Evanston is a city in Cook County, Illinois, United States,with a population of 74,486 as of 2010.
Prior to the 1830s, the area now occupied by Evanston was mainly uninhabited, consisting largely of wetlands and swampy forest. However, Potawatomi Indians used trails along higher lying ridges that ran in a general north-south direction through the area, and had at least some semi-permanent settlements along the trails.French explorers referred to the general area as "Grosse Pointe" after a point of land jutting into Lake Michigan about 13 miles (21 km) north of the mouth of the Chicago River.In 1851, a group of Methodist business leaders founded Northwestern University and Garrett Biblical Institute.In 1854, the founders of Northwestern submitted to the county judge their plans for a city to be named Evanston after John Evans,one of their leaders. In 1857, the request was granted.The township of Evanston was split off from Ridgeville Township; at approximately the same time, that portion of Ridgeville south of Devon Avenue was organized as Lake View Township. The nine founders, including John Evans, Orrington Lunt, and Andrew Brown, hoped their university would attain high standards of intellectual excellence. Today these hopes have been fulfilled, as Northwestern consistently ranks with the best of the nation's universities.