Evanston, IL is a suburb of Chicago located about 12 miles north of the Chicago “loop”. As of the 2010 census 74,500 residents called Evanston home.

Before the 1830’s,the current area of Evanston was mainly wetlands and swampy forest.   Originally French explorers referred to the area as “Grosse Pointe” after a point of land jutting into Lake Michigan about 13 miles (21 km) north of the mouth of the Chicago River.  Later the names “Grosse Point Territory” and “Gross Point voting district” were used through the 1830s and 1840s.  In 1850, a township called Ridgeville was organized, extending from Graceland Cemetery in Chicago to the southern edge of the Ouilmette Reservation and from Lake Michigan to Western Avenue in Chicago.

In 1851, a small group of business leaders founded Northwestern University and Garrett Biblical Institute.  In 1854, the founders of Northwestern submitted to the county judge their plans for a city to be named Evanston after John Evans, one of their leaders and in 1857, the request was granted.

Evanston was incorporated as a town in December 1863, but declined five years later to become a city.  Today, top employers within the city include Northwestern University, NorthShore University Health System, and Evanston-Skokie School District 65.

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