Ashburn, which got its name as the dumping site for the city's ashes, was slow to experience growth at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1893, the "Clarkdale" subdivision was planned near 83rd and Central Park Avenue along the new Chicago & Grand Trunk Railway, with 19 homes in the first 50 years. The early residents were Dutch, Swedish and Irish. Ashburn opened the first airfield in Chicago in 1916, becoming the home to the E. M. Laird Airplane Company. The marshy airfield closed in 1939.