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


EARLY SETTLEMENT.— In July, 1829, the United States made a treaty with the Pottawatomie Indians, at Prairie du Chien, and 1,280 acres of land on the shore of the lake, about fourteen miles from Chicago, were ceded to Anton Ouilmette, a Frenchman, who had married a Pottawatomie woman of “royal blood,” named Archange. After the Black hawk War most of the friendly Indians removed to Green Bay, but among those who remained upon their reservations was Ouilmette, or Wilmette. At the time of the arrival of the first white settler they had eight clnldren. In the summer of 1836 Erastus Pattersou, with his wife and five children, and six other families left their homes in Vermont to make new ones either in Illinois or Wisconsin. They made the jonrney in covered wagons, or “prairie schooners,” and on the fourteenth of August, 1836, encamped on the hill, near where the Episcopal chnrch of Winnetka now stands. At this time there was scarcely a honse between Chicago and Waukegan, the latter place being then a small military station called “ Littlefort.” Mr. Pattersen was so well pleased with the general locution that he began, with his friends, to build a log house on the southwest quarter of Section 16, in the present vicinity of Willam Garland’s fine residence. One of Mr. Patterson’s assistants in raising the house was Alexander McDaniel, who was also seeking a homestead. This land had not been surveyed by the Government, and those who built upon their claiui acquired many advantages in obtaining their choice of real estate. When completed, Mr. Patterson’s house, then located on the military road from Chicago to Green Bay, was opened as a “way-side Inn.” In October, of this year, Mr. McDaniel bought a Government claim upon the present site of the village of Winnetka, and now known as the “Peck Place.” In the spring of 1837 he purchased laud and built himself a house where John Garland now lives, south of the railroad depot. here he resided for five years, keeping “bachelor’s hall,” and accommodating all his Clncago friends and others who could not put up” at the “Patterson House.” Mr. McDaniel afterwards removed to Evanston and to WilMette. That gentleman writes of his coming, more in detail, as follows: “On the fourteenth of August, 1836, I left Chicago in the morning, and about noon I brought up at the house of Anton Ouilmette. The place was then called Gross Point, being located about fourteen miles northwest from Chicago, on the lake shore. The house that the “Wilmette” family then occupied was a large double hewed log block house, considered in those days good enough for a very Congressman to live in. At least I thought so, when I was dispatching the magnificent meal of vegetables grown on a rich soil, which the young ladies of the house had prepared for uie. I was then a young man about twenty one years old, and this being my first trip out of Chicago since I had come West, I naturally was curious to know more about my hosts. Upou inquiry I soon found out that the family consisted of Anton and Archauge, the heads of the family, and their eight children — Joseph, Mitchell, Louis, Francis, Elizabeth, Archonce, Sophia and Josette; Lucius R. Darling, husband of Elizabeth, and John Derashee, husbaud of Sophia. The father being a Frenchman and the mother a half breed, the children were nearly white, very comely, well dressed and intelligent. Josette, in fact, had obtained quite a reputation as a beauty. The Wilmettes owned cattle, horses, wagons, carriages and farming implements, working a large tract of land. After leaving the family I passed along in a northwesterly direction, for a distance of about two miles, to where Winnetka is now located. There I purchased the claim on 160 acres of Governmont land of Perry Baker and Simeou Loveland. In March, 1837, I built a house on the land and kept ‘bachelor’s hall’ there for five years. I had occasion to become very well acquainted with my Indian friends and found them most agreeable neighbors.”

About the time Mr. McDaniel settled at Wiunetka, Ansou Ill. Taylor came to live in the same neighborhood. In 1837 Phillip Marshall and A. M. Talley settled at Glencoe. Mr. Talley was a printer in the Democrat office, but longed for fresh air and country life. Wendel Allis, with his sons Jacob and John, located ou Section 29 in the fall of 1838. John is still a resident of Winnetka. During the same year Harrison Lowe and Simon Doyle settled on the lake shore on the southeast quarter of Section 21, and Timothy Sunderland and family a short distance south of them, on the fractional northwest quarter of Section 27, where Jacob Schnntt now resides. Joel C. Stebbins located himself on the north half of Section 35, a little south of Westerfield’s pier. Charles H. Beaubien, a consin of Mark, settled uearthe center of Section 27, on the place now occupied by Henry Gage. Charles Beaubien, like his cousin Mark, was a great fiddler, and was always in demand when the early settlers of New Trier wished to relieve the tediunm of their life by a “whirl” with the few blooming white girls of that vicinity and those eveu of a duskier tuige. The Wilmette family were upon such occasions in almost as pressing demand as Beaubien himself. In 1838 Mr. Ellis, a brother-in-law of Mr. Patterson, came to reside in his neighborhood, and in 1839 John Foster, who now lives with Ins son Frank, at Evanston, settled on Sectiou 33. Marcus Gormly, with his son Michael, settled at Glencoe in 1839, Robert Daggert arriving about the sanie time. In 1840 Joseph Foltman located on Section 29; Lambert Dusham and Joseph Fountain, on the lake shore, opposite Wilniette, in Section 27 ; Auruna Hill, with his family, on the northeast quarter of Section 33, near John Schaefer’s saloon; Edward Dalton and John Armstrong, on Section 32: E. Crane, uncle of Charles and Osro Crane, of Evanston, on Section 33, opposite the church ; and Dennis Cliffert, on Section 29. In 1841 Saniuel Jerome settled on the northeast quarter of Section 21 ; Janmes Hartrie located on Section 31, and John Malter and Peter Schmitt upon Section 28. The next year (1842) the following settlers located themselves: Franz Engels, John J. Schreiner, Brady and Peter Schaefer on Section 32, and Hubert Herrig and Hermann Passbach on Section 33. In 1843 John Barre, John Wagner and John Lauermann located on the sontheast quarter of Section 28, the latter where Joe Lauermann's store now stands. Other early settlers are as follows: John Schildgen and Reinhard Nauzig, 1844; John and Jacob Schmitt, on the lake shore, 1845; Joseph Schneider, 1846, and Andrew Reinwald in 1847.

Township History.- The township of New Trier was organized at a meeting called by the County Clerk, at the honse of John Garland, on the first Tuesday of April, 1850. Jesse Mattison acted as Moderator, and William H. Garland as Clerk. The first officers elected were: James Hartry, Supervisor; John Garland, Clerk; Andrew Hood and Anson H. Taylor, Justices of the Peace; Michael Gormly, Assessor; John Lanermann, Collector; Anton Schneider, Overseer of the Poor; Michael Deidrich, Michael Gromly and James Hartry, Commissioners of Highways. The Supervisors up to date have been as follows: James Hartry, 1851; Michael Gormly, 1852-53; John Garland, 1854; Michael Gormly, 1855-57; John Schielgen, 1858-59; Michael Gormly, 1860; John Schielgen, 1861; Michael Gormly, 1862-64; Lambert Blum, 1865-66; Thomas M. Thompson, 1867-68; Jacob Conrad, 1869; Anton Hascamp. 1870-71; election changed from November, 1872, to April, 1873; Anton Hascamp, 1873-79; J. N. Smith, 1880-84. The present town officers are: J. N. Smith, Supervisor; John G. Westerfield, Clerk; Michael Gormly and John Schielgen, Justices of the Peace; John Schaefer, Assessor; Baptiste Mueller, Collector; Paul Fehd, Daniel H. Mahoney and D. S. Kloepfer, Commissioners of Highways.


The reader has already learned who first settled npon the land afterwards platted as Wilmette and Winnetka. In 1838-39 Wilmette sold a portion of his lands and removed to Council Bluffs, Iowa. Several of the family retnrned in 1843-44 and sold the remaining interest, occupying the old homestead until July of the latter year. After subsequent transfers the village fell to its present proprietors. J. G. Westerfield, who had purchased the Wilmette homestead, tore down the old house in 1865. In 1861 H. A. Dingee, of New York, purchased 270 acres of the Wilmette property for $4,000. Alexander McDaniel moved to Wilmette in the spring of 1869, and during this year, in connection with Messrs. Dingee, Westerfield, Henry W. Blodgett and Simon V. Kline, platted the original site of the village. Several houses and a depot were built at this time. The village was at first called "Gross Point," as was the whole voting precinct north of Chicago and east of the Chicago River. The first plat consisted of about five hundred and twenty five acres of land, to which subsequent additions of over three hundred acres have been made. The postoffice dates from June 25, 1870, when Alex. McDaniel, the present incumbent, was appointed Postmaster. The principal proprietors of the villag: are now Messrs. McDaniel, Dingee, Westerfield, Lombard Dusham, Andrew J. Brown and John Gage.

The village of Wilmette was incorporated in October, 1872, and the following officers elected: Board of Trustees, A. McDaniel (President), C. F. Boggs, A. T. Sherman, B. M. Munn, Amos Shantz and John G. Westerfield; Charles A. Vail, Clerk. B. M. Munn was elected President in 1873; A. T. Sherman, 1874; A. Shantz, 1875-77; H. Latham, 1878-79; J. W. Finney, 1880-82. C. A. Vail served as Clerk until 1875, at which time he was succeeded by C. P. Westerfield, who continued in office for three years. R. S. M. Bennett was elected in 1878. John G. Westerfield has acted as Clerk since 1879.

Amos Shantz, so long connected with village affairs, died in December, 1883. The present officers are as follows: S. M. Dingee, Rev. William Nestrater, B. F. Hill, F. P. Sheldon and Frank L. Joy (President), Trustees; F. M. Cornell, Police Magistrate.

Wilmette is a pleasant suburb of about nine hundred people, situated on the line of the Clucago & North-Western Railroad, fourteen miles north of Chicago. The location is one of the most healthful that can be found, being more than thirty feet above the level of Lake Michigan, and made attractive by the dense growth of oaks, elms, maples and bass wood which is found in this vicinity. This also acts as a barrier against the cold winds of winter, and furnishes a delightful retreat from the heat and dust of the city in summer. In addition to its natural beantics it may be said, with truth, that the religious, social and educational advantages of Wilmette are all that could be wished. The village has three churches and the sale of intoxicating liquor is prohibited by ordinance.

The Churches.- The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in October, 1878, with Rev. M. Auer as pastor. Since that time Revs. C. W. Thornton, J. P. Bushingtrom, J. A. Mattock, R. W. Arms, H. B. Ridgeway and J. H. Alling. The society has no church.

The First Congregational Church of Wilmette was organized June 13, 1875, Rev. E. P. Wheeler being pastor. He continued in charge of the society from May, 1876. to January, 1880; Rev. S. T. Kidder for two years thereafter, and Rev. J. H. Parr from May, 1882, to date. In September, 1883, the building was completed and the society entered its new house of worship, having previously occupied the school house. The present membership is about thirty, the society being out of debt and self supporting.


Early Events.- A short time after Mr. Patterson opened his hotel, the first one in this part of the county, an English family came from London to grow up with the new country, and, traveling along the military road, were so pleased with the appearance of the country at Winnetka that they became temporary sojourners at the public house. Soon afterward Mrs. Stansberry, one of the newcomers, was taken ill and died, being buried on the hill where the church now stands. This is one of the first deaths recorded in this part of the county. Shortly afterwards Lucia, a daughter of Mr. Patterson's, died of consumption, and was buried on the sañie ground; while in November, 1837. Mr. Patterson himself died. Mrs. Patterson survived her husband for thirty seven years amid was finally taken to Milwankee for burial. She and her sons continued to keep their inn for several years, selling to Lucas Miller. Mr. Miller sold to Marcus D. Gillman, and in 1847 Mr. Gillman turned over the property to John Garland, who kept public house for over ten years. Tbe site of the old log hotel is now occupied by the residence of Henry D. Lloyd, of the Chicago Tribune.

The village of Winnetka, signifying "Beantiful Place," was originally laid out by Charles E. Peck and Walter S. Gurnee, in 1854. The site consisted of the northwest quarter of Section 21 and nearly all of the northeast quarter of Section 20, containing about three hundred acres. James L. Willson bought the first lot of Mr. Peck and built his house upon his present homestead. Meeting Mr. Peck in Chicago, one day, his friend told him that he had just platted a new town "out in the country;' and suggested that they drive out together and look at the land. The spot was soon reached and Mr. Willson at once picked out a piece of land which run up over a beautiful knoll, Mr. Peck having informed him of his intention to build upon laud next to this tract. The bargain was quickly concluded and Mr. Willson immediately made preparations to build. rrhis was in June, 1855 While Mr. Wilison was building his house, Ins family occupied the barn which was first completed. As the weather was mild, however, this was a delightful taste of "summer resorting."

On the 12th of February, 1884, there occurred at that old homestead, where the quiet, peaceable old couple had spent so many years together, one of the most horrible crimes evcr committed. Mr. and Mrs. Willson lived alone, and upon the morning of the thirtcenth the old man was found by a young girl who came to the house weekly, lying upon his sitting room floor with two bullet holes in his body, which was also cruelly crushed and battered Mrs. Willson, in the sleeping chamber above, was discovered by others, who were summoned, lying upon the bed, her head crushed to a pulp. the scalp torn from it and thrown back over the forehead, and the room spattered with blood. A pair of iron tongs, twisted, broken and bloody an old ivory handled sword, the gift of a dead son, spattered with gore a broken cane, lying upon the floor near the withered arm of the poor old paralytic lady, which hung over the bed, these shocking evidences of a fiendish crime committed, were first discovered by a young butcher of the village. He was afterward arrested by Pinkerton's detectives, and the verdict of the coroner's jury pointed the finger of suspicion at him. His trial has not yet (March, 1884) occurred. The remains of Mr. and Mrs. Willson now repose in Graceland Cemetery. Mr Willson was seventy two at the time of his death ; Mrs Willson eighty three years of age. They were an eccentric old couple in financial matters, but were lovable and warm hearted in many respects. and left hosts of friends to mourn at their violent deaths.

The family of Charles E. Peck was the second one to move to Winnetka, and his house the second one erected upon the present village site. John C. Garland bought the "Peck Place," and made the first addition to the village plat. A post office was established in 1856, with Anson H. Taylor as Postmaster.

The site of Winnetka is an elevated ridge, comniauding a flue view of the lake. It consists of about twenty four hundred acres of land, a large portion of which is owned by John T. Dale and Mrs. J. D. Webster, sister of the late John S. Wright, of Chicago. The northern portion comprises several hundred acres of land, including "Lake View." The village contains about six hundred inhabitants, is sitnated twelve miles north of the city limits, and is coming into notice as a beautiful summer resort. Its imposing brick school building was erected in 1869, at a cost of $15,000, it beiug the intention to establish an academy at Winnetka. A dormitory was built at the same time at a cost of $5000. For several years the Chicago University leased the buildings, but the undertaking was soon abandoned. The building is now used as a district school house, It is a two story structure, the large hall in the upper story being used not only for school but for public entertainments. The attendance is about 125, Mr. Dixon being principal of the school. He has three assistants. The dormitory has been used for a private school.

The Village Corporation.- The village of Winnetka was incorporated, by Legislative enactment, March 10, 1869, the first election being held in April and resulting in the choice of the following Board of Trustees: Artemus Carter (President), Jared Gage, Timothy Wright, David P. Wilder, Thomas Bassett and J. P. Atwood. The first officers were: Treasurer, O. W. Belden; Assessor, R. M. Graves; Marshal and Collector, Nicholas Siuìons Clerk, H. W. Kenney. John T. Dale succeeded Mr. Carter as President of the Village Board, continuing in office until 1874, when James L. Willson succeeded him. In 1876 Mr. Dale was elected to the position followed by Daniel Schackford in 1877. In 1878 Mr. Willson was elected President. The present Village Board is composed of the following: R. T. Murphy, Francis Lachner, James O. Parker, George W. Heath and John Allis, Morris J. Moth is Treasurer and Dr. J. W. Scott, Clerk.

The Churches.- Christ Church was erected by John Garland, in memory of his wife Snsannah, who died July 29, 1865. The church was bnilt in 1869 and used as a " Union Meeting House" until 1876, when it was deeded to the Bishop of Illinois, Rt. Rev. W. E. McLaren. It was consecrated by him on the twentyfirst of September of that year, as " Christ Church, Winnetka," and organized under that name with Rev. J. Stewart Smith, at that time rector at Evanston. Rev. J. P. Lytton, of Highland Park, has also had charge of the mission, but the first resident clergyman was Rev. George A. Whitney, the present incumbent, who took charge July 1, 1883. The present officers of the mission are: Charles O. F. Sedgewiek and William Nethercot, wardens; F O. Lyman, treasurer; T. O. Bell, clerk. The number of communicants is thirty.

The Winuetka Congregational Church was organized September 29, 1874. At first the society worshiped in the Town Hall, but afterwards leased the Unitarian Church building which they now occupy. Rev. S. T. Kidder was the first and only settled pastor, and the Church is now nuder his charge. It numbers, at present, about fifty members.

GROSS POINT is the name of the village lying to the sonthwest of Wilmette and incorporated March 10. 1874, its first Board of Trustees being: M. Schaefer (President); Frank Engles, Sr., John Bleser, Joseph Pasbach, Bernhard Braun and Adam Bauer; Reinhard Nanzig, Clerk. "Gross Point" was first nsed to designate the point of land which stretches out into the lake opposite Wilmette; then a voting precinct of the county north of Chicago and east of the river; next the present village of Wilmette, and lastly the body politic organized from Wilmette in 1874. The village numbers over three hundred people, and is separated from Wilmette chiefly on the temperance ques tion, the population being composed mostly of Germans. The German Catholic Church, one of the oldest in the community, is located in this locality, although situated within the corporate limits of Wilniette. The present village officers of Gross Point consist of Maternus Schaefer, (President;) Anton Martini. Peter Peyo, J. J. Rengel, Joseph Thalmann and M. Mueck; Anton Huerter, Clerk.

St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church was organized on the fourth Sunday after Epiphany (February), 1843, by Rev. Fisher, of St. Mary's Church, Chicago. Up to December, 1845, Fathers Fisher and Ostlangenberg, both priests in that Church, had charge of the young but growing society. Few of its most prominent early members arc now living in the vicinity of Gross Point.

In the meantime, during the summer of 1843, a log building, 24x30 feet, had been erected near the site of the present imposing edifice, so that this little baud of pioneer Catholics in this part of the county were not quite homeless. In December, 1845, the society called their first settled pastor, Rev. G. H. Plathe, and he remained in charge of the Church until January, 1847. His successor, Rev. I. H. Fortmann, continued as the priest in charge, until June, 1852. During Ins incunibency, in 1848. a new and more commodious frame church was erected to meet the requirements of the growing society. Rev. I. B. Jacomet served the Church from June to September. 1852; Rev. L. Kuepper until January 1, 1853, Rev. Nicholas Stauber until May, 1855, and Rev. A. Kopp nntil 1860. Until October of this year the Church was attended by the Redemptorist Fathers of St. Michael's Church, Chicago. For the succeeding four years the Church was served as follows: Rev. Peter Hartlaub, from October, 1860, to February, 1861: Rev. Father Tschicder, S. J., until June, 1861, and Rev. Franz Blacsinger from July, 1861, to November 10, 1864, dying a few days thereafter. From November, 1864, to October, 1865, the Redemptorist Fathers had charge of the Church, when Rev. B. Heskemann became its pastor and continued in that position nntil June 1, 1872. It was in 1868 that the present large brick church was commenced, and it is quite probable that before long an addition will have to be made to it. Without, the structure has not been completed, but within it has been finely frescoed and richly embellished. Rev. William Netstrater, the present priest in charge, has been pastor of the Chnrch since June 1, 1872, having been called from Lincoln, Illinois, where he presided both over that charge and the one at Bloomington. Within the past eleven years he has seen St. Joseph's Church increasing so rapidly that two hundred families, or one thousand communicants, worship within its sanctuary. The school, which is connected with the society, was organized about fifteen years ago, and is attended by over two hundred children. The value of the entire property, including the priest's house, is placed at $40,000.


This village is situated in the northern part om the town of New Trier, about eighteen miles from Chicago, on the Chicago & North Western road. Glencoe was incorporated March 29, 1869, and improvements progressed under the guidance of G. H. Williams, J. W. P. Hover, J. C. Starr, Dr. John Nutt, Joseph Daggett and others. The village now contains about 300 people, one good general store, a post office, a good school, one church, and quite a collection of houses.

Congregational Church of Christ. In November, 1870, Prof. S. C. Bartlett commenced to preach to the Union Church, at Glencoe, but it was not until October, 1872, that it was proposed by the Methodists and Baptists to form a distinct organization. Notice was given on Sunday, October 13, 1872, that this question wonid from the subject of discussion at the next Wednesday evening prayer meeting. It was well attended and the question was fully discussed with absolute unanimity of feeling and opinion, that a Congregational Church ought at ouce to be organized. S. C. Bartlett, S. T. Lockwood, and P. N. Sherwood were chosen a committee to arrange all the preliminaries ot such an organization. On the 30th of this month the constitution and by-laws, presented by this committee, were adopted. A council was called to nieet November 12, 1872, the following societies being invited to attend: Congregational Church of Evanston, and the First Union Park, Leavitt Street and Tabernacle Congregational Churches of Chicago. Profs. F. W. Fisk, J. T. Hyde, and G. N. Boardman, of the Chicago Theological Seminary, were also in attendance. The society was organized and recognized by the council, and the following joined and formed the Congregational Church of Christ, of Clencoe.

By letter:- From the Union Park Congregational Chnrch in Chicago, Samuel C. Bartlett, Mrs. Mary L. Bartlett, Edwin J. Bartlett, Miss Alice W. Bartlett, William A. Bartlett, Charles H. Howard, Mrs. Kate F. Howard, Samuel T. Lockwood, Mrs. Juliette P. Lockwood, Mrs. Annie E. Nutt; from the New England Congregational Church in Chicago, Frederick W. Newhall, Mrs. Ellen Newhall ; from the Forty. seventh street Congregational Church, Chicago, Henry Wilison, Mrs. Jane Wilison; from the Congregational Church in Danbury. Conn., Washington A. Nichols ; from the Congregational Church, Kcnosha, Wis.. Miss Laura A. Newberry; from the Congregational Church in Evanston, Mrs. Carrie L. Daggett; from the Methodist Episcopal Church in Evanston, Augustus H. Hovey, Mrs. Alice M. Hovey, Miss Hattie M. Hovey, Miss Sarah J. Hovey, Archibald W. Fletcher, Mrs. Elizabeth Fletcher; from the Methodist Episcopal Church, in Kenosha, Wis., Porter N. Sherwood, Mrs. Sarah V. Sherwood; from the Protestant Episcopal Church in Evanston, Mrs. Jeanette C. Starr. By profession - Alexander Hammond, George F. Newhall.

The pulpit of the Church, before a separate Congregational society was formed, was at first supplied temporarily, and later by Prof. S. C. Bartlett. Prof. Bartlett served the Congregational Church regularly from the time of its organization in the autumn of 1872 until the fail of 1876, when he resigned. being subsequently called to Dartmouth College Church, Hanover, N. H. During a portion of lns incumbency, in 1873-74, the pulpit was supplied by Prof. G. N. Boardman. Prof. Bartlett was succeeded by Prof. F. D. Hemeuway, of Evanston, who resigned in October, 1878, to assume charge of his Church in South Evanston. Morning services were conducted for a time by J. A. Owen, A. H. Hovey, H. N. Rust, S. T. Lockwood and Ernst H. Lockwood, members of the church. The next regular pastor was Rev. Hiram Day, the present incumbent, who preached his first sermon October 17, 1880.

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