Encyclopedia o f Chicago

Historical Sources : Bound Volume
Historical Source
Incorporation Act of Little Fort, 1837

Incorporation Act of Little Fort, 1837
In 1841 the residents of Lake County, which had split from McHenry County in 1839, voted to move the county seat from Burlington (now Libertyville) to Little Fort, where county commissioners had recently bought some land. The state granted a charter for Little Fort to become a town in 1849. The charter included a provision that allowed a majority of voters to change the name to Waukegan, an option that they immediately exercised. "Waukegan" is a Potawatomi word for "Little Fort," a name recognizing the 18th-century French trading post that had existed on the site. In 1859 Waukegan reincorporated as a city.