Westmont is a village in DuPage County, Illinois, United States. Westmont is a community of 5.03 square miles in area. Westmont had a 2000 population of 24,554, a partial special census was conducted 2007 resulting in a population of 26,211, and the census of 2010 put the population at 24,685. It is located approximately west of the Chicago Loop in the southeastern portion of DuPage County, on the fringe of the Chicago Metropolitan Area.
The area known as Westmont was inhabited by the Potawatami until the year 1833. After several failed attempts by the U. S. Government to persuade the Native Americans to move from the area, in 1833, the Native Americans agreed under coercion to vacate their land for nominal payment.
The development of the Illinois-Michigan Canal, authorized by the State of Illinois in the 1820s but delayed in construction until the 1830s, contributed to Westmont's early growth. When the economic Panic of 1837 halted canal construction, many of the workers turned to farming, and agriculture became the major occupation, with produce sold in nearby Chicago. The area around Westmont became one of the most prosperous sections of the state.
In order to transport agricultural products into the city of Chicago, construction of a plank road originating in Chicago began in 1840. The plank road was placed over the nine-mile (14 km) swamp separating Chicago and the area that became Westmont, and reached Naperville, Illinois by 1851. Today, this roadway is known as Ogden Avenue (U.S. Route 34).
The plank road soon became inadequate; in 1858, local incorporated towns and villages petitioned the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad to build a branch line from Chicago to Aurora, Illinois that would pass through their towns. The railroad line was approved, with the first train in 1864. "Greg’s Station," from which Westmont developed, was a stop to load agricultural and dairy products. The town transitioned gradually from an agricultural community to a commuter community, with the early growth and development centered around the railroad station.
In the early 1900s, plats for the Village of Westmont were laid out and roads were dedicated; incorporation, decided by only a narrow margin, followed in 1921. Westmont was officially incorporated on November 10, 1921; Vince Pastor served as the first president of the Village Board.
The Village did not encourage concentrated commercial or industrial growth until the 1950s, with the development of some light service companies, industrial firms, and wholesaling firms. However, it was not until the 1960s and 1970s the Westmont began to grow in earnest; Westmont High School did not open until 1974. New subdivisions and multiple family housing units led to the tripling of the population.