In 1833 Joel Sterling Sherman and his family bought 160 acres of land in the northwest quarter of Section 10 for $1.25 per acre; Northbrook's downtown is now located on this site.
Soon after Mr. Sherman bought that land the area was named Shermerville after Mr. Frederick Schermer who donated the land for the first railroad station (Schermer Station and later Shermer Station). By the 1870s, the region was a farm town with well-established brick yards which prospered during the rebuilding that followed the Great Chicago Fire in October of 1871.
In 1901 following a close referendum, the town was incorporated as the Village of Shermerville with about 60 homes and 311 residents. The village had five saloons, a meat market, a coal and feed store, a general store, a harness store, a stonecutter, and a railroad station. Shermerville gained notoriety during its early years for boisterous gatherings at its inns and taverns. By 1921, residents felt that the Shermerville name had a bad reputation.
In 1923 the Citizens Club of Shermerville started a movement to change the name of the village and asked residents to submit new names for the village. A postcard listing several choices was then sent to residents for them to vote for their favorite. Northbrook, the name submitted by Edward Landwehr, was the one chosen. A petition signed by one hundred twenty-six residents was presented to the Board of Trustees asking them to change the name of the Village to Northbrook. At that time there were 500 residents.
Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.