History of Custer Township, Will County, Illinois
From: History of Will County, Illinois
By: August Maue
Historical Publishing Company
Custer Township came into existence in 1875, when it was separated from Reed Township, which had included all
of that part of Will County which is now included in Reed and Custer townships. The first settlement within the
present bounds of this township was made in 1834 by Thomas Hatton and Richard Yates. The region from the present
village of Custer Park eastward, along the Kankakee River was occupied for many generations by the Indians who
had towns in this region. Farther up the river beyond the boundary of Will County was a French settlement, which
is still known as Bourbonnais. It is a city of about three thousand people. The history of this township is so
intimately connected with Reed Township that it may well be given in connection with that.
Custer Township has prospered because transportation has improved. This may be said perhaps of every township in
the county. A concrete road is being built from Wilmington to Kankakee on the south side of the river following
the general course of the stream throughout. Another road is being built this summer from Kankakee to Wilmington
upon the north side of the stream. Both of these roads will bring summer residents to both sides of the stream.
The village of Custer remains about the same size that it was forty years ago. Business, however, in the grocery
stores, the oil stations, and the garage, is much better during the summer months because of the summer residents.
Many summer homes are built along the Kankakee to the east and to the west of the village. Thus it is that this
section of the county is being taken up rapidly by these transients. They find relief here from the congested regions
of Chicago. The concrete roads make it possible to reach the village easily.
The farmers who have been struggling upon their farms which have thin soil will share in the prosperity of the
village because they will find a market for poultry and produce which they did not have before. Large quantities
of melons are raised because the sandy soil makes it possible to secure good crops.
The village school has been maintained in a one-room building for several years. The building is an old structure
which was moved in from two miles south in 1922. It has outlived its usefulness and this summer a new building
is being constructed, modern in every detail, to give the children the advantages which they deserve.