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


This town is situated in the northern part of Cook County, and is bounded on the north by Lake County, on the east by New Trier Township, on the south by Niles Township and on the west by Wheeling. It is almost exclusively an agricultural town. and contains thirty four and a half sections of land. The Desplaines River runs along the south half of the western boundary and the North Branch of the Chicago River drains the eastern central portion.

It is not easy to state who was the first settler in Northfield. Some writers say it was John K. Clark, in 1834, but while there doubtless were settlers in this town as early as that year, John K. Clark moved up to Northfield from his first claim in Jefferson, in 1836. There appears to be no question that Thomas Allison, who arrived in Chicago in 1832, settled in Northfleld, on Section 14, in the spring of 1837. He brought with him his wife and four sons — Thomas, John, George and William. John Stryker was also a settler in 1833, selecting for his futue home the south half of Section 7. It appears that ins success in securing the wife of his choice depended on the happy selection of a home, for having fixed upon this location for himself he brought and intended wife to see it for herself, and, she having given her consent to making the place their home, they both walked back to Chicago, twenty two miles distant, to he married. The children of this couple are well known in the northern part of the County — George, John, Christian, Daniel and Jacob. In 1836 the following persons located in the township Dardenus Bishop. John and Benjamin Toops. on Section 35. in the neighborhood of John Hoffman’s store. About the same time also, William H. Davis, William and Luke Steele, Edwin Clark, William Lester, Edward Cammack, D. Olinger and the two Gage brothers settled near the Desplaines. In 1837 Joseph Adams, an honorably discharged Sergeant from the regular army who had served at Fort Dearborn, settled on the north half of Section 26, where he lived for many years. In the same year Mr. Tnllev settled on the northeast quarter of Section 11, near the Scokey, Charles Anderson near the center of Section 26, Ashel Baker on Section 36, Milo Winchell on the south half of Section 18, and Mr. Esher on Section 13, where was born the present Bishop Esher, of Chicago, of the Evangelosche Gemeinschaft. Richard Dearlove pre-empted parts of Sections 31 and $2. where his son William still lives. Dr. John and Levi Kcnnicott settled on the south half of Section 29. and established an extensive nursery, the only one for some years in northern Illinois. Dr. Kennicott was the first practicmg physician in this part of the county. and made man a hard trip across the prairie to the bedside of the pioneers. In 1838 Silas W. Sherman and Joel S. Sherman. his son, who had come to Chicago in 1833, settled on the northwest quarter of Section 10, a short distance northeast of Shermer Station. During the same year John Russel located on Section 14, and two Frenchmen named Bernhard and Lavelle settled on the east half of Section 26. as did also Abel Green and William Moody; Moses Dutton selected the prairie on what is now the well known Rngens farm.

In 1839, Hiram, William and Orestin Shepherd settled near Shermer Station. John Bach on Section 4, Captain Stndley on Section 19, and Thomas Moody on Section 28. In 1840, H. H. Hendricks, William Steele and Ezra Nealley came into the township, the former selecting Section 23, the latter Section 26. During the same year Messrs. Gutzler, Wessling and Hofert settled in the northwest part of the town.

From this time settlers came to Northfield in such numbers that it would he both tedions and unprofitable to attempt any complete aceonnt of their names and homes selected. It has eight public schools. The first teacher in Northfield was Miss Julia Grote, who taught in a cooper shop on Mr. Hensley’s land, and received the munificent salary of $1.50 per week. This was in 1842. A log school-house was erected in 1843, on Mr. Hutching's laud, in which, Asa W. Button, usually known as Elder Button, was the first teacher.

There are four churches in this town, and four post offices, West Northfieid post office, on Section 29 Sherman Station, on Section 10; Oak Glen, on Section 35, and North Northfield post office on Section 6. Postal facilities are therefore ample, there being one post office in each quarter of the township. Railroad facilities are likewise sufficient, the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railroad running nearly north and south through the central portion of the town. According to the census of 1880 there were 1,807 inhabitants in the township, tho population being now something over 2,000.

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