District History


Bronze Statue of Girl thinking

Butler School District 53 is in Oak Brook, Illinois, a suburban community located approximately 15 miles west of Chicago. Nestled in between business and corporate enterprise, Butler School District 53 is called home to over 500 children.

Historically, no official date for the beginning of the school district exists. However, papers filed in the DuPage County Clerk's office disclose a functioning school district early in the 1900s.  Being rural and diminutive in size, the one-room school district maintained low enrollment. In 1930, a merger with District 47 occurred which was short lived. In 1947, District 53 separated from District 47 and became annexed by Elmhurst School District. Enrollment remained low primarily due to land ownership by the Butler family.

For three generations, the Butler family owned a major portion of Oak Brook land and felt little urgency to release it for development. Due to anticipated enrollment, the family approved a new, seven-room school building, which was occupied in the fall of 1961.

Later, Mr. Paul Butler donated 8.9 acres to District 53, on which Brook Forest School was built in 1971. During that same year, Butler School District 53 successfully initiated proceedings to form its own unit school district.
The district has experienced steady enrollment in the following years. Today, there are two schools in this school district. Brook Forest School serves grades Kindergarten through fifth grade, while Butler Junior High continues with grades sixth through eighth. The District also operates a preschool in partnership with the Oak Brook Park District.

For more information about the history of Oak Brook or Butler School District 53, please visit the Oak Brook Historical Society website.