The district was first settled in 1833, when Mark Noble, Sr., built his house northwest of Chicago, Illinois. However, the area remained sparsely when the Chicago and North Western Railway built a station there in 1864. The Norwood Park Land and Building Association (NPLBA) formed in 1868 to purchase 860 acres (350 ha) of farmland with the intention of developing a suburb. The organization was led by Thomas H. Seymour, a broker at the Chicago Board of Trade, and educator John Eberhart. The town was named after the novel Norwood, or Village Life in New England by Henry Ward Beecher; "Park" was added because another Illinois post office already held the Norwood name.