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Batavia, a suburb of Chicago, was founded in 1833 and is the oldest city in Kane County. During the later 1800s, Batavia became known as "The Windmill City." Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, a government-sponsored high-energy physics lab, is located in the city.

It was first settled by Christopher Payne and his family in 1833, when the city was called Big Woods for the wild growth throughout the settlement. Congressman Isaac Wilson renamed the town in 1840 after his former home of Batavia, New York, and was given permission because he owned the majority of the town. The city was incorporated on July 27, 1872.

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