Plainfield, Illinois

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Plainfield is a village in Will County, Illinois, United States. As of the 2007 special census, the population is 37,334.

The Village includes land in Plainfield and Wheatland townships. Part of Plainfield is located in Kendall County (Na-Au-Say and Oswego townships). With the growth in the Chicago suburbs in the 1990s and 2000s, the village has seen a building boom and a rapid population increase, from 4,500 in 1990 to 13,000 in 2000 to over 37,000 in 2007. Based on estimates created by the village and state government, Plainfield's population could grow as large as 120,000 by 2030.[1] Plainfield is also the fastest growing village in Will county.[2]

The Village has established a community Preservation Commission and historic preservation ordinance. It is the home of the Lake Renwick Preserve, a county forest preserve used for birdwatching and other activities.

Contents

History

The area was called Walkers' Grove until it was platted as Plainfield in 1841. It was originally settled by a large community of Potawatomi, and the land was later bequeathed to the United States as part of the Treaty of St. Louis (1816) with the Council of the Three Fires. Indian Boundary Road aligns with the western border of the tract of land originally ceded.

The earliest Europeans in the area were French fur traders. The first European settler in the area was James Walker, who traveled with his father-in-law, Methodist Reverend Jessie Walker traveled here in 1826 where he established a small mission for the Potawatomi Indians. James Walker, Jesse Walker's son-in-law, traveled with him and became the first European to claim land in the area in 1828.[3]

In 1828, James Walker, in the company of several men, erected a sawmill around which the settlement of Walkers' Grove developed.

Plainfield is identified as the oldest community in Will County because the earliest settlement of Walkers' Grove was established on the banks of the DuPage River by 1828. However, the actual Village of Plainfield was platted immediately north of Walkers' Grove in 1834 by Chester Ingersoll. The separate community of East Plainfield was platted in June 1836 by James Mathers who began selling lots in July 1836. In addition he also constructed a gristmill and a mill race west of Water Street. Water Street would later become Plainfield-Naperville Road. Ingersoll's Planefield (Plainfield)which comprised lots in Section 16, along with Mather's East Plainfield lots in Section 10 and Levi Arnold's plat of Section 9 all became joined to create the present-day village after the death of Levi Arnold's in 1845.

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