Main Births etc
none Village Hall in Plainfield, Illinois
Village Hall in Plainfield, Illinois
Country United States
State Illinois
County Will, Kendall
Township Plainfield (Will Co.)
Wheatland (Will Co.)
Na-Au-Say (Kendall Co.)
Oswego (Kendall Co.)
Coordinates 41°37′2″N 88°12′10″W / 41.61722, -88.20278
Area 24.20 sq mi (63 km²)
 - land 23.22 sq mi (60 km²)
 - water 0.98 sq mi (3 km²)
Population 40,466 (2012 US Census Estimate[1])
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Postal code 60544, 60585, 60586
Area code 815 and 779
Location of Plainfield within Illinois
Location of Plainfield within Illinois
Locator Red.svg
Location of Plainfield within Illinois

Wikimedia Commons: Plainfield, Illinois

Plainfield is a village in Will County, Illinois, United States. The US Census Bureau estimates the population at 40,466 as of 2012.[1]

The village includes land in Plainfield and Wheatland townships. Part of Plainfield is located in Kendall County (Na-Au-Say and Oswego townships). With the growth in the Chicago suburbs in the 1990s and 2000s, the village has seen a building boom and a rapid population increase, from 4,500 in 1990 to 13,000 in 2000 to over 37,000 in 2007. Based on estimates created by the village and state government, Plainfield's population could grow to 62,000 by 2030.[2] Plainfield is also the fastest growing village in Will County.[3]

The village has established a community Preservation Commission and historic preservation ordinance. It is the home of the Lake Renwick Preserve, a county forest preserve used for birdwatching and other activities.


The area was called Walkers' Grove until it was platted as Plainfield in 1841. It was originally settled by a large community of Potawatomi, and the land was later bequeathed to the United States as part of the Treaty of St. Louis (1816) with the Council of the Three Fires. Indian Boundary Road aligns with the western border of the tract of land originally ceded.

The earliest Europeans in the area were French fur traders. The first European settler in the area was James Walker, who traveled with his father-in-law, Methodist Reverend Jessie Walker traveled here in 1826 where he established a small mission for the Potawatomi Indians. James Walker, Jesse Walker's son-in-law, traveled with him and became the first European to claim land in the area in 1828.[4]

In 1828, James Walker, in the company of several men, erected a sawmill around which the settlement of Walkers' Grove developed.

Plainfield is identified as the oldest community in Will County because the earliest settlement of Walkers' Grove was established on the banks of the DuPage River by 1828. However, the actual Village of Plainfield was platted immediately north of Walkers' Grove in 1834 by Chester Ingersoll. The separate community of East Plainfield was platted in June 1836 by James Mathers who began selling lots in July 1836. In addition he also constructed a gristmill and a mill race west of Water Street. Water Street would later become Plainfield-Naperville Road. Ingersoll's Planefield (Plainfield)which comprised lots in Section 16, along with Mather's East Plainfield lots in Section 10 and Levi Arnold's plat of Section 9 all became joined to create the present-day village after the death of Levi Arnolds in 1845.

Walkers' Grove flourished because of the DuPage River and established routes to Fort Dearborn in Chicago, as well as to Ottawa. Reuben Flagg hauled lumber from Walker's mill to Chicago in order to erect the first two frame structures in the city (P.F.W. Peck House and the George Dole Forwarding House). Chicago also depended upon the settlement for mail and supplies. This led to Plainfield being known as "The Mother of Chicago."

The Flanders House.

The Flanders House in Plainfield, Illinois.

The community's early prosperity was stunted when the Illinois & Michigan Canal opened in 1848, because the Village was not located along the canal. Located within the Village are numerous Greek Revival, upright-and-wing cottages, a school built in 1847 (which may be the oldest surviving one-room schoolhouse in Illinois), and a number of early-19th-century homes. Plainfield currently has three buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places: Plainfield House, Flanders House and a 1928 Standard Oil Gas Station.[5]

Plainfield abolitionists offered food and shelter to runaway slaves following the Underground Railroad.[6]

At one time, the two longest paved highways in the world (Lincoln Highway and U.S. Route 66) crossed within Plainfield. The highways only crossed each other twice and both locations are in Will County. The other location is in neighboring Joliet.

Plainfield is also the birthplace of Eddie Gardner, one of the pilots credited with establishing the transcontinental air mail routes for the United States Postal Service. The earliest architects associated with buildings in Plainfield are J.E. Minott of Aurora; G. Julian & John Barnes of Joliet; and Herbert Cowell of Joliet and Plainfield.

On August 28, 1990, the Plainfield Tornado, an F5 tornado, went through the Village and parts of Crest Hill and Joliet, killing 29 people and injuring hundreds.

North Central College was first founded in the village in 1861 as Plainfield College.

Plainfield Public Library District was first founded in the village in 1925 as the Nimmons Village of Plainfield Free Public Library.

A population explosion started to take form at the start of the 21st century caused by the sale of many farms. This made way for a large number of new home subdivisions. Before the population boom, Plainfield was primarily an agricultural town.

Certain older parts of Plainfield have suffered from extreme traffic congestion. Before Interstate 55 was built just east of the town in the late 1950s, U.S. Route 30, The Lincoln Highway and U.S. Route 66 (sometimes referred to as "The Mother Road") merged into one street for three blocks on what is now Illinois Route 59. This merge is now only shared by U.S. 30 and Lincoln Highway, between Plainfield/Joliet Road on the south to Lockport Street on the north, but continues to be an area of heavy traffic congestion even outside heavy commuting periods.


Plainfield is located at 41°37′2″N 88°12′10″W / 41.61722, -88.20278 (41.617280, -88.202837).[7]

According to the 2010 census, the village has a total area of 24.20 square miles (62.7 km2), of which 23.22 square miles (60.1 km2) (or 95.95%) is land and 0.98 square miles (2.5 km2) (or 4.05%) is water.[8]

Like its namesake, Plainfield's topography is generally flat. Thousands of years ago, land in greater Plainfield used to be part of the bed of proglacial Lake Wauponsee. However, the lake did not hold up long, and eventually drained into the Illinois River valley.[9] The lake left behind a very flat landscape. Much of downtown Plainfield has an above sea level elevation of around 600–625 feet (180–191 m), with some areas in the western and northwestern portions of the village's outskirts exceeding 700 feet (210 m). This rise in elevation was created by terminal moraines that were formed during the Wisconsin Episode of the last ice age's last glacial period that has been recorded.


As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 13,038 people, 4,315 households, and 3,521 families residing in the village. According to a 2003 special census, the village has a population of 20,673. The population density was 1,122.8 people per square mile (420/km²). There were 4,609 housing units at an average density of 396.9 per square mile (153.3/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 95.85% White, 0.84% African American, 0.08% Native American, 1.25% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.01% from other races, and 0.96% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.87% of the population.

There were 4,315 households out of which 47.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 73.6% were married couples living together, 5.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 18.4% were non-families. 14.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.01 and the average family size was 3.37.

In the village the population was spread out with 31.9% under the age of 18, 6.3% from 18 to 24, 36.2% from 25 to 44, 19.4% from 45 to 64, and 6.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 100.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.7 males.

According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the village was $73,217, and the median income for a family was $81,247.[11] Males had a median income of $59,328 versus $35,861 for females. The per capita income for the village was $28,242. About 1.0% of families and 1.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.2% of those under age 18 and 2.3% of those age 65 or over.

A special census conducted in 2010 pegged the city's population at 39,581.


Major Highways[]

Major highways in Plainfield include:

Interstate Highways
I-55.svg Interstate 55

US Highways
US 30.svg US 30
US 66 (historic).svg US 66

Illinois Highways
Illinois 59.svg Route 59
Illinois 126.svg Route 126


The Suburban Chicago PACE bus system expanded two routes (755 and 855) to Plainfield beginning May 6, 2013. Both routes are " bi-directional, weekday rush hour service"[12] from the Plainfield Village Center to Downtown Chicago. One route terminates in the Illinois Medical District and the other in Chicago's East Loop.[13]


Plainfield High School Central Campus

Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202 serves Plainfield as well a small portion of Plainfield is served by Oswego Community Unit School District 308 as Plainfield Township in unincorporated parts of Will County, Joliet (Caton Farm Road Corridor), and small parts of Bolingbrook and Romeoville.

As of the 2012-2013 academic year, the school district spanned a 64-square mile area and served 28,728 students.[14]

Plainfield Area High Schools

High School Established School District Location County
Plainfield Central High School 1959 Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202[2] 24120 Fort Beggs Dr, Plainfield, IL 60544 Will
Plainfield South High School 2001 Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202[3] 7800 Caton Farm Rd, Plainfield, IL 60586 Kendall
Plainfield North High School 2005 Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202[4] 12005 S 248th Ave,
Plainfield, IL 60585
Plainfield East High School 2008 Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202[5] 12001 S Naperville Rd, Plainfield, IL 60585 Will

Notable people[]

  • Lisa Chesson, Olympic defenseman with the U.S. women's ice hockey team; was born in Plainfield and played on Plainfield Central High School's varsity hockey team
  • Scott Davis, defensive end with the Los Angeles Raiders; attended Plainfield High School
  • Nate Fox, power forward and center with several European teams
  • John Henebry, US Air Force General; born in Plainfield
  • Melissa McCarthy, actress; born in Plainfield
  • Alexander Ratiu, Romanian political prisoner; priest at St. Mary Immaculate Church (1975–1982)
  • Kyle Williams, wide receiver with the Kansas City Chiefs; attended Plainfield Central High


External links[]

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Plainfield, Illinois. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.