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Wheeling is a village in Cook and Lake counties in the U.S. state of Illinois. A suburb of Chicago, it is primarily in Cook County, approximately 23 mi (37 km) northwest of downtown Chicago. Per the 2020 census, the population was 39,137. Wheeling is named for Wheeling, West Virginia.
The land that is now Wheeling, Illinois, was controlled by the Miami Confederacy (which contained the Illini and Kickapoo tribes) starting in the early 1680s. The Confederacy was driven from the area by the Iroquois and Meskwaki in the early 1700s.
The French-allied Potawatomi began to raid and take possession of Northern Illinois in the 1700s. In the late 1700s and early 1800s, the Potawatomi expanded southwards from their territory in Green Bay and westward from their holdings in Detroit, until they controlled in an L-shaped swath of territory from Green Bay to the Illinois River, and from the Mississippi River to the Maumee River.
The descendants of the Potawatomi who once inhabited the land that is now Wheeling currently live on a reservation in Mayette, Kansas.
The first cabin in Wheeling Township was built by a Mr. Sweet in 1833. He sold it to George Strong for $60, making Mr. Strong the first permanent resident in Wheeling Township.
In 1834, Joseph Filkins opened the first tavern-hotel in the township at the intersection of Dundee Road and Milwaukee Avenue. By 1835, there were 18 cabins in the township, and a post office was established in Filkins’ Tavern.
In 1837, Russell Wheeler and Charles Daniels opened a general store and trading post next to Filkins’ Tavern. The settlers who migrated to that area formed the Village of East Wheeling, which later became known as simply Wheeling
A famous hotel called the Union Hotel used to be located on Milwaukee Avenue. It was built in 1856 and reconstructed following a fire in 1925. Over the years, the building evolved into several restaurants. Billy and Company, a restaurant, was the last occupant of the building, which was torn down in 1996 to make way for Union Commons condominiums.
Camp Ramah, a Jewish day camp, is located in Wheeling.
Wheeling was home to video game company Jaleco USA and to the American branch of Taito.
The Korean Cultural Center of Chicago is located in Wheeling