History of Bremen, Il.
From: History of Cook County, Illinois
By: A. T. Andreas
Published by: A. T. Andreas, Publisher Chicago, 1884


This township is bounded on the north by Worth, on the east by Thornton, on the south by Rich, and on the west by Orland. Bremen comprises within its limits a fine agricultural district, being situated in the most fertile portion of the county. It has a finely diversified surface, swelling prairie alternated with groves of timber instead of the level plain, which is often characteristic of the prairie portions of the State. Among the first settlers to locate in this section of the county were the Barton, Noble, Newman and Crandall families, who came early in the forties, and located lands near where now stands the quiet little village of Bremen. John F. Cague, who died in 1870, came here in 1842 and located on a farm two miles north and one mile east of the village. His son, John Cague, who is now a man past fifty years of age, still lives on the same farm. As was the father in his day, so is the son counted among the leading citizens of the township, having held the office of Town Clerk for fifteen consecntive years. Mr. Cague Jr. was also the first Postmaster in the town of Bremen in 1847, before the office was removed to the village, where it is now located. The father of Frederick Kammeck, who is now the village butcher, came in 1852 John Fulton, Robert Aston, the first Town Clerk, Patrick Hopkins, and Dr. Ballard, first merchant in the village, were also among the early settlers. On the farm now owned by William Moak, and which is situated one mile north and one half mile east of the vil]age, there is still standing a log cabin, which is said to be the first hnse built in the township. It originally stood on the edge of what is kncwn as Cooper’s Grove, which was named after a Mr. Cooper who came here some time in the ‘Thirties, and who is supposed to have built the cabin. On the east edge of the grove is another very old cabin, standing on the farm now owned by George Chissler. This was known in early days as the Old Stage House,” as it stood on the line of the stage route between Chicago and Joliet. In later years and until the coming of the railroad in 1852, the house was kept by Mr. Chissler. Mr. Cagne, senior, kept open house as did most of the settlers of that period, and fed and lodged the drovers who, with cattle on their way to Chicago, made his house a station on their route. Dr. Ballard, the first physician in the settlement, and who also kept the first store in what is now the village of Bremen, was here in 1852. It was at that time that John F. Cagae had the post office at his house. Dr. Ballard wanted the office moved to the station, and to compensate Mr. Cague for the loss of his position as Postmaster paid him $10 to consent to its removal to Bremen. Mr. Cague relates that when the matter went to Congress, he received a letter from Hon. John Wentworth,who was then a member of that body, informing him that unless he was perfectly willing to have the office removed, it could stay where it was. Mr. Cague replied to the effect that he had no objections to its removal, and accordingly the change was made, and Dr. Ballard became the Postmaster — the first in the village.

The first house erected in the village was built by a Mr. Swan, who long ago moved away. It is still standing, and is now the property of C. F. Vogt. It is situated in Block 10 of the village plat, and was built in 1842.

Thomas Hill was also an early settler of Bremen. He located on a farm near Cooper’s Grove, in 1841,
where he reniained seven years, when he removed to Chicago, and died in 1856. Mr. Hill came from Rochester. N. Y. It is said that lie planted the first fruit orchard in the vicinity, when lie located in Brcnien. Mrs. Almeta Cowan, his daughter, now living in Chicago, relates that she well remembers her child lìood days spent on the farm before her father removed to the city. She says she used to be sent to the house of Mr. Cague to get the mail, which was kept by that gentlenian in a little box which sat on the mantle board over the large, old fashioned fire place.

The first school in the settlement was taught by Daniel O. Robinson. in 1852, on what is now the Gilson farm, three miles north of Bremen. In 1863 the first school house was built in the village of Bremen. It stood until 1880. when it was replaced by a new and better building which is now situated on nearly the same site occupied by its predecessor. At present there are seven school houses in the township, two stone and five franme bnildings. There is also a day school in the village, taught by the minister of the Lutheran Church. The public school has an attendance ranging from forty to fifty pupils; many of the children in the district, however, only attend the school, already mentioned, connected with the Lutheran Church.

The first religious meetings in the settlement were held in 1843, by the Methodists, at the house of Frank Mynards, sonic three miles north of Bremen. The village has now but one church, a Lutheran Reform, which was built in 1870. It has a membership of about fifty Rev. Carl Krobs is the pastor.

The village has two stores, one kept by George Schussler, who is also the present Postnìaster, the other by Henry Vogt, the present Town Clerk.

In the industrial line are two wagon shops, two blacksmith shops, two shoe shops, a cheese factory, a grain elevator, and a grist mill, of the prinutive Holland style, being run by wind power. The proper name of the village is New Bremen, although it is always spoken of simply as Bremen.

Before the organization of the county into townships, Bremen was included with what is now Worth, Orland, Palos and Lemont townships, in a precinct known as York. and so remained until in April, 1850.

In the old register of the Township of Bremen are to be found the following entries concerning its organization, its first officers and those chosen at subsequent elections down to the present tinie:

The first is the notice of the Clerk of the county, which reads as follows:

To the inhabitants, legal voters of the Town of Bremen, in the County of Cook.

"You are hereby notified to meet at the school house near Mark Crandall’s, in said town, on Tuesday. the 2d day of April, at nine o’clock A. M., for the purpose of organizing said town in accordance with the act of the General Assembly approved February 12, 1849. (1). To elect a Moderator of said meeting. (2). To elect a Town Clerk ; (3) to elect one Supervisor, one Assessor, one Collector, one Overseer of the Poor, three Commissioners of Highways, two Constables, two Justices of the Peace, and as many Overseers of Highways as there are road districts in said town. (4). To determine the number of Pound masters, the number and locality of pounds, to elect as many Pound-masters as there shall he pounds. (5.) To determine upon the place of holding the next and subsequent town meetings of said town.
"Clerk of Cook County.'

The name of the Clerk is incorrectly spelled. It should be E. S. Kimberly. The record continues:

"The citizens of the town of Bremen qualified by the Constitution to vote at general elections, assembled to hold the town meeting on the second day of April, 1850, at the school house near Crandall's. T he meeting was called to order by appointing Samuel Everdon, Moderator, the oath of office was administered by Mark Crandall, Justice of the Peace, and Benjamin Cool was appointed clerk of the election. At the closing of the polls the following officers were declared to be elected:

L. H. Scott, Snpervisor; Robert Aston, Clerk; Henry Mynard, Assessor; Jacob Vocht, Collector; David Wadhams, Overseer of the Poor; John F. Cagne, Sen., Henry Stetter and Henry Verhuer, Commissioners of Highways. Leonard H. Scott and William Carley were chosen Justices; Constable, William Carley and Carl Kott; Overseers of Highways, Alphonso Carley an William Kott; he certified that the above is a correct statement of the full lists.

Given under our hands at Bremen this second day of April, 1850.

Supervisors.- L. H. Scott, 1851-52; Mark Crandall, 1852 to 1854; Benjamin Coole, 1854 to 1858; Mark Crandall, 1858 to 1860; Carl Kott. 1860 to 1863: Benjamin Coole, 1863 to 1864; J. F. Thornton, 1864 to 1866; William Kott, 1866 to 1874; C. Andres, 1874 to 1875; Edward Stahl, 1875 to 1884.

Clerks.- Robert Aston, 1851 to 1861 ; John F. Cague, 1861 to 1874; C. Andres, 1874 to 1881; Henry Vogt, 1881 to 1884.

Assessors- Henry Mynard, 1851 to 1853 ; David Hulett, 1853-54; Carl Kott, 1854-58 : Thomas Moss, 1858-59; Carl Kott, 1859-60; William Kott, 1860-66; H. Bathe, 1866-68; Carl Kott, 1868-70; C. Andres, 1870-73; Edward Stahl, 1873-75; William Kott, 1875-81; Fred Henke, 1881-84.

Collectors.- David Hulett, 1851-53; Benjamin Coole, 1853-54; John F. Cagne, 1854-56; William Kott, 1856-60; C. Schmidt, 1860-62; Henry Bathe, 1862-63; C. Schmidt, 1863-64; H. Rathe, 1864-65; C. Schmidt, 1865-75; F. L. Gurrard, 1875-76; Ernest Kott, 1876-79; Fred Henke, 1879-81; A. W. Crandall, 1881-83: Samuel Fulton, 1883-84.

Justices.- Benjamin Coole, 1851-54; C. Schmidt, 1354-58; Mark Crandall, 1854-62; Bejamin Coole,
1858-62; J. F . Thorwath, 1862-72. At this date the record omits to give the Justices until the election of 1881, when F. L. Guraard and J. Weber were chosen.

The little village of Bremen is the market town of the agricultural district round about it, and of which it is the commercial and social center. It is a quiet yet withal a thriving little place, and its citizens, mainly Germans and Hollanders. are distinguished for that thrift and industry so characteristic of these races. In the biographical sketches which here follow will be found much that is of interest concerning them and of their trials and triumphs as early settlers of Cook County.

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