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Trip Planner USA  /  Illinois  /  Des Plaines

Des Plaines

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Des Plaines is a city in Cook County, Illinois, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 58,364. It is a suburb of Chicago and is just north of O'Hare International Airport. It is located on, and named for, the Des Plaines River, which runs through the city just east of its downtown area.HistoryPotawatomi, Ottawa, and Ojibwe (Chippewa) Native American tribes inhabited the Des Plaines River Valley prior to Europeans' arrival. When French explorers and missionaries arrived in the 1600s, in what was then the Illinois Country of New France, they named the waterway La Rivière des Plaines (River of the Plane Tree) as they felt that trees on the river resembled the European plane tree. The first white settlers came from the eastern United States in 1833, after the Treaty of Chicago, followed by many German immigrants during the 1840s and 1850s. In the 1850s, land in the area was purchased by the Illinois and Wisconsin Land Company along a railroad line planned between Chicago and Janesville, Wisconsin. In 1852, the developers built a steam-powered mill next to the river, to cut local trees into railroad ties. Socrates Rand then bought the mill and converted it into a grist mill, which attracted local farmers. The Illinois and Wisconsin Railroad made its first stop in the area in the fall of 1854.
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