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city, Cook county, northeastern Illinois, U.S. It lies on Lake Michigan, 13 miles (21 km) north of downtown Chicago. Illinois and later Potawatomi Indians were early inhabitants of the area. French explorers passed through the area in the 17th century and called it Grosse Pointe. In a series of treaties between 1795 and 1833, the Potawatomi ceded their lands to the United States. American settlement began in 1836 when Major Edward H. Mulford, a jewelry dealer from New York, built a tavern at the site. In 1850 the community was renamed Ridgeville. A group of Chicago businessmen purchased property along the lakeshore for Northwestern University in 1853 under a special state charter of 1851. The city grew up around the university and was renamed (1857) for physician John Evans, one of Northwestern's founders. An amendment in Northwestern's charter prohibited the sale of alcoholic beverages in Evanston from 1853 until 1972. The city annexed adjoining North Evanston in 1874 and South Evanston in 1892. The university has expanded on landfill