The Villa Park Public Library (VPPL) is located at 305 South Ardmore Avenue in downtown Villa Park, Illinois 60181. Not only is Villa Park a railroad suburb, but it has two former railroad stations – Ardmore Avenue Train Station and Villa Avenue Train Station – on the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places.
Today, the old Ardmore Avenue Train Station at 10 West Park Boulevard is home to the Villa Park Chamber of Commerce and the old Villa Avenue Train Station at 220 South Villa Avenue is home to the Villa Park Historical Society Museum. Both stations were on the Chicago Aurora & Elgin (CA&E) Railroad.
Villa Park is south of Addison, west of Elmhurst, north of Oakbrook Terrace and Oak Brook, and east of Lombard in DuPage County. It is only a few miles southwest of O’Hare International Airport, but is eighteen miles west of the Chicago Loop, which makes it a middle-ring suburb. In his entry on Villa Park in The Encyclopedia of Chicago, Aaron Harwig writes it “represents a good example of Chicago suburban development in the early twentieth century.”
The land now occupied by Villa Park was formerly home to Pottawatomi, Ojibwa, and Ottawa. The first farmers to settle the area were a combination of Yankees from New England and New York and German immigrants.
For area farmers to get their surplus to market, they improved St. Charles Road in 1843. They gained greater access to the outside world with the Galena & Chicago Union Railroad in 1849.
Fifty-one years later, two farmers in the area, Florence Canfield and Louis Meyer, “sold land to the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin Railway, setting in motion the chain of events that would transform the area into a bustling suburb,” as Harwig wrote it. This interurban electric railway service began in 1902. Eventually, it connected the big city on Lake Michigan to three small cities on the Fox River: Elgin, Geneva, and Aurora.
It allowed not only for passenger travel, but for newspaper and milk delivery services, “and even funeral transportation to cemeteries in eastern Cook County.” A branch of the interurban line ran to Mount Carmel Cemetery, a Catholic cemetery of the Archdiocese of Chicago in Hillside, Illinois.
The real estate development firm Ballard & Pottinger created Villa Park. First, in 1908, the company purchased a parcel of land near the railroad and subdivided it into 203 one-acre lots. They named the subdivision Villa Park.
Second, in 1910, the company developed a subdivision west of Villa Park and called it Ardmore. The two subdivisions were divided by Summit Avenue. Four years later, the two subdivisions incorporated as the Village of Ardmore.
The name bothered residents of the first subdivision. In 1917, residents voted in a referendum to change the name to the Village of Villa Park.
That same year, the Berne, Switzlernad-based Wander Company, makers of Ovaltine, built a plant in Villa Park. The village’s close proximity to both the big city and farmland and transportation infrastructure made it an ideal place to build both homes and businesses.
At incorporation, Villa Park had 300 residents. By 1920, the number of residents had nearly tripled. Ten years later, there were 6,220 residents, 13.3% of whom were foreign-born.
The suburb grew continuously during the interwar years and accelerated in the postwar years. Many of the original one-acre lots were subdivided into smaller lots to accommodate more homes.
Development was unaffected by the closure of the interurban railway in 1957. Two years later, Willowbrook High School opened with an enrollment of 1,950 students, to alleviate massive overcrowding at York High School.
As the population continued to grow, an addition was built three years later. The population grew from 8,821 residents in 1950 to 25,891 residents in 1970. The population declined somewhat to 22,253 residents in 1990 and 22,075 residents in 2000, but rose above 22,500 residents again by 2006.
 An example of cooperation between the Villa Park Historical Society Museum (VPHSM) and the Villa Park Public Library came in 2010 when the VPHSM created a glass exhibition in the VPPL.
 Bishops and archbishops of Chicago are buried in the Mausoleum Chapel of the Archbishops of Chicago, designed by William J. Brinkman (1874-1911), who designed a number of notable parish churches in the Chicago area and helped design The Basilica of Our Lady of Sorrows on the West Side of Chicago. Today, Mount Carmel shares its offices with the adjacent Queen of Heaven Cemetery.