In early November of 1993, a town and village combined to become the city of West Peoria.
25 News spoke with residents today about why they say, “living is best to the west.”
Twenty-five years ago, a group of residents came together to accomplish what many thought was impossible.
“Put in a lot of work, got the signatures, got it on the ballot and the rest was history,” said West Peoria Mayor James Dillon.
Dillon has been Mayor for 24 years and has no plans of leaving.
“There’s a lot of good things to be done and there’s a lot of good people to serve in West Peoria,” Dillon said.
The Mayor says one of their main reasons for success is family owned businesses that have been in West Peoria for many years – like West Peoria staple, Haddad’s open since 1963.
“We’ve always been very open with the community over here in West Peoria,” said Mark Wrhel, Owner and Operator of Haddad’s Market. “If the fire department walks in and asks for something it’s not like they’re really asking for it, it’s you tell me what you need.”
He says living in the same place that he works is very important to him, so customers know they are all in it together.
“It’s definitely different where neighbors know each other and not just on either side of you, but across the street and behind you and down the alley.”
Another West Peoria staple – Geier Florist – has been in West Peoria for over 100 years.
“Just lot’s of people that have been with the business for a long time and lot’s of support from our community and that makes a huge difference,” said Jenny Howell, Geier Florist Head Designer.
Those who have lived there all their lives say it’s the people that make it home.
“Everybody’s friendly, everybody’s nice. People are really there to help each other and once you come to West Peoria, you kinda don’t want to leave.”
Many life-long residents told us with everything going on in the world right now, they are happy to celebrate their little city they are proud to call home.