2 First settled in 1833, Batavia had a population of 3,018 by 1870 (Gustafson and Schielke, 59). In 1867, when many states were actively encouraging emigration, the Kane County Gazetteer promoted Batavia:
This large village is beautifully situated on both sides of the Fox River, and on the line of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad,—two and a half miles below Geneva, and thirty-five miles distant from Chicago. . . . Improvements on an extensive scale have been made, and many large and substantial buildings erected for business and for residences, which will compare with any other location in the West, of its size. The surrounding district is not only beautiful, but well adapted for the successful operation of any manufacturing purposes, requiring water power for propelling machinery. Here are also inexhaustible quarries of the best limestone, and abundant supplies of valuable timber from the Big Woods, which must tend to render this location permanent and flourishing. . . . The improvements . . . attest the enterprise and activity of its citizens; which, together with its manufactories, foundries, etc., tend to make all that should be asked, for a live and rapidly growing town. (Bailey, 127)
“SLC to Olivia L. Langdon, 26 and 27 Jan 1869, Batavia, Ill. (UCCL 00242).” In Mark Twain’s Letters, 1869.