 48.6 percent in 2016 – the worst performance by a Democrat. National Register of Historic Places listings in Clinton County, Illinois Specific General Official website Clinton County IL Genealogy Web Project
The Mississippi River is the second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest drainage system on the North American continent, second only to the Hudson Bay drainage system. Its source is Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota and it flows south for 2,320 miles to the Mississippi River Delta in the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains all or parts of 32 U. S. two Canadian provinces between the Rocky and Appalachian mountains. The main stem is within the United States; the Mississippi ranks as the fifteenth-largest river by discharge in the world. The river either borders or passes through the states of Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas and Louisiana. Native Americans have lived along its tributaries for thousands of years. Most were hunter-gatherers, but some, such as the Mound Builders, formed prolific agricultural societies; the arrival of Europeans in the 16th century changed the native way of life as first explorers settlers, ventured into the basin in increasing numbers.
The river served first as a barrier, forming borders for New Spain, New France, the early United States, as a vital transportation artery and communications link. In the 19th century, during the height of the ideology of manifest destiny, the Mississippi and several western tributaries, most notably the Missouri, formed pathways for the western expansion of the United States. Formed from thick layers of the river's silt deposits, the Mississippi embayment is one of the most fertile regions of the United States. During the American Civil War, the Mississippi's capture by Union forces marked a turning point towards victory, due to the river's strategic importance to the Confederate war effort; because of substantial growth of cities and the larger ships and barges that replaced steamboats, the first decades of the 20th century saw the construction of massive engineering works such as levees and dams built in combination. A major focus of this work has been to prevent the lower Mississippi from shifting into the channel of the Atchafalaya River and bypassing New Orleans.
Since the 20th century, the Mississippi River has experienced major pollution and environmental problems – most notably elevated nutrient and chemical levels from agricultural runoff, the primary contributor to the Gulf of Mexico dead zone. The word Mississippi itself comes from Misi zipi, the French rendering of the Anishinaabe name for the river, Misi-ziibi. In the 18th century, the river was the primary western boundary of the young United States, since the country's expansion westward, the Mississippi River has been considered a convenient if approximate dividing line between the Eastern and Midwestern United States, the Western United States; this is exemplified by the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and the phrase "Trans-Mississippi" as used in the name of the Trans-Mississippi Exposition, it is common to qualify a regionally superlative landmark in relation to it, such as "the highest peak east of the Mississippi" or "the oldest city west of the Mississippi". The FCC uses it as the dividing line for broadcast call-signs, which begin with W to the east and K to the west, mixing together in media markets along the river.
The Mississippi River can be divided into three sections: the Upper Mississippi, the river from its headwaters to the confluence with the Missouri River. The Upper Mississippi runs from its headwaters to its confluence with the Missouri River at St. Louis, Missouri, it is divided into two sections: The headwaters, 493 miles from the source to Saint Anthony Falls in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The source of the Upper Mississippi branch is traditionally accepted as Lake Itasca, 1,475 feet above sea level in Itasca State Park in Clearwater County, Minnesota; the name "Itasca" was chosen to designate the "true head" of the Mississippi River as a combination of the last four letters of the Latin word for truth and the first two letters of the Latin word for head. However, the lake is in turn fed by a number of smaller streams. From its origin at Lake Itasca to St. Louis, the waterway's flow is moderated by 43 dams. Fourteen of these dams are located above Minneapolis in the headwaters region and serve multiple purposes, including power generation and recreation.
The remaining 29 dams, beginning in downtown Minneapolis, all contain locks and were constructed to improve commercial navigation of the upper river. Taken as a whole, these 43 dams shape the geography and influence the ecology of the upper river. Beginning just below Saint Paul and continuing throughout the upper and lower river, the Mississippi is further controlled by thousands of wing dikes that moderate the river's flow in order to maintain an open navigation channel and prevent the river from eroding its banks; the head of navigation on the Mississippi is the Coon Rapids Dam in Minnesota. Before it was built in 1913, steamboats could go upstream as far as Saint Cloud, depending on river conditions; the uppermost lock and dam on the Upper Mississippi River is the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock an