Plainfield History

The Village of Plainfield, population 43,000, is located in Plainfield Township in Will County, 40 miles southwest of Chicago. Plainfield is bounded by Naperville to the north, Joliet to the south, Romeoville to the east and Oswego to the west. O’Hare International Airport is 38 miles to the north and east. Midway Airport is 34 miles to the east. Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202 has over 25,000 students attending thirty schools within its sixty-four square mile district which includes students from several surrounding communities including Bolingbrook, Crest Hill, Joliet, Naperville and Romeoville.

In 1828 Walkers Grove was established by preacher Jessie Walker and family. By the early 1830s twelve families had resided in the small hamlet. Feeling overcrowded, James Mather, Levi Arnold and Chester Ingersoll started a new settlement three miles north along the DuPage river. In 1834 the Village of Plainfield was established. At that time, Levi Arnold plotted the northern half of the village while Chester Ingersoll plotted the southern half. James Mather had platted the eastern portion of the village. On February 28, 1861, the northern part of Plainfield (as plotted by Levi Arnold) was incorporated under a special act of the State Legislature. In April 1869, both the northern and southern parts of the village were again incorporated. Then on June 30, 1877 all portions were incorporated under the general law of the State.

The village suffered a series of fires which nearly destroyed all of downtown Plainfield in the late 1880’s through the early 1900’s. An electric inter-urban line called the JP&A was established in 1904 between Joliet and Aurora. The interurban line ran from October 1904 until the automobile made interurban travel unnecessary in 1924. During that time Plainfield was a summer destination for much of northern Illinois. Electric Park opened to tremendous fanfare in 1905. It including 20 acres of parkland along the DuPage River which hosted such activities as dining, dancing, swimming, boating and bowling to name a few. After Electric Park closed the auditorium became a dance hall and lastly an ice skating/roller skating rink in the 1950s-1960s. Lastly, the structure was used as a bus barn for the Plainfield Community School District 202. It was destroyed by the tornado that struck Plainfield on August 28, 1990. Click here to read more about Plainfield’s tornado history.

The Village of Plainfield is located in Plainfield Township in Will County, 40 miles southwest of Chicago. The Village is bisected east to west by Illinois Route 30, and north to south by Illinois Route 59. Interstate 80 and 88 are seven miles south and eleven miles north respectively. O’Hare International Airport is 38 miles to the north and east. Midway Airport is 34 miles to the east. Today, the Village finds itself one of the nations fastest growing cities with residents living in both Will and Kendall counties. To learn more about Plainfield’s history, click here.