Plainfield, Illinois Rich in History and Cultural Icons

Once a tranquil prairie town, Plainfield is fast becoming a destination in its own right, offering the comforts of suburban life blended with the tranquility of country living. Recognized as Will County’s oldest community, Plainfield continues to build upon its already rich history. Village government is well-positioned to accommodate growth and encourages new commercial and industrial development to help parallel the success of its residential expansion. Its other claim to fame, besides being the home of funny woman Melissa McCarthy, is that it is where the first ice cream sundae is believed to have originated.

Early History

History tells us that Reuben and Betsey Flagg were two of the oldest settlers in the area. Their daughter was the first settler child born in the county in 1830. Just as many families are doing now, the Flaggs decided that Plainfield or Walker's Grove, as it was named until its incorporation in 1834, was more suitable for living than Chicago.

However, the problems that plague Chicago residents today, urban congestion and traffic, were not the problems plaguing the Flaggs. In 1830, swamps covered the City of Chicago, and it appeared to be a very undesirable habitat for large populations. Therefore, the Flaggs ventured onwards to Walker's Grove.

This did not stop Reuben Flagg from capitalizing on the Chicago population. Flagg is attributed with delivering the city's first pork shipment, in 1831, to a group of Methodists. The first frame home in Chicago was possibly due to Flagg hauling the walnut timbers to build it.

Growth Projected

The village today includes land in Plainfield and Wheatland townships, and part of Plainfield is located in Kendall County. 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. While its population is estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau at 40,466 as of 2012, urban and government planners envision that Plainfield’s population could grow to 62,000 by the year 2030.


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