Park Ridge, Illinois, is a Chicago suburb of 37,775 residents. It is located fifteen miles northwest of downtown Chicago, it is close to O'Hare Airport, major expressways and rail transportation. It is said Park Ridge is on the highest ridge in Cook County. While this is not true, it does lie on a ridge. The soil is abundant with clay deposits, which made it a brick-making center for the developing city of Chicago. Park Ridge was originally called Pennyville to honor George Penny, the businessman who owned the local brickyard along with Robert Meacham. Later it was named Brickton. The Des Plaines River divides Park Ridge from neighboring Des Plaines, Illinois, which is west of Park Ridge. Chicago is both south and east of Park Ridge, and Niles is to its north. Park Ridge is the hometown of former First Lady & current United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. When she visited Park Ridge on the occasion of her 50th birthday in 1997, the city renamed the southeast corner of the intersection of Elm and Wisner Streets, next to her girlhood home, "Rodham Corner." The city is also home to the headquarters of the Big Ten Conference.