Elgin, Illinois

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Elgin (pronounced /ˈɛldʒɨn/) is a northwestern suburb of Chicago located roughly 40 mi (64 km) northwest of Chicago on the Fox River. Most of Elgin lies within Kane County, Illinois, with a portion in Cook County, Illinois. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 94,487, making it the eighth-largest city in Illinois and the 241st largest city in the United States.

As of 2009, Elgin's population is estimated to be at 107,521, and the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission forecasts Elgin will have a population of 167,375 in 2030.[citation needed]



The Black Hawk Indian War of 1832 led to the expulsion of the Native Americans who had settlements and burial mounds in the area, and set the stage for the founding of Elgin. Thousands of militiamen and soldiers of Gen. Winfield Scott's army marched through the Fox River valley during the war and accounts of the area's fertile soils and flowing springs soon filtered east.

In New York, James T. Gifford and his brother Hezekiah Gifford heard tales of this area ripe for settlement, and travelled west. Looking for a site on the stagecoach route from Chicago to Galena, they eventually settled on a spot where the Fox River could be bridged. In April 1835, they established the city, naming it after the Scottish hymn "The Song of Elgin."[2]

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