In 1869, settlers from Lee County, IL settled in the southeastern part of the county. Anticipating the arrival of the railroad, area residents purchased and platted the town site of Wayne in 1880. The Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Omaha Railroad's extension west from Wakefield in 1881 helped settle the town of Wayne, first named Brookdale by railroad officials.
Residents moved the county seat to Wayne from LaPorte in March 1883, which further encouraged the growth of the community. By February 2, 1884, Wayne's development provided the 200 residents necessary to incorporate as a village.
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Wayne's current population is around 6,600 people.