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Timeline
From its founding in 1831, through turbulent political times, a Civil War and two World Wars, Naperville has retained its small town charm and continues to be a beacon for those looking for a Midwestern way of life, close to the amenities of a major metropolitan city like Chicago.

The flowing DuPage River is a continuum that runs through the timeline of Naperville. A water and energy source to the earliest settlers, today, the sparkling river is the centerpiece of Naperville’s Riverwalk, which remains an attraction to residents and visitors alike.

Ranked as a top community in the United States to raise children, retire and start a home-based business, the city boasts nationally acclaimed schools, the best public library system in the country, an exceptionally low crime rate, and a lower unemployment rate than the state’s average. In 2005 and 2006, the city was once again named as one of best places to live in the United States by Money Magazine.

Timeline of Naperville
1830: Stephen Scott and his family and the Bailey Hobsons settle along the banks of the DuPage River
1831: Joseph Naper, his family, and other families from Ashtabula, Ohio, arrive and establish Naper’s Settlement
1833: First post office established
1839: DuPage established as a county, separate from Cook County. Naperville becomes the county seat
1850: Plank Road established from Naperville to Chicago
1857: Naperville organized as a village
1868: Wheaton residents steal the county records
1870: North Western College (now North Central College) dedicated
1874: Naperville purchases its first firefighting equipment, a hand pumper
1886: Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad approved to run through town
1889: New City Hall completed
1890: Naperville incorporated as a City
1898: Nichols Library dedicated
1915: Naperville Lounge Company reincorporated as Kroehler Manufacturing Company
1927: New SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church dedicated
1931: Centennial Celebration in Naperville includes founding of permanent memorial, Centennial Beach
1939: City opens its first museum in the former home of Caroline Martin Mitchell
1950: Harold Moser builds his first housing development
1958: East-West Tollway completed to Naperville
1969: Naperville Heritage Society founded
1972: Naperville North High School opens
1981: Riverwalk established in honor of Naperville 150th anniversary
1992: New Municipal Center opens on Eagle Street
2006: City celebrates its 175th Anniversary with the themes: Heritage, Unity and Vision


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