St. Charles is a city and Chicago suburb in Kane County, Illinois, United States, and is roughly 40 miles (64 km) west of Chicago on Illinois Route 64. According to a U.S. Census Bureau estimate in July 2012, the city has a total population of 33,327.
St Charles was the location of the Native American community for the chief of the Pottawatomie that inhabited the area. After the Black Hawk War in 1832, the entire area of the Fox Valley was opened to American settlement. The township was initially known as Charleston, but this name was already taken by the downstate city of Charleston, Illinois so the name of St. Charles (suggested by S. S. Jones, a lawyer) was adopted in 1839.St. Charles became incorporated as a city in 1834, 3 years before the city of Chicago.St. Charles was without a railroad until 1871 when a branch line from Geneva was constructed, and was without a direct connection to Chicago until the 1880s with the coming of the Chicago Great Western Railway.Streetcar lines along the Fox River between Elgin and Aurora were built through the city in 1896, operated by the Aurora, Elgin and Fox River Electric company. A direct automobile route to Chicago, which eventually became Route 64 (Main Street), was constructed in 1920. Four Illinois state routes, including Routes 64, 38 (Lincoln Highway), 25 (5th Avenue) and 31 (2nd Street) now run though the city.