Long before Illinois’ early settlers moved into the region during the later half of the nineteenth century, the Fox River carved out a picturesque valley through northeastern Illinois.
The quiet, graceful slopes and stately trees that adorn the landscape formed a perfect sanctuary for early townsfolk. Nestled just south of its larger sister city, Elgin, the Village of South Elgin slowly grew and evolved from a rural farming community and railroad depot, to a Rockwellian-like hamlet exuding traditional values.
Throughout the twentieth century, new residents and businesses developed at a steady, comfortable pace. Recently, South Elgin celebrated its 100th anniversary with a gala celebration and reflected on a century of gradual change. A spirit of thoughtful planning and continuous progress has recently given the Village a diverse personality. On the one hand, its small town heritage, brimming with old-world charm, remains intact.
On the other hand, a new era of excitement dawns as the Village enters its second century. From its modest beginnings in the early 1800s to the explosion of development in the late 1990s, South Elgin has always had something special that attracts people from all walks of life.
Whether it’s a relaxing day by the river, a ride on an antique trolley car, or a day of local shopping, the 15,679 residents of South Elgin enjoy the wide variety of amenities this village has to offer.
South Elgin enters the new millennium with an optimism and excitement befitting a town on the move. South Elgin is located in Northeastern Illinois’ Kane County, approximately 40 miles northwest of Chicago. Residents here enjoy the natural beauty of the Fox River Valley, and live close to work and schools. Expansion along the northwest suburban economic development corridor continues into the new millennium and employment opportunities are at an all-time high.
The Village is close enough to the Chicago metropolitan area to take advantage of everything the city offers while still maintaining its own identity. Reaching the city by car is a scenic and pleasant drive. On the west side of the Fox River, State Rt. 31 wanders through rolling woodlands; on the east side, State Rt. 25 extends south to St. Charles and north to Elgin and beyond. Travelers use Illinois Route 19 and US 20 (Lake St.) to reach destinations to the east and west. Randall Road is the preferred route on the west side of town.
Commuters to Chicago use Metra rail service, which makes frequent stops at nearby National St. in Elgin, and at West Bartlett St. in Bartlett. Many also use the Northwest Tollway, I-90, which has access ramps off of Rt. 31 and Randall Rd. just a few miles north of town. For air travel, South Elgin is only 30 minutes away from O’Hare International Airport and 45 minutes from Chicago’s Midway Airport. Local air traffic uses DuPage County Airport on Rt. 64, six miles south of town. It is ideal for business commuters, providing charter service and private storage facilities.
South Elgin is looking forward with eagerness to future developments to join in the success of those already established along the Randall Road Commercial Development Corridor. The Village invites prospective businesses to explore the many advantages it has to offer. Using shrewd business sense, thoughtful planning and a solid work ethic, the community continues to prosper. City leaders are committed to further economic growth and development for this Millennium. Entrepreneurial spirit is rewarded in South Elgin, where many new businesses have recently relocated. The business and industrial park at Sundown and Route 31 continues to attract new companies. Retail centers on West Spring Street and McLean Boulevard continue to thrive. Along the Randall Road corridor on the city’s western edge, a new shopping plaza is attracting more development and investors.
This region is a prime business and residential boom sector; the newly created Thornwood development features both residential and commercial lots at affordable prices and exhibits the broad-minded vision that the Village is known for. Within the last decade, the explosive growth of the Internet and proliferation of E-Commerce has created what experts claim amounts to one of the greatest social, economic and commercial revolutions in history. Today, companies need every tool available to adapt to customers’ needs in a vibrant, ever-changing business climate.
Many firms utilize E-commerce to augment traditional practices while others that rely solely on E-commerce have maximized their potential, thanks to the Internet revolution. The SEBA/South Elgin Chamber of Commerce works hard within the community to ensure a progressive and strong business environment. The corporate tax base is extremely favorable while labor and material costs are very reasonable, meaning greater profit margins in a stable economy. Excellent growth opportunities exist for companies relocating to the area. They can expect many benefits without high taxes, expenses or congestion.
South Elgin’s residential community contrasts nicely with its vigorous business climate. Neighborhoods, where houses combine both affordability and comfort, still possess the charm and spirit of yesteryear. Property tax rates are among the most attractive anywhere. Various architectural styles in many sizes are proudly displayed throughout quiet subdivisions. Charming retreats that overlook the Fox River’s gentle beauty offer panoramic vistas while large, upscale dwellings and carefully restored manors abound, exuding traditional grace. South Elgin students receive the highest quality education and participate in two of the finest school systems in the state. Students attend schools in either the nearby St. Charles Community Unit School District #303 or the U-46 Public School System.
South Elgin’s three elementary schools, Clinton Elementary, Willard School, and Fox Meadow, have a current enrollment of over 1,500 students taught by a faculty of 65 experienced and dedicated personnel. Both Clinton Elementary and Willard Elementary are experiencing growth periods and have additions underway to accommodate the needs of a growing student body.
In the near future, students will attend middle and high school in South Elgin due to a recent referendum authorizing their construction.