Round Lake, IL is a major city in the state of Illinois located about 50 miles northwest of Chicago’s ‘loop’. As of the 2010 census 18,300 residents called Round Lake home.
In the 1890’s, when officials of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad extended a branch line from their Milwaukee–Chicago main line at Roundout to Janesville, WI western Lake County farmers gained easy access to Chicago.
Landowners near Hainesville knew that a railroad station would increase property values. Residents then offered the railroad free land in exchange for a station. Residents also created a town map to show railroad officials that profitable traffic would come through the station site. Since Hainesville failed to offer anything the village of Round Lake (named after the lake) became the area station.
In 1901 the Armour Company decided to harvest ice from Round Lake for their refrigerator car operations. They erected a massive ice storage building holding over 100,000 tons for shipment in spring and summer months. Several years later landowners acted to incorporate the station area however the proposed village population was too small to meet incorporation requirements. As a result, area farmers were included in the village with the understanding that once incorporation was successful their farms would be removed from the town. On January 7, 1909, Round Lake incorporated. Soon after, those farmers who wished to disconnect were allowed to do so—an act which prevented present-day residents of the village from having any public access to their namesake lake.
Since the 1970s, Round Lake has embarked on an expansive annexation program. With ongoing development of those areas, Round Lake was expected to continue to grow. From 2000 to the present time, the village has doubled in population.
Noteable people from Round Lake include: Clay Guida, UFC fighter; Tim Unroe, first baseman with the Milwaukee Brewers, Anaheim Angels, Atlanta Braves; Josef Musial, one of the founding software developers for America Online.