Most of Naperville’s early settlers were farmers.
Farmers transformed the wide-open prairie into acres of corn, wheat, oats and pastureland for livestock. Early Naperville farms produced the food that settlers needed to survive. As the community grew, farmers cultivated crops and livestock they could sell in commercial markets. Naperville soon had some of the most productive farms in DuPage County.
Farmer John Haight bought this small board-and-batten house in the 1860s from the family of John Naper, the brother of Naperville’s founder, Joseph Naper. Haight may have used it as an outbuilding for storage or as housing for farm laborers. He specialized in raising livestock. His Chester White pigs won prizes from the DuPage County agriculture society. Haight probably sold some of his animals to local butchers, but he could also ship his livestock by railroad to the Chicago Union Stockyards, where meatpackers processed thousands of hogs, cattle and sheep daily.
The Naper Haight House was built on Washington Street in the 1850s. It was later rented as a residence. The building was moved to Naper Settlement in 1983.