Berwyn is a suburban city in Cook County, Illinois, coterminous with Berwyn Township, which was formed in 1908 after breaking off from Cicero Township. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 56,657.
Before being settled, the land that is now Berwyn was traversed by Native American trails. The most important trails converged near the Chicago portage, and two significant routes crossed what is today Berwyn. A branch of the Trail to Green Bay crossed Berwyn at what is now Riverside Drive, and the Ottawa Trail spanned the southern end of the city.
In 1846, the first land in "Berwyn" was deeded to Theodore Doty who built the 8-foot-wide (2.4 m) Plank Road from Chicago to Ottawa along the Ottawa Trail. The trail had been used as a French and Indian trade route and more recently as a stage coach route to Lisle. This thoroughfare became what is now Ogden Avenue in South Berwyn. In 1856, Thomas F. Baldwin purchased 347 acres (1.40 km2) of land, bordered by what is now Ogden Avenue, Ridgeland Avenue, 31st Street, and Harlem Avenue, in hopes of developing a rich and aristocratic community called "LaVergne". However, few people were interested in grassy marshland. Mud Lake extended nearly to the southern border of today's Berwyn, and the land flooded regularly during heavy rains. The only mode of transportation to LaVergne was horse and buggy on the Plank Road.