In its earliest incarnations, the Village of Bartlett, Illinois was an old-time camping and hunting ground for the Potawatomi, Ottawa, Miami, and Cherokee Indians. At various other times in the past, Spain, France, Virginia, England, the Northwest Territory, and Indiana also staked their claim to Bartlett. In fact, if not for the fortuitous intersection of the Chicago and Pacific Railway and 40 acres of land belonging to farmer Luther Bartlett, the Village of Bartlett, as we know it today, might never have come to pass.
Luther Bartlett, a native of Conway, Massachusetts, came to Illinois by way of Michigan in 1843.The Bartlett family used the original town site as a “woodlot,” the source of their lumber for buildings and wood for fires.
In the early 1870s, when many a town lived or died according to its proximity to a rail line, the Chicago and Pacific Railroad began building a route west from Chicago to Elgin, Illinois. Luther and Sophia Bartlett, felt that a station stop would be a great and lasting benefit to them and to their neighbors. In 1873, the Bartletts gave half of their 40-acre woodlot and a monetary contribution towards the erection of a train depot. They named the new village, Bartlett, and it bears their name to this day.
The Village of Bartlett got its official start on February 11, 1891, when the petition for incorporation was filed in Springfield, Illinois. The election for incorporation was held in Herman Niewisch’s hall on February 28, 1891, and it resulted in a 49-0 vote in favor of the motion. George Struckman, a 2nd lieutenant in the Civil War and a Springfield legislator in the 1880s, was elected as the first Village president on March 24, 1891. In that same election, Louis Stumpf became the Village clerk, and John Carr, Jacob Schmidt, August Schick, Herman Niewisch, Charles F. Schultz and Henry Waterman were chosen as Village trustees.
Bartlett’s population has grown from 360 in 1900, to 3,501 in 1970, to more than 41,000 in 2010. It has grown to an area covering more than 16 square miles and now lies in Cook, DuPage, and Kane Counties.
In the Village of Bartlett, “Progress with Pride” is more than a phrase on the municipal logo. Bartlett strives to follow a path of well-managed growth and to provide residents with high quality municipal services, including well-maintained streets, reliable water and sewer service, a responsive police department and thoughtful planning and community development.