Frankfort, Illinois

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Frankfort /fɯ̆ɹæiŋk.foɻt/ is a village in Will and Cook Counties, Illinois, United States. The population was 10,391 at the 2000 census. The population according to Forbes.com was 16,928 in 2006. Also, according to Forbes.com, the village ranks as the 36th fastest growing suburb in the United States. [1] In addition to the current population growth, the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission has forecast the population to reach 55,797 in 2030. [2]

Contents

Previous spelling

Frankfort's name was never spelled "Frankfurt" even though it was named after Frankfurt am Main in Germany. It was commonly known as "Frankfort Station" after the opening of the Joliet & Northern Indiana Railroad through the township in 1855. The local residents incorporated as a village in 1879. After that it was simply known as "Frankfort."

History

First inhabited by Native Americans, including the Pottawatomie, Sac and Fox tribes, Frankfort was used as a conduit between the Des Plaines and St. Joseph Rivers. Originally, the area was part of the Virginia Territory before the French signed a treaty with Manitoqua, the Pottawatomie Chief, for land in the Prestwick area. The first pioneers came to Frankfort in the early 1830s by means of the Des Plaines River from the southwest and by wagon from the east along the Sauk Trail, a roadway that still exists today.

William Rice, the first non-native settler, made a permanent settlement in Frankfort in 1831. While the first pioneers, coming mainly from the New England Colonies, were mostly of English and Scottish descent, German settlers made the Village of Frankfort a reality. Later in the 1840’s German Settlers migrated from the Pennsylvania area to Frankfort.

They had fled harsh conditions in their homeland by coming to America and proved to be very industrious and experienced farmers as they soon bought most of the fertile farm land from the “Yankees”, who were more inclined to provide services for local needs. Establishing both ownership and pride in the area, the German settlers implemented the first system of resident concern for local lands, which has been maintained ever since.

What is now known as Frankfort Township was originally part of the Hickory Creek Precinct. Will County was originally divided into ten precincts. The county was later changed to townships. In 1850, Frankfort Township was named by Frederick Cappel after his native city, Frankfurt-Am-Main, Germany. In 1855 the Joliet and Northern Indiana Railroad, built a line through an area linking Joliet with Lake Station, Indiana. The J&NI Railroad was leased to the Michigan Central Railroad and service was implemented in July 1855. Nelson D. Elwood, an officer of the rail line, and Sherman Bowen, a Joliet attorney and real estate man jointly platted a village of around 23 acres (93,000 m2) in March 1855 and named it Frankfort after the townships name. It was commonly referred to as Frankfort Station because of the railroad depot located there.

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