Nestled on the East side of the Peoria Lake, the village of Morton, Illinois is an idyllic community of almost 17,000. Morton is just 10 minutes from much larger Peoria (population of more than 114,000), so families who want to live in a smaller community but still have access to major entertainment and shopping amenities, may find this the perfect solution to their house-hunting needs.
The community has been recognized nationally as one of the best places to raise a family. Family Circle listed Morton in their Top 10 Towns for Families. WalletHub listed the town as the 16th best place to live in Illinois. The town ranked high in affordability and socio-economics.
Morton is an oasis between much larger metropolitan areas and residents can easily commute between cities for work or entertainment via freeway access or public transportation. Other major cities within driving distance include Chicago (141 Miles), St Louis 158 Miles, and Indianapolis (201 miles).
The education rate is much higher in Morton, with 43.8 percent of the population having at least a bachelor’s degree. The United States average is only 21.84 percent. The median household income is also higher than average at $72,263 when compared with the national average of $55,322. Nearly a quarter (22 percent) of households in the Morton School District have an average income between $50,000 and $74,999 per year, 19.2 percent of households have an income between $100,000-$149,999, 15% make more than $150,000 and 14.4% are between $75,000 - $99,999.
The population in Morton is predominantly white, with Caucasians accounting for approximately 95 percent of the population. The community is fairly young. 27.5% of the population are between 20 – 44 yrs old, 26.2% are between 45 – 64, 20.9% are between 5 – 19 and people aged 65 an older make up 19.8 percent of the population.
Morton Real Estate
Almost half of all homes in Morton (46 percent) are valued between $99,001 and $199,000. 29.2 percent are between $199,001 and $298,000 and 12.6% are between $298,0001 - $397,564. Since 2000, homes in Morton have appreciated 26.44 percent, or an average of 1.29 percent each year. Most homes in Morton are single family (67.9 percent), and 43% of the homes were built between 1970 and 1999. Just over a third (35.1 percent) of home were built between 1940 and 1969. Only 14 percent of homes were built after 2000.
Current Real Estate Market for Morton
The Morton real estate market is typically one of the best-selling real estate markets in the Tri-County area. As of 11/03/2019, there are currently 78 homes on the market. The average asking price is $243,621 and the median asking price is $182,950. The average days on the market for active listings is 79 days and the median is 60 days. Over the past six months, 163 homes have sold with the average sold price of $205,390 and a median sale price of $177,500. The average days on the market for these sold homes was 46 days and the median days on the market was 17 days.
Average Asking Price$243,621
Median Asking Price$182,950
Average Sold Price$205,390
Median Sold Price$177,500
Oliver P. Morton, Governor of Indiana from 1867 to 1877, is the namesake for the village. Morton was a staunch ally of Abraham Lincoln and an outspoken opponent of slavery. The founders of the town first arrived in the area from England, New York, Ohio, Switzerland, and Southern Germany between 1830 and 1875.
Some of the first businesses in the village included Rapp Brick & Tiles Works and The Rapp Brothers Pottery Works. The high school sports teams are dubbed “The Potters,” due to the significant impact the pottery industry had on the community. In fact, the town once housed the largest pottery establishment in the country.
Morton Attractions and Traditions
Newcomers to the small village will get a taste of the town’s heritage when September rolls around. The annual Pumpkin festival routinely draws large crowds (about 35,000 just for the parade). Aside from the parades, residents and guests can enjoy a carnival, art show, pumpkin decorating contest, pumpkin pie eating contest, and live entertainment. You can check out a list of all of the fun events planned for the upcoming Pumpkin Festival on the community page.
The Morton Recreation Center offers summer activities including swimming lessons, cupcake classes, soccer camps, baseball camps and tumbling lessons.
Birchwood Park: Located at W. Birchwood road, the park has four softball fields, stocked fishing pond, shaded areas, snack stand and playground.
Northwood Park: You’ll find this large park off North Main Street. The wooded location includes a challenging disc golf course, large hills (perfect for winter-time fun), nature trails, covered picnic areas (complete with charcoal grills) and a playground. Bird lovers will enjoy spotting the various species fluttering through the trees.
Morton Community Bikeway: Put on your helmet and grab a bike. This 2.5-mile paved trail starts in downtown and travels along the Fon-Du-Lac River. The path is pet-friendly and includes ample parking, a water fountain, and a covered picnic area at the head.
Idlewood Park: Idlewood Park is home to the aquatic center and an outdoor arts pavilion where residents and visitors can enjoy a summer concert series. The park also includes covered picnic areas, a sand volleyball court, grills, a large playground, and two Baggo courts. This park does not allow dogs.
When the weather gets hot, residents and visitors can cool off at the Morton Public Pool. It has two diving boards and waterslides. The pool also features a concession stand and offers swimming lessons.
Oakwood Park: This 17-acre park features a playground, picnic shelters with grills, a fire ring, and a fenced-in dog park. The dog park is available for small and large dogs. Dogs are welcome to roam leash-free in this fenced-in area.
Morton Dining, Shopping, and Entertainment
Field Shopping Center: If you want to hit a movie, grab dinner, or snag in a little bit of shopping, the Field Shopping Center has you covered. You’ll find the local theater here as well as a bakery that offers gourmet meals and cooking classes.
Safari Bowling Alley: What do bowling, and ghosts have in common? Not much, except local folklore suggests that this bowling alley houses a ghost or two. Some locals report hearing the sound of pins falling over when the lanes were empty, and others tell of a girl who haunts the restroom.
Morton roller rink: Morton converted their open-air skating rink to more traditional skating building. This 55-year-old establishment is a fun option for families or friends to burn off some excess energy to fun tunes. The arena is only open on weekends.
Vintage shopping: If you love antique furniture and vintage clothing, Morton is home to several consignment shops that offer a bevy of vintage pieces like Upscale Resale and Used but Not Abused. If you’re looking for something unique, check out Amish Choice Wood Furniture.
There are four public elementary schools, one middle school and one high school in Morton, including:
Jefferson Elementary: Jefferson Elementary is located at 220 East Jefferson Street and has 357 students with 20 classroom teachers. The school hosts grades pre-k through sixth. Jefferson Elementary School report card
Lincoln Elementary: Lincoln Elementary is located at 100 South Nebraska Avenue and has 518 students with 28 classroom teachers. Grades at this school include pre-k through sixth. Lincoln Elementary School report card
Morton Junior High Morton Junior High is located at 350 North Illinois Avenue. There are 416 students enrolled with 29 teachers encompassing grades seven and eight. Morton Junior High School report card
Morton Job Market
Morton is centrally located to all the major interstates, which made it an ideal stop for significant businesses like Caterpillar Logistics, Core Construction, Nestle/Libby’s Pumpkin Cannery, Morton Buildings (corporate headquarters), Menold Construction, and Otto Baum. If you’re looking for opportunities outside of the town, easy transportation to larger cities like Peoria, making commuting a breeze.