History of Naperville, Illinois
In 1831, Joseph Naper founded Naperville along the DuPage River. Over the next decade, he drew the first plat of land and the village attracted settlers from the Northeast, Germany, England, and Scotland. Naperville became an important stop on the intersecting stage routes between Chicago, Galena, and Ottawa, making it an early center of industry and commerce.
The city grew prosperous over the next century —largely thanks to its connection to the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad — and became home to North Central College, flourishing stone quarries, and some of the nation’s most successful manufacturers. Through the 1950s and 60s, the city became a hub for research and developmental enterprises. Naperville’s easy access to Chicago and booming residential, industrial, retail, and service industries catalyzed the community’s growth and the city reached a population exceeding 128,000 by the year 2000.