About This Place
Chicago Heights is a city in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 31,373 at the 2005 census.
The first European settler in the area was Absalom Wells in 1833. He built a log cabin where the Vincennes Trail crossed Thorn Creek, but then moved farther west to where Chicago Road is now. The first permanent settlers were Adam and Phoebe Brown who built an inn at the intersection of Sauk Trail and the Vincennes Trace. In 1835, a large group from Ireland arrived. At this time, the town was known as Thorn Grove. The first school was built in 1836. The Reformed Presbytherian Church of Thorn Grove was formed in December 1843. The Batchhelder and McCoy homes in Thorn Grove were stops on the Underground Railroad. The first railroad arrived in 1853. The village was renamed Bloom. It was then renamed again in 1892 to Chicago Heights and incorporated as a village. In 1897, the village had twenty factories. By 1901, Chicago Heights had a population of over 5,000 and became a city. Its population nearly tripled in the next ten years.
At the time of its incorporation as a city in 1900, the original residents of Chicago Heights were German settlers. In following years, the city became a haven for Italian, Polish, and Irish immigrants. Later, many African Americans and Hispanics called Chicago Heights home. The city’s economic and ethnic diversity is reflected in the variety of its residential neighborhoods.