Prior to the establishment of a brick industry, Northbrook was a sleepy little settlement. In 1843 James M. Strode and Silas W. Sherman laid claim to 160 acres and eventually purchased enough acreage to own a substantial part of the town.
Following the Fire of 1871, brick replaced wood as a construction material. When a farm near present-day Lake-Cook and Waukegan Roads was found to have excellent clay soil for brickmaking, the National Brick Company and the Illinois Brick Company began their businesses in Northbrook. Brickmakers established a residential settlement known as Bach Town. In 1872 a single track was laid and the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad began to haul the bricks to the city for rebuilding.
In 1899, the Roman Catholic Divine Word Missionaries purchased 337 acres, later adding over 400 more, and built St. Joseph’s Technical School (later called Techny).
In 1950 the population was 3,348; within a decade it more than tripled to 11,635, and grew to 33,435 by 2000. While Northbrook Court added to the village’s tax base, large companies have also contributed. Northbrook became home to Allstate, United Parcel, and Underwriters Laboratories. Techny property has been annexed by Northbrook; plans for the 770-acre parcel include a mixed use of residential, commercial, industrial, and park land, and a golf course.
Encyclopedia of Chicago