In its earliest times, the Village of Bartlett, Illinois was served as a hunting and camping ground for the Cherokee, Miami, Potawatomi, and Ottawa Indians. Throughout the past, the Northwest Territory, Virginia, Indiana, Spain, France and England had staked their claim for Bartlett. However, the territory was owned by a man named Luther Bartlett. Luther and Sophia Bartlett had decided that a station stop would be beneficial for their town and townspeople.
In 1873, Bartlett gave a monetary contribution and half of his 40-acre woodlot towards the construction for a train depot, which is why the town is named after Luther Bartlett. Bartlett later became one of the premiere pig towns, becoming their main export for years to come. A petition for incorporation was filed in Springfield on February 11, 1891. The village was incorporated on June 21, 1892. Bartlett experienced the majority of its population growth in the 1980s.