Joseph Naper arrived with his family and friends at the west bank of the DuPage River to found what would be known as Naper’s Settlement.
By 1832, over one hundred settlers had arrived at the Resolution of Naper. These settlers were briefly displaced from a strike that was anticipated by the Sauk tribe. Fort Payne was constructed at the Settlement of Naper, the settlers returned and the assault never materialized. The Pre Emption House was built in 1834, as the Settlement became a stagecoach stop traveling from Chicago. Reconstructions of Fort Payne and the Pre Emption House stand within Naper Settlement outside museum village, which was created the Naperville Park District and by the Naperville Heritage Society to maintain some of the community’s earliest buildings.
As its first recorded black female resident Sybil Dunbar came in 1855; she died in 1868 and was buried in Naperville Cemetery on Washington Street. A commemorative marker honoring her was put into the graveyard in 2015.
After DuPage County was split from Cook County in 1839, the Settlement of Naper became the DuPage county seat. The Settlement of Naper was incorporated in 1857, at which time it had a population of 2,000. as the Village of Naperville Reincorporation as a city happened in 1890.
Naperville was the site of among the worst train disasters in Chicago history. Two Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad trains, the Exposition Flyer and the Advance Flyer, collided ‘head to tail’ on one track. The injury injured about 127 passengers or crew members and killed 45. This event is commemorated on the southeast corner of the pavement place of the Nichols Library in a metal inlay map of Naperville. In 2012 writer Chuck Spinner released The Disaster at the Loomis Street Crossing which gives the narratives of the 45 men who perished and details the events of the disaster. At the train station, a memorial entitled Tragedy to Victory was dedicated on April 26, 2014. The sculpture by Paul Kuhn is dedicated to the rescuers at the crash site but also to the crash casualties.
It’s almost quadrupled in size as the Chicago metropolitan area’s urban sprawl brought prosperity, occupations, and corporations to the region.
Naperville marked the 175th anniversary of its 1831 foundation in 2006. The anniversary events comprised a series of concerts, parties and a balloon parade.