A Brief History of Normal, IL: From Settlement to Plumbing Success

Have you ever wondered how our little corner of the world came to be?  Today, we invite you to join us on a journey through time as we explore the rich history of Normal, Illinois. Discover how this vibrant town has evolved from its humble beginnings to become the thriving community it is today.  We are a plumbing company, but we appreciate our roots here in the Bloomington-Normal community.  Enjoy the results of our research!

1. Early Settlement and Founding:

Normal, IL traces its roots back to the early 19th century when settlers began to arrive in the area. The town’s history is closely intertwined with that of Illinois State University (ISU), which was established in 1857 as Illinois State Normal University. The university’s mission was to educate teachers, and it played a crucial role in the development of the region.  Originally named North Bloomington, the Town of Normal was founded in 1965 and incorporated by state charter officially in 1867.

2. Growth and Development:

As the university expanded, so did the town of Normal. The arrival of the railroad in the 1850s spurred economic growth and brought increased opportunities for trade and transportation. The population grew steadily, and new businesses and industries emerged, contributing to the town’s development.

3. Agricultural Heritage:

Like many towns in the Midwest, Normal had strong ties to agriculture. The fertile land surrounding the town made it an ideal location for farming, and the community became a center for agricultural education and research. The university’s College of Agriculture played a significant role in advancing farming techniques and promoting agricultural innovation.

4. Education and Culture:

With the presence of ISU, Normal developed a vibrant cultural scene and a strong commitment to education. The university’s influence expanded beyond teacher education, offering a wide range of academic disciplines and fostering a spirit of intellectual curiosity. The town’s commitment to education continues to this day, with excellent public schools and a dedication to lifelong learning.

5. Modernization and Infrastructure:

In the 20th century, Normal experienced significant modernization and infrastructure development. As technology advanced, the town adapted, embracing new industries and fostering innovation. The establishment of corporate headquarters, such as State Farm Insurance, brought new economic opportunities and further growth to the community.

6. Community Spirit:

One of the defining features of Normal, IL is its strong sense of community. The town has a rich tradition of civic engagement, with residents actively participating in local government, community events, and volunteering. Normal’s welcoming and inclusive nature has created a warm and inviting atmosphere for residents and visitors alike.

Today, Normal has a population of 52,497 and spans 17.04 square miles.  There are 17 parks in its borders and it is home to three successful colleges and universities.  The Uptown area has become an attraction, home to the Children’s Discovery Museum and unique shops and restaurants. 


As we conclude our journey through the history of Normal, IL, we hope you have gained a deeper appreciation for the town’s rich heritage. From its humble beginnings as a settlement to its growth into a thriving community, Normal’s story is one of resilience, progress, and community spirit. As a plumbing company, we are proud to be a part of this vibrant town and serve its residents with the highest quality services. Stay tuned for more informative articles and updates from our blog!

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