Local History

Home History Research Help

Ever wonder how old your house is? Who lived there in the past? What it looked like originally? Whether your interest is a house's construction date, past owners or architecture, the City of Wheaton Historic Commission can help. They'll help you discover resources and show you what each reveals. Learn about the Wheaton Register of Historic Places and how to get your house listed.
Contact Gretchen Murphy at gmurphy@wheatonlibrary.org or call 630-868-7523 to set up a one-on-one virtual help session.

Wheaton History

Find city histories, biographies of Wheaton people, old maps, telephone directories, high school yearbooks, and newspaper clippings in the Genalogy section on the 2nd floor.

Books about Wheaton
High School Yearbooks & Newsletters

DuPage County History

County histories, town histories, historical guides and plat map books show DuPage County’s past in varying ways and eras.

Books about DuPage County

Bird’s-Eye View of Wheaton, DuPage County, Illinois 1882

This map was printed by lithographers Adam Beck and Clemens J. Pauli in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and published by J. J. Stoner of Madison, Wisconsin. It looks northeast and includes an index to points of interest.

The bird’s-eye view map was a popular cartographic form used to depict U.S. and Canadian cities and towns during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Known also as panoramic maps, perspective maps, and aero views, bird's-eye views are nonphotographic representations of cities portrayed as if viewed from above at an oblique angle. Although not generally drawn to scale, they show street patterns, individual buildings, and major landscape features in perspective. (Library of Congress)

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Aerial Photograph of Wheaton 1906

Photographer George R. Lawrence (1869-1938) captured this panoramic view of Wheaton in 1906 with a system he designed called the Captive Airship. Large-format cameras were suspended from unmanned kites and flown in connected lines which kept the cameras steady against varying wind conditions. The photo was taken from a vantage point approximately in the location of today’s Wheaton Center towers looking east in December 1906.

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Aerial Photographs of Wheaton 1939

The following aerial photographs were originally used by the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Adjustment Administration (USDA-AAA) to assess the nation's agricultural lands. They are widely recognized as a unique and detailed record of the cultural and physical landscape of Illinois. Statewide coverage of the USDA-AAA aerial photographs was undertaken for Illinois from 1936 through 1941. The photographs of Wheaton were taken on August 24, 1939.

The individual aerial photographs have not been georeferenced meaning there is no locational information on the photographs and no map coordinates are contained within the photographic image file. The links to the photographs below represent an aerial view of Wheaton in 1939 along Geneva, Roosevelt and Butterfield Roads. Each photograph is identified by an intersection using present day roads at approximately the photograph’s center. The additional descriptive information (e.g. BWS 1-17) identifies a particular ‘Photo Center’ found on the map at 1937-1947 Illinois Historical Aerial Photography under the ‘Viewer’ tab. –description taken in part from http://clearinghouse.isgs.illinois.edu.

The photographs below are used with permission by the Illinois State Geological Survey. © 2004–2011 University of Illinois Board of Trustees. All rights reserved.

Geneva and County Farm Roads (BWS 1-52)
Geneva and Pleasant Hill Roads (BWS 1-51)
Geneva Road and Gary Avenue (BWS 1-50)
Geneva Road and Main (Schmale) Street (BWS 1-49)
Geneva Road and N. President Street (BWS 1-48)

W. Roosevelt and Shaffner Roads (BWS 1-17)
W. Roosevelt Road and Hazelton Avenue (BWS 1-18)
W. Roosevelt Road and Gables Boulevard (BWS 1-19)
W. Roosevelt Road and Main Street (BWS 1-20)
E. Roosevelt Road and Blanchard St. (BWS 1-21)

Butterfield and Wiesbrook Roads (BWS 1-79)
Butterfield Road and Arrowhead Golf Course (BWS 1-78)
Butterfield and Orchard Roads (BSW 1-77)
Butterfield and Naperville Roads (BWS 1-76)
Butterfield Road and Hull Drive (BWS 1-75)
Butterfield and Lambert Roads (BWS 1-74)