A list of the Galesburg's businesses (both past and present) was submitted by Deb Quilty. Thank you Deb!


The major former employers in the City of Galesburg, in chronological order, are as follows:

1. CBQ: 1849-1970
2. Santa Fe: 1859-1995
3. Admiral/Maytag: (1905-2004)
4. Rowes: (1908-1979)
5. Gates Rubber Company: (1911-?) Still open but major downsizing in 2003.
6. Gales/Outboard Marine: (1937-1984)
7. Butler Manufacturing: (1939-2005)
8. Galesburg State Research Hospital: (1949-1985)
9. Burlington Northern: 1970-1995

In addition to the above: Circa 1970: Interstate 74 opens, rerouting traffic around Galesburg instead of through the city. Many area small businesses suffer losses, especially restaurants, gas stations and motels on Route 150.

The major current employers in the City of Galesburg as of 2006 are as follows:

1. BNSF, Railroad Yards, 850 employees. (Formed from merger in 1996)
2. Galesburg Public Schools, Education, 700 employees.
3. Galesburg Cottage Hospital, Health Care, 643 employees.
4. OSF St. Mary Medical Center, Health Care, 598 employees.
5. Dick Blick Company, Art Supplies, 450 employees.
6. County of Knox, Government, 447 employees.
7. Henry C. Hill Correctional Facility, Prison, 316 employees. (Opened in 1986)
9. Knox College, Education, 312 employees.
10. Walmart, Retail, 254 employees.
11. City of Galesburg, Government, 245 employees.
12. Carl Sandburg College, Education, 237 employees.

Total Employees: 5052

2000 Population: 33,706

Note: Population peaked in 1960 at: 37,246


*Admiral/Maytag was founded in 1905 as the Coulter Disc Company. It obviously underwent a lot of changes in its history. It was purchased several times over the years. In Aug. 2001, the company began shifting jobs to Mexico; the plant closed completely on Sept. 16, 2004.

*Rowes opened in 1908. It was sold in 1973 and ultimately closed in 1979.

*Gates Rubber Company opened in 1911. It was bought by Tomkins PLC of London, England in 1995. They began transferring jobs to Mexico in 2001. The last hosemaking jobs were transferred sometime in mid-2003. I think some administrative offices or something may still be there.

*Gales/Outboard Marine opened in 1937 and closed on July 13, 1984.

*Butler Manufacturing opened in 1939. It was bought by Bluescope Steel Limited of Australia in 2001 and closed on Aug. 31, 2005.

*The first sections of interstate 74 around Galesburg were reported opened for traffic in the Dec. 22, 1965 issue of the Register-Mail. The section 4 miles north of the city was slated for completion in the fall of 1966; the Galesburg to Peoria section was slated for completion in 1969.


Faith Burdick, the Galesburg Public Library

The Zephyr: Galesburg’s Weekly Journal


Any contributions, corrections, or suggestions would be deeply appreciated!

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January 16, 2007