How Did Berwyn, Illinois Get Its Name?

This western suburb of Chicago was conceived in 1890 when William Andrews and Charles Piper, two Chicago attorneys who became realtors, started developing parcels of land in the area which was to become Berwyn.

Steam engines were popular in the early 1890's not only to cross long distances but to pull commuter trains as well. Andrews and Piper knew they would need a station so people could commute downtown.

The Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad already had two stations nearby, one at either end of the settlement, and was reluctant to build a third in the middle of the swamp the realtors called a community. However, Andrews and Piper wanted an in-town station because travel on unpaved roads was difficult.

The railroad agreed to create a stop if Andrews and Piper would build a station. They agreed.

As a result, they had to come up with a name for the stop and they consulted with P.S. Eustis, general passenger agent for the railroad. Eustis had recently returned from a trip to Pennsylvania and was charmed by the community names there. He handed the realtors a timetable from a Pennsylvania railroad so they could get some ideas. Andrews and Piper liked the sound of Berwyn, the name of the small Philadelphia suburb, so they chose it.

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