It is the home of the Five Sullivan Brothers who perished on the Juneau during the Second World War (WWII) and the location of the Tractor Assembly Division & Product Engineering Center of John Deere and Company.
The town was originally founded as "Prairie Rapids Crossing."
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 160.6 km² (62.0 mi²). 157.3 km² (60.7 mi²) of it is land and 3.3 km² (1.3 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 2.06% water.
Demographics As of the census of 2000, there are 68,747 people, 28,169 households, and 17,746 families residing in the city. The population density is 437.0/km² (1,131.9/mi²). There are 29,499 housing units at an average density of 187.5/km² (485.7/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 81.61% White, 13.86% African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.85% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.44% from other races, and 1.97% from two or more races. 2.63% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 28,169 households out of which 29.0% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.0% are married couples living together, 13.3% have a female householder with no husband present, and 37.0% are non-families. 30.0% of all households are made up of individuals and 12.1% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.39 and the average family size is 2.97.
In the city the population is spread out with 24.7% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 22.0% from 45 to 64, and 15.3% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 36 years. For every 100 females there are 92.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 88.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $34,092, and the median income for a family is $42,731. Males have a median income of $31,491 versus $22,569 for females. The per capita income for the city is $18,558. 13.7% of the population and 10.0% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 18.6% are under the age of 18 and 10.5% are 65 or older.