Joesph Naper Staute
On Friday, August 23 2013, the City of Naperville erected the 9.5 foot tall Joesph Naper Statue. Joesph Naper was an influential and pivotal part of making the area 30 miles West of Chicago a functioning city. The statesmen Joesph Naper helped bring the community together by integrating schools, churches and mills to create a functioning city when he arrived in 1831. It stands on the Naper Homestead where his home once originally stood. Joesph Naper is remember as a man who helped develop the area we know now as Naperville and the statue now solidifies this.
Backstory and Context
Later in his life he would stand in local, county and state political offices and would vote along side his political colleague President Lincoln on crucial decisions in the 1850's for the state. The 1,500 pound statue is a replica of Joesph Naper when he was 33 years old as a surveyor and community founder. Mr. Naper passed away in 1862 but his impact on the community would last to present day. In his remembrance, the community named the surrounding area Naperville and in 2013 dedicated this statue in his honor. Mr. Pradel, former Mayer of Naperville at the time of erection stated that "His vision, dedication and belief in working hard to transform a little piece of prairie into a booming settlement set the pace for our vibrant community today". The statue was dedicated near Mr. Pradel's end of a 20 year successful run as mayor in the Naperville community where he was well respected.
Mr. Naper was originally born in Ohio and moved West like most other immigrants. He owned and operated a family business of producing and selling ships. Using one of the ships he created, he traveled towards the already settled City of Chicago. From there he traveled West through the DuPage River around 30 miles until he came upon Bailey Hobsons mill and house on the river. Mr. Hobson was already on this site for a year, and had good relations with the indigenous population. The main difference between Mr. Hobson and Mr. Naper was that he was a visionary and statesman that helped progress the area 30 miles west of Chicago. Mr. Naper helped oversee the production of making the area into the city it is today, by building schools, churches and houses to have more of a community within the area. Mr. Naper is credited with the creation of the city and this is why the city is now called Naperville in his honor. The reason behind Mr. Naper retaining the name within the city even though he didn't find it himself is because what he did to help civilize the surrounding area. Another reason for the naming of the city is his political affiliations when he served within the House of Representatives in 1836 alongside Abraham Lincoln where they voted on important Issues in the same political party. Before this, he was village president residing over the new community that he erected from the ground.
Jenco, Melissa. Naperville dedicates statue of founder, Chicago Tribune. August 23rd 2013. Accessed November 29th 2019. Naperville dedicates statue of founder.
JOSEPH NAPER SCULPTURE WAS DEDICATED AUG. 23 AT THE NAPER HOMESTEAD, Positively Naperville. August 24th 2013. Accessed November 29th 2019. https://www.positivelynaperville.com/2013/08/24/joseph-naper-sculpture-was-dedicated-aug-23-at-the-naper-homestead/25979.