Mendota is a city located in north-central Illinois in LaSalle County, Illinois, United States. The city has 7,272 residents, and is the fifth largest city in LaSalle County. It is part of the Ottawa–Streator Micropolitan Statistical Area. The current mayor is David W. Boelk, an independent elected to a four year term in April 2005. He was re-elected in April 2009. Mendota is served by U. S interstate 39, U.S. Route 34, U.S. Route 52, and by many state highways including Illinois Route 251. There is also daily train service by Amtrak at the Mendota Amtrak station to Chicago and also to points west on the Illinois Zephyr, Carl Sandburg, and Southwest Chief routes. Helen E. Hokinson, cartoonist for The New Yorker from 1925 until her death in 1949, was born and raised in Mendota. Former Minnesota Vikings running back Bill Brown was also born and raised in Mendota. Wartburg College (now located in Waverly, Iowa) was located in Mendota from 1875 to 1885.