History of Northbrook

1800s


The earliest recorded residents of the Northbrook area were the Potawatomi tribe under Chief Shabbona. In 1833 the tribe ceded their land in Illinois and relocated near Council Bluffs, Iowa. Joel Sterling Sherman and his family bought 159 acres for $1.25 per acre in the northwest quarter of Section 10. This is the site of the Northbrook Central Business District.

Soon after Mr. Sherman bought that land the area was named Shermerville after Mr. Frederick Schermer who donated the land for the first railroad station (Schermer Station and later Shermer Station). By the 1870s the region was a farm town with well-established brick yards which prospered during the rebuilding that followed the Great Chicago Fire in October of 1871.

1900s


In 1901 following a close referendum, the town was incorporated as Shermerville with about 60 homes and 311 residents. By 1921, residents felt that the Shermerville name had a bad reputation. After a contest, the new name of Northbrook, submitted by Edward Landwehr, was adopted as the official name in 1923. At that time there were 500 residents.

Northbrook did not grow rapidly until after World War II when subdivisions of homes were first developed. In 1940 the population was 1,265, but by 1960 the population was 11,635. Another growth spurt was stimulated by the completion in 1963 of a water line to bring Lake Michigan water to Northbrook's new water treatment plant. By 1970 the population had more than doubled to 25,422. The current population is 33,435 (2000 census).