Downers Grove, Illinois

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Downers Grove is a village in Downers Grove and Lisle Townships, DuPage County, Illinois, located 22 miles (35 km) west of Chicago. The population was 48,724 at the 2000 United States Census.[2] The United States Census Bureau estimated the population in 2008 to be 49,250.[3]



Downers Grove was founded in 1832 by Pierce Downer, a religious evangelist from New York. Its other early settlers included the Blodgett, Curtiss, and Carpenter families. The original settlers were mostly migrants from the Northeastern United States and Northern Europe. The first schoolhouse was built in 1844.

During the American Civil War, 119 soldiers from Downers Grove served in the Union Army; at least one of these was interred in the cemetery downtown. There was an abolitionist presence in the village, and some of the older homes are thought to have been stops on the Underground Railroad[citation needed]. However, there is no evidence to substantiate this claim.

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