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City of Naperville History
Stephen Scott and his son, Willard, were the first to settle along the DuPage River in 1830; however, the first settlers in DuPage County were Bailey Hobson, his wife, Clarissa, and their children. In 1831, Joseph Naper was a captain on the Great Lakes who gave up his seafaring ways to move west to the Illinois frontier with his wife, Almeda, their children, his brother, John, and several other families from Ashtabula, Ohio. They arrived on the shores of Lake Michigan at Fort Dearborn in the summer of 1831 and loaded up their wagons for the journey to what would become known as Naper's Settlement along the DuPage River.
From the earliest settlers to today's homeowners, the spirit of cooperation and initiative lives on and continues to shape Naperville into a premier destination for businesses and residents.
View biographies of some of Naperville's most prominent historical figures including:
Learn about the first known African American woman to live in Naperville,
in this video by NCTV-17.
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