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The Chicago Cubs baseball team has the longest championship drought in North American professional sports history. The Cubs won their last World Series in 1908, and they famously ended their 108-year championship drought by winning the World Series in 2016.
Will County, located in northeastern Illinois, has a rich and diverse history that dates back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Potawatomi, Ottawa, and Chippewa, who relied on the plentiful natural resources found in the region. European settlement began in the early 19th century, with the first permanent settlers arriving in the 1820s.

In 1836, Will County was officially established as a separate county, named after Dr. Conrad Will, a prominent politician and physician. The creation of the Illinois and Michigan Canal in the 1840s played a significant role in the county's development, connecting the Great Lakes with the Mississippi River and promoting economic growth in the area. Agriculture became the dominant industry, with farms producing a wide range of crops, including corn, wheat, and livestock.

The late 19th century brought rapid industrialization to Will County, fueled by the expansion of the railroad system and the discovery of natural resources such as coal and limestone. This led to the establishment of numerous mining operations and manufacturing industries, propelling the county into an era of economic prosperity.

In the 20th century, Will County continued to grow and diversify its economy. The construction of major highways, like Interstate 55 and Interstate 80, facilitated transportation and attracted businesses to the area. Today, the county is known for its thriving manufacturing, healthcare, and logistics sectors, with a population that has steadily increased over the years.

Overall, Will County's history reflects its transition from a predominantly rural, agricultural region to a more urbanized and industrialized area, while still retaining its connections to its Native American roots and natural surroundings.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Will County, Illinois.

  • 1673: French explorers Louis Joliet and Father Jacques Marquette pass through the area.
  • 1836: Will County is established as a county in the state of Illinois.
  • 1838: The city of Joliet is founded and serves as the county seat.
  • 1846: The Illinois and Michigan Canal is completed, connecting Lake Michigan to the Illinois River and boosting economic growth in the county.
  • 1855: The Chicago and Alton Railroad reaches Joliet, further spurring industrial and population growth.
  • 1919: Joliet Prison, now known as Stateville Correctional Center, opens.
  • 1926: Route 66 is designated, passing through Will County and bringing increased traffic and commerce.
  • 1960: Joliet becomes the fastest-growing city in the United States.
  • 1970: The construction of the Interstate 55 and Interstate 80 interchange further enhances transportation in the region.
  • 2000: Will County becomes one of the fastest-growing counties in the nation.