Village History

Name Origin & Founding

In 1840, Deerfield Township was known by the name of Leclair. What you know as "Deerfield" was originally settled in 1835. The name Deerfield was given to it around 1849 or 1850 when townships were being formed in Lake County. Deerfield was named for Deerfield, Massachusetts, and also because of the deer abounding in this area. The Irish settlers had voted for the name "Erin" but they lost by 4 votes - 17 votes for Deerfield and 13 votes for Erin.


The first local government in this area was Township government. Township meetings were held in the various homes of the residents until about 1870 when the Township Hall was built. It was first located on Deerfield Road at Ridge Avenue in what is now Highland Park. When Deerfield Township was divided in 1887 into East and West Deerfield Townships, the Township Hall was moved to 602 Deerfield Road.

The Village of Deerfield was incorporated in 1903. The first President of the Village Board was John C. Ender, whose former home still stands on the southwest corner of Waukegan Road and Westgate Avenue. The Village Board met in the Township Hall until 1923 when they held their Board meetings in the Masonic Temple, which had then been organized and built at 711 Waukegan Road. The Village Board met there until April of 1957 when the Deerfield Village Hall was built at its present location, 850 Waukegan Road.