Naperville is a city in DuPage and Will Counties in Illinois in the United States, voted the second best place to live in the United States by Money Magazine in 2006. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 141,853. It is the fifth largest city in the state, behind Chicago, neighboring Aurora, Rockford, and Joliet. Approximately 100,000 Napervillians live in DuPage County, while about 45,000 reside in Will County. Once a quaint farming town, Naperville has evolved into an affluent city with numerous corporate headquarters located in the city. In a 2010 study, Naperville was named as the wealthiest city in the Midwest and eleventh in the nation with a population over 75,000.
In July 1831, Joseph Naper arrived at the west bank of the DuPage River with his family and friends to found what would be known as Naper's Settlement. Among those original settlers were Naper's wife Almeda Landon, his brother John with wife Betsy Goff, his sister Amy with husband John Murray, and his mother Sarah. Their arrival followed a nearly two-month voyage across three Great Lakes in the Naper brothers' schooner, the Telegraph. Also on that journey were several families who remained in the still raw settlement that would become Chicago, including that of Dexter Graves who is memorialized in Graceland Cemetery by a well-known Lorado Taft statue.
By 1832, over one hundred settlers had arrived at Naper's Settlement. Following the news of the Indian Creek massacre during the Black Hawk War, these settlers were temporarily displaced to Fort Dearborn for protection from an anticipated attack by the Sauk tribe. Fort Payne was built at Naper's Settlement, the settlers returned and the attack never materialized. The Pre-Emption House was constructed in 1834, as the Settlement became a stage-coach stop on the road from Chicago to Galena. Reconstructions of Fort Payne and the Pre-Emption House stand as part of Naper Settlement outdoor museum village, which was first established by the Naperville Heritage Society and the Naperville Park District in 1969 to preserve some of the community's oldest buildings.