Itasca Chamber of Commerce
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About - History

Itasca was first settled by Dr. Elijah Smith in 1841. Dr. Smith practiced in Boston, and in May 1841, he set out to find a suitable site for doctoring, farming, and raising a family. He traveled from New York via Detroit and headed toward DuPage County. His parchment government land title dated March 10, 1843, was signed by John Tylor, President of the United States. The document gave Smith title to the land that is now bounded by the railroad tracks on the south, Maple Street on the west, Cherry Street on the east, and Division Street on the north.

In 1873 Smith plotted eighty acres of his land into lots. The Chicago and Pacific Railroad was completed from Chicago to Elgin, with stations at Bensenville, Wood Dale (called Lester) and Itasca. Smith gave the right-of-way to encourage location of the tracks through the settlement. He donated $400 to help build a station.

The citizens of Itasca decided in 1890 to incorporate into a village. At a meeting at his mill, A. G. Chessman was elected the first Village President. Irving Park Road was first called the Chicago and Elgin Road. At an 1891 Village Board meeting, the name was changed to Elgin Avenue.

The rural village of the 1800s and early 1900s retained its atmosphere until the 1940s. A new word then began to enter the American vocabulary: suburb. The influence of the city increased as population increased. Commuting daily to the Loop became the routine for many of the Village wage earners. By 1982, the population had grown to 7,192. Annexations had resulted in fifty miles of Village streets, more parks, and two industrial areas to serve. Providing safety and service as population increased required the establishment of departments of public works, of sewer and water, of building and police. A park district, a Village library, and a fire district were formed.

Modern industry was foreign to Itasca until 1961 when Central Manufacturing District (CMD) bought about 400 acres on the western edge of the village. An industrial park was established, and such national companies as Continental Can and FMC soon moved in. In 1970, the Itasca Industrial Park was established to the east of the Village, and attracted many more industries.

In October 1979, Trammel Crow Company of Texas broke ground for Hamilton Lakes. A 420-room Stouffer Hotel and a ten-story office building, completed in 1981, constituted the first phase of the project, situated on 278 acres on the northwest edge of Itasca. To date 15 buildings out of an estimated 26 have been completed, amounting to 2,767,589 gross square feet of floor space with an ultimate development of 4,490,700 gross square feet. A 16-story office building was added to the complex in 1984.

A Historical Commission was created in 1985 to retain the aesthetic beauty, character, and historical integrity of the Village. The Village of Itasca is committed to the preservation of its pre-1900 and early 1900 homes, buildings, structures, and places.

The Village of Itasca “Committed To Our Future, Inspired By Our Past”.


Our mission is to promote business alliances and advance the professional, economic,
and industrial welfare of the Village of Itasca.

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© 2010-2012 Itasca Chamber of Commerce
650 East Devon Avenue, Suite 155 • Itasca, IL 60143
Phone: 630.773.2949