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WHEATON

 

The city of Wheaton is located approximately 32 miles from downtown Chicago.  As the seat of DuPage County, Wheaton is home to the county government center and the DuPage County Historical Museum.

 

Wheaton was founded in 1837 -1838 by Erastus Gary and Jesse and Warren Wheaton. Erastus Gary came west from the New England area in search of good farmland. In 1837, Warren Wheaton arrived in the area and later laid claim to 640 acres of land near Naperville and Roosevelt Roads. When Jesse arrived, he laid claim to 300 acres of land adjoining Warren Wheaton's property to the west. In 1848, the Wheaton brothers and Erastus Gary gave the railroad three miles of right-of-way and the railroad officials named the depot Wheaton. The farmhouses built by Warren and Jesse Wheaton and the twentieth-century prairie-style homes are part of the cityís story that is told by volunteers at the Wheaton History Center. The center offers many exhibits on local history, including a permanent display on efforts of DuPage County abolitionists to aid runaway slaves.

 

In keeping with a town so rooted in history, the Wheaton Public Library has an extensive collection of genealogy materials, including print sources, microfilm, microfiche and CD-ROM.  Periodically, the library offers a series of classes for beginners on researching family history. The library also hosts many popular programs, including and elementary reading challenge and story hours for children ages 3 months to 6 years. 

 

Students attend Wheaton-Warrenville District 200, a consolidated elementary-secondary district, or Glen Ellyn Elementary District 89 and Glenbard High School District 87. Both districts consistently rank above the state averages on annual exams. Other schools include St. Francis High School and St. Michaelís catholic schools. Wheaton College, one of the most highly respected Christian colleges in the nation, and National Louis University are also located in the city.

 

Wheaton offers some unusual recreation opportunities. The Wheaton Park District operates Cosley Animal Farm and Lincoln Marsh. A large recreation center offers classes and activities for all ages.  Eight hundred acres of parks provide playing fields and open space and nearby county forest preserves include Danada and Herrick Lake. The city is also on the Illinois Prairie Path, a 61-mile trail that stretches through DuPage County. The Arrowhead Golf Course is a 27-hole course set on over 200 acres of wooded land.

 

Wheaton is served by Central DuPage Hospital, a facility with more than 370 beds and 600 physicians. Four major shopping areas sit on the intersection of Naperville and Butterfield roads, including the unique Prairie-style inspired Wheaton Towne Center.

 

Downtown Wheaton is home to unique shops and a wide range of ethnic and family restaurants and quaint cafes. The central business district is on the Burlington Northernís Metra commuter rail line from Chicago to Geneva, as is a stop serving the eastern portion of the city. The city is also near Interstates 88 (the Eisenhower Expressway) and 355 (the North-South Tollway) and is served by the Pace Suburban Bus System.