Honoring Our Town Founder

The City of Naperville recently held an event 182 years in the making.

In partnership with Naper Settlement and the Naperville Heritage Society, many gathered for the unveiling and dedication of the newest piece of artwork in downtown Naperville, a statue of our town’s founder Joseph Naper.

The ceremony took place on the 151st anniversary of Naper’s death.

Naper and his family arrived in the area in 1831. The statue is placed at the site of his original home and trading post.

The Heritage Society held two archeological digs in 2006 and 2007, uncovering four foundations. In 2011, the city opened Naper Homestead at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Mill Street, displaying the first, second and third home Joseph and Almeda Naper built on the site with low stone walls outlining the location of their foundations. The space also includes a hand water pump, benches and signs explaining the site past uses and significance.

Local cartoonist Dick Locher, famous for drawing Dick Tracy comics, was the artist for the 9-foot tall, 1,500 pound bronze statue, while Jeff Adams, owner of InBronze, brought the statue to life.

Tune into Naperville News Extra on September 17 for a more in-depth look at the statue and its journey to Naperville.

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