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In its earliest incarnations, the Village of Bartlett, Illinois was an old-time camping and hunting ground for the Potawatomi, Ottawa, Miami, and Cherokee Indians. At various other times in the past, Spain, France, Virginia, England, the Northwest Territory, and Indiana also staked their claim to Bartlett. In fact, if not for the fortuitous intersection of the Chicago and Pacific Railway and 40 acres of land belonging to farmer Luther Bartlett, the Village of Bartlett, as we know it today, might never have come to pass.

Luther Bartlett, a native of Conway, Massachusetts, came to Illinois by way of Michigan in 1843.The Bartlett family used the original town site as a “woodlot,” the source of their lumber for buildings and wood for fires.

In the early 1870s, when many a town lived or died according to its proximity to a rail line, the Chicago and Pacific Railroad began building a route west from Chicago to Elgin, Illinois. Luther and Sophia Bartlett, felt that a station stop would be a great and lasting benefit to them and to their neighbors. In 1873, the Bartletts gave half of their 40-acre woodlot and a monetary contribution towards the erection of a train depot. They named the new village, Bartlett, and it bears their name to this day.  

The Village of Bartlett got its official start on February 11, 1891, when the petition for incorporation was filed in Springfield, Illinois. The election for incorporation was held in Herman Niewisch’s hall on February 28, 1891, and it resulted in a 49-0 vote in favor of the motion. George Struckman, a 2nd lieutenant in the Civil War and a Springfield legislator in the 1880s, was elected as the first Village president on March 24, 1891. In that same election, Louis Stumpf became the Village clerk, and John Carr, Jacob Schmidt, August Schick, Herman Niewisch, Charles F. Schultz and Henry Waterman were chosen as Village trustees.

Bartlett’s population has grown from 360 in 1900, to 3,501 in 1970, to more than 41,000 in 2010. It has grown to an area covering more than 16 square miles and now lies in Cook, DuPage, and Kane Counties.

In the Village of Bartlett, “Progress with Pride” is more than a phrase on the municipal logo. Bartlett strives to follow a path of well-managed growth and to provide residents with high quality municipal services, including well-maintained streets, reliable water and sewer service, a responsive police department and thoughtful planning and community development.

When faced with rapid development, Bartlett has been able to maintain its “small town” atmosphere. Walk through the downtown with its period streetlights and paved walkways and you’ll feel that charm. With the Village municipal complex, the historic Depot Museum, a new Metra commuter station, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Arts in Bartlett Center for the Arts, as well as a unique variety of dining, shopping and personal service venues, downtown Bartlett is rich in history and full of promise for the future.

Long known as a family-friendly residential community, Bartlett’s reputation as an attractive suburb for retail and light industrial opportunities has been growing in recent years. 

One small shopping center after another has sprung up along the Route 59 Corridor, from Army Trail Road to West Bartlett Road, providing Bartlett’s growing population with more retail and especially more restaurant choices. Whether you are looking for pizza, ribs and burgers, fast food or sit-down ethnic fare, you can find them in Bartlett.  

Bartlett now boasts three business parks. The 670-acre Brewster Creek Business Park, west of Route 59, houses more than 70 office, commercial, warehousing and light industrial uses. Blue Heron Business Park and Bluff City Industrial Park are slightly smaller projects that nevertheless provide big opportunities for diversifying Bartlett’s economic base.

Bartlett also has much to offer residents and visitors who enjoy nature. The James "Pate" Philip State Park and many acres of forest preserve and open space are located in the Village. If outdoor recreation is what you crave, visit the many parks, ride along the miles of bike paths or play a round of golf at Bartlett Hills, the Village’s municipal golf course.

As you can see, Bartlett is a safe, family-oriented community that is a great place to live, shop, work and play. A place where community pride aren’t just words, but a way of life!