Township 34, Range 2, and the town of Waltham are in territory and boundaries identical. With the exception of a small grove on the Percomsoggin in the southwest part of the town, it is all prairie. Thomas Burnham settled in the extreme southwest corner in 1834. Some others came in that locality in 1836, but the first on Waltham Ridge was Jones and others, in 1838, and it peopled slowly till after 1850 when it filled up rapidly in common with all the prairie towns. The principal part of the town is high, rolling and desirable land, and is mostly covered with first class improvements. The town has no railroad, but it has a good and convenient market at Utica and La Salle, sending its products to market by cheap canal transportation. There is a French settlement of considerable numbers in the northeast part of the town, and a number of Scotch in the northwest. Several of the early settlers on Waltham Ridge were from Waltham, Mass., hence the name.
[Source: History of LaSalle County, Illinois by Elmer Baldwin, Chicago, Rand, McNally & Co., Printers, 1877, SKETCH OF THE PIONEER SETTLERS OF EACH TOWN IN THE COUNTY, Waltham, Page 463-464 - Transcribed by Nancy Piper]