During the historical period, the earliest inhabitants of the present-day community of Bunker Hill were the Peoria, Kickapoo, and Winnebago Indians who established an encampment near North Washington and West Morgan Streets. Another Native American site was northeast of Bunker Hill near the Millville School area.
From Fort Russell in Madison County to the old watering place at the head of Paddock's Creek northeast of town, the eighteen-mile trail ran in a generally straight course through the prairie along the dividing ridge between the waters and timbers of Paddock's Creek on the east, and Indian Creek on the west.
Native Americans on their northern and southern migrations were accustomed to stopping here near a large spring for water. Soon after the territory opened to American settlement, the indigenous populations were forced across the Mississippi River. The last Native American encampment in Bunker Hill was recorded in 1828, when five wigwams, which stood at the head of Wood River, were taken down and removed to a site further west.