Elgin, Illinois

The explosion of the white population in Illinois in the 1820s and 1830s (increasing three-fold in those 10 years), rivalries between Indian chiefs, failed treaties, and Chief Black Hawk arriving home to find white settlers occupying his village in 1832 -- his home for over 150 years -- led to the Black Hawk War of 1832. That conflict ultimately resulted in 70 settlers and soldiers being killed. And although it signaled the end of conflict between settlers and Indians in the Mid-West, it also resulted in Black Hawk's capture and the death of hundreds of his loyal followers. All Native Americans were forced to leave their settlements and burial grounds in the area.

Chicago Aurora and Elgin Railroad sign

Word of the ideal conditions all along the Fox River - such as fertile soils and clean flowing springs - attracted new settlers, mostly from the east. Two brothers from New York came looking for a site along the stagecoach route from Chicago to Galena. They eventually settled on a spot where the Fox River could be bridged, establishing the city of Elgin in 1836 and naming it after the Scottish hymn "The Song of Elgin." Industries like the Borden Condensed Milk Factory, the Elgin Watch Company and the Elgin Sweeper Corporation have all helped to build a strong community; historic architecture graces Elgin's streets and includes many Victorian homes, cobblestone homes and Sears Catalogue Homes.

The Elgin of today is a very rapidly growing, diverse and dynamic city with plenty of opportunities. Numerous venues are available to enjoy the culture, arts, theater, numerous parks and recreational facilities Elgin has to offer. One of the largest and fastest-growing cities in Illinois, Elgin still retains some of the natural beauty and habitat diversity that first brought settlers to this area. Come see the city with a strong sense of community pride and a spirit of volunteerism and participation!