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Yonkers, New York: History Main article: History of Yonkers, New York The area of present-day Yonkers was once part of the land called "Rananchqua" by Algonquian Native Americans. It was first settled by Europeans around 1680 as a farming community, but grew significantly in the 19th century after the construction of several rail lines and two major manufacturing plants (a brass works and a textile mill). The city's name comes from John Young (1749–1810), one of its landowners. In 1845 it was connected to Manhattan by railroad with the completion of nine miles (14 km) worth $200 million at that time; this allowed for an industrial boom which included paper mills such as Curtis Paper Company founded in 1867 on what is now Park Avenue South between 136th Street and 137th Street near where it crosses over Interstate 87 or Major Deegan Expressway.