Originally known as Chicago Junction, then Junction Grove, West Englewood's first settlers, predominately German and Swedish farmers, arrived in the 1840s. Rail service to the region began a decade later, bringing more people to the area, and population continued to increase as more new residents arrived in the area to find jobs in the nearby Union Stockyards. The neighborhood's population again rose when "displaced survivors of the Chicago Fire of 1871 and others seeking to escape urban congestion prompted a slow building boom" in the area, and soon after, "streetcars connected the community to downtown Chicago."
"The 1970s saw the decline of West Englewood's economic prosperity" when the loss of stockyard and railroad jobs, as well as the closing of the neighborhood's CTA bus barn, hit the community hard. However, neighborhood residents, with the help of local and national networks, banded together to help address some of the problems in the community. For example, "the West Englewood United Organization was organized by three area churches to provide financial and advisory assistance to homeowners in the community," and he organization also provides summer programs for neighborhood children.