The most notable early settler in the area was Erastus Gary who homesteaded on the banks of the DuPage River, just south of West Chicago's present day city limits in the 1830s. Gary was the father of Judge Elbert Henry Gary, for whom Gary Indiana is named, and who was the first CEO of America's first billion-dollar corporation, U.S. Steel. Gary was also instrumental in bringing brothers Jesse and Warren Wheaton, founders of nearby Wheaton Illinois, from Connecticut to the Midwest. In 1849, the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad reached the site of present-day West Chicago, then continued northwest to Elgin. In 1850, the Aurora Branch Railroad built southwest, making America's first railroad junction point west of Chicago.
The movie "Reach the Rock", written by John Hughes, was filmed in downtown West Chicago in 1998.
West Chicago is also the birthplace of Josh Urban, who is better known as the WWF wrestler "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan.
There are 153 public elementary schools in West Chicago, split between the Indian Prairie Community Unit School District 204, Naperville Community Unit School District 203, Community Unit School District 200, and 46 more additional school districts. Additionally, there are 31 high schools and 212 middle schools in West Chicago, with more than 5,860 students enrolled in public schools in West Chicago.
For parents who wish to explore options outside of the public schools in West Chicago, IL, there are 120 private elementary schools, 90 private middle schools and 21 private high schools within 20 miles of West Chicago. Approximately 22,990 students attend private school in West Chicago.
Things to do in West Chicago and the surrounding area
Cascade Drive In
Sonny Acres Pumpkin Farm
West Chicago Railroad Days Summer Festival
Kline Creek Farm
Coyote Crossing Mini Golf
Round 1 Bowling & Amusement
The Mystery Shop
DuPage County Fair
Cantigny Gardens & Museums