Before the early 20th century, the area now designated West Elsdon was a marshy remnant of an ancient lake. The early settlers were German-Americans and Irish-Americans. During the 1930s, housing was built and Polish-Americans and other Central Europeans settled the area. The land remained rural until World War II, when growth resumed and brick houses were built. Mexican-Americans settled in the eastern part of the community. Soon public schools were registering more Hispanic-Americans, and the CTA Orange Line was built to connect Midway Airport to Downtown.
Actress/Author Jenny McCarthy grew up in the area. She is a graduate of St. Turibius grammar school.