About This Place
West Chicago is a city in DuPage County, Illinois, United States. The population was 23,469 at the 2000 census. It was formerly named Turner Junction after its founder, John B. Turner, president of the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad (G&CU) in 1855. The city was initially established around the first junction of railroad lines in Illinois, and today is still served by the Union Pacific/West Metra service via West Chicago station.
According the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.8 square miles (35.8 km²), all of it land.
The most notable early settler in the area was Erastus Gary, of Pomfort Conn., who homesteaded 760 acres on the banks of the DuPage River just south of West Chicago's present day city limits in the 1830's. Gary was the father of "Judge" Elbert Gary, for whom Gary, Indiana is named, and who was the first CEO of America's first billion-dollar corporation, US Steel. Gary was also instrumental in bringing brothers Jesse and Warren Wheaton, founders of nearby Wheaton, Illinois, the Dupage County seat, from Connecticut to the Midwest. A pioneer cemetery on the old Gary Homestead, where a sawmill had been built by the Garys, just north of Gary's Mill Road, and north of its terminus at Il. State route 59, was bulldozed and built over for apartment buildings during the administration of mayor John Downs in the 1960's.