The Des Plaines River Valley was occupied by the Potawatomi, Ottawa, and Chippewa Indians immediately prior to the arrival of the first settlers from the east during the second quarter of the 19th century. Following the Treaty of Chicago in 1833, pioneers from New England and New York began farming the prairie that would eventually become Des Plaines. German immigrants, seeking economic and political freedom, arrived in the area in large numbers during the 1840s and 1850s. German was the primary language in many Des Plaines homes and churches.
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