Named for the native elk that roamed the northern Illinois forests and grasslands, Elk Grove Village was initially settled in 1834 by pioneer New England farmers. By 1848, German-immigrant farmers soon settled in the area, establishing a thriving community that would eventually become Elk Grove Village.
The rural community transformed into a center of commerce when Douglas Aircraft built a military transport manufacturing plant in nearby Orchard Place during World War II. Following the war, the industrial facility and land was sold for $1 to the City of Chicago as war surplus. The location would then become the world’s busiest airport – O’Hare International Airport. The phenomenal expansion of O’Hare during the 1950s and 1960s closely parallels Elk Grove Village’s growth as a successful community and leading Midwest industrial center.