Many small cities' existence today is all thanks to the hard work of the first settlers that arrived on the land. Ottawa, Illinois is one of these cities and was built on the backs of hard work and good living. Much of the city's history is tied into the industrial and commercial development within the region.

The first settlers, mostly fur trappers and traders, arrived on the land around 1823. They traded with the Native American tribes that lived along the Illinois River. "Ottawa" comes from Indian "Awdawe," which means "to trade."

The 1830s brought a settlement that formed around the Illinois and Fox Rivers at Fort Ottawa. The Green brothers cleared the land. They erected a sawmill and gristmill and became the first to grind the wheat by water power in northern Illinois.

In 1830, the town was platted. Shortly after, in 1831, LaSalle County was formed and Ottawa became the county seat. With the native lands given up to the federal government, much of the Ottawa area was open for the masses to settle. European immigrants flocked to Ottawa, attracted by the rich soil for farming.

Construction of the Illinois and Michigan Canal began in 1836 and brought in hundreds of Irish immigrants looking for work. The building and completion of the canal brought more businesses and supplies, both of which allowed Ottawa to grow steadily.

Sixteen years after becoming a village, Ottawa received its City Charter from the State of Illinois. In the 1850s, Ottawa's population sat around 5,000. By 1900, it had more than doubled to 10,500.

Today, Ottawa is known as 'The Friendly City" and preserves its historical buildings to remember where the city came from all while looking ahead at where it's going. Here at the Bill Walsh GM Superstore, we couldn't be prouder of our home city.