St. Charles is a city in DuPage and Kane counties in the U.S. state of Illinois. It lies roughly 40 miles (64 km) west of Chicago on Illinois Route 64. As of the 2010 census the population was 32,974, and as of 2019 the population had decreased to an estimated 32,887. The official city slogan is “Pride of the Fox”, after the Fox River that runs through the center of town. St. Charles is part of a tri-city area along with Geneva and Batavia, all western suburbs of similar size and relative socioeconomic condition. St. Charles was the location of the Native American community for the chief of the Pottawatomie that inhabited the area. A city park overlooking the river was dedicated to this Native American past.
After the Black Hawk War in 1832, the entire area of the Fox Valley was opened to American settlement. Evan Shelby and William Franklin staked the first claim in what is now St. Charles in 1833. They came back in 1834 with their families from Indiana, and were joined by over a dozen other families later that year. The township was initially known as Charleston, but this name was already taken by the downstate city of Charleston, Illinois so the name of St. Charles (suggested by S. S. Jones, a lawyer) was adopted in 1839. St. Charles became incorporated as a city February 9, 1839 and reincorporated October 17, 1874 (under the 1870 Illinois Constitution).
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