Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Wayne, IL
Wayne, IL

Wayne, IL

DuPage and Kane Counties, 33 miles W of the Loop. Wayne is an equestrian oasis in far western DuPage County, with homes and barns on large lots.

In May 1834, a stream of settlers moved into Wayne Center (believed to be named after Maj. Gen. Anthony Wayne). The first railroad arrived in 1849, and Solomon Dunham arranged for an inn, a general store, and a house to be built east of the tracks, where he became station agent and postmaster for a second settlement area, Wayne Station. By 1861, all the land in the township had been settled, with business districts in both locations.

Three railroads etched their way through the township by 1888, followed by the electric interurban Chicago, Aurora & Elgin Railway in 1903, which also provided electricity for streetlights. Only a few industries, including a hemp mill and the Morton Sand and Gravel Company, located in Wayne.

Instead, Wayne became an equestrian center. Mark Wentworth Dunham, Solomon Dunham's youngest son, inherited his father's farm in 1865 and founded a horse-importing andbreeding business. In the1920s, this large estate was subdivided, and Solomon Dunham's red brick farmhouse became home to the Dunham Woods Riding Club.

Wayne residents ran the community through a private association between 1945 and 1959. The association fostered long-range planning, preservation of open lands, and support of a police force. The Women's Club operated the streetlights until 1951. Despite the expansive development taking place in surrounding communities, Wayne wished to retain its rural flavor. Into the closing years of the twentieth century, the village did not have postal delivery service, property was zoned for large lots and equestrian use, and fox hunts were given right-of-way over vehicular traffic. In 1995 the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency named the village a Certified Local Government, making it eligible to apply for federal matching funds for historic preservation projects.

Wayne, IL (inc. 1958)
Year Total
(and by category)
  Foreign Born Native with foreign parentage Males per 100 females
1960 373  
1990 1,541   4.2% 96
  1,580 White (102.5%)      
  28 Asian/Pacific Islander (1.8%)      
  2 Other race (0.1%)      
  2 Hispanic Origin* (0.1%)      
2000 2,137   4.9% 93
  2,026 White alone (94.8%)      
  8 Black or African American alone (0.4%)      
  1 American Indian and Alaska Native alone (0.0%)      
  60 Asian alone (2.8%)      
  16 Some other race alone (0.7%)      
  26 Two or more races (1.2%)      
  80 Hispanic or Latino* (3.7%)