Winfield's history traces back to the mid-19th century, well before its official incorporation in 1921. It began as the Gary's Mill settlement and nearly became Fredericksburg and Frederick Park due to the German heritage that its early people brought with them. It became Winfield when it was believed that Gen. Winfield Scott passed through the area during the Black Hawk War of the early 1830s. Winfield's history is attributed to people, businesses, and social activities. Its people included unique individuals such as Jacob Mueller and John Hamm, as well as the Higgins, Enders, and Besch families. Its businesses included longtime staples Higgins Store and Schmidt's Meat Market, as well as popular gathering locales like Hamm's tavern. Early social activities usually centered at Forester's Hall. Many residents attended mass at St. John the Baptist Church, which started in 1867, burned in 1906, and was rebuilt and rededicated one year later. While Central DuPage Hospital is a staple of today's Winfield, early Winfield had the Forsythe Rest Farm and the Chicago-Winfield Tuberculosis Sanitarium.