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Old Names of DuPage Towns

Old Names of DuPage County Towns

Below are some of the earliest place names
used to identify villages and settlements in DuPage County.

Ardmore
Now known as Villa Park, real estate operators between 1908 and 1910 developed this municipality. The east end was subdivided into Park Farms, the west end into Ardmore. The two subdivisions grew separately until 1914, when they were united and incorporated under the name of Ardmore. Three years later the village became Villa Park.
Babcock's Grove
Three Babcock brothers, Ralph, Morgan and Anson in 1833, settled along the east branch of the DuPage River. Their tract of land was located at the present day intersection of St. Charles and Geneva Roads, and Main St. Glen Ellyn. The land today is divided between Glen Ellyn and Lombard. The name Glen Ellyn was adopted in 1885, when Thomas Hill, then village president, renamed the town in honor of his wife, Ellyn Hill.
Barber's Corners
A small settlement referred to in DuPage County: a Descriptive and Historical Guide located near the present southern boundary of Lisle Township in the 1830s. According to Illinois Place Names it now part of Lemont in Will County.
Big Woods
A forest eight miles long and four miles wide, which extended in a northeasterly direction from present Aurora. In self-defense against land speculators and other squatters in this area, a protective organization was formed in 1836 and known as the Big Woods Claim Protecting Society. The Big Woods settlement was located along present day Eola Road east of the massive grove.
Bremen
The post office and first official map name of what was to become Itasca. The post office was established in 1846, with Augustus Eddy as the first postmaster. In May 1850, the name was changed to Pierce in honor of Smith D. Pierce, who was postmaster from 1848 to 1864. Once again the post office changed names. The next name change was to Sagone. At this point in time, the post office was located in the home of A. G. Chessman's home. In 1873, the post office name was recorded as Ithica. It is thought that handwritten reports had probably caused the misspelling, because one month later the post office and community were recorded as Itasca.
Brush Hill
Brush Hill was a settlement that grew up around the ancient southwest highway first traversed by the American Indians known as the Southwest Plank Road. Benjamin Fuller, arriving with his family in 1834, purchased land on both sides of the main highway and platted the original town. Incorporated in 1851 as the village of Fullersburg, it encompassed two or three modern blocks and was located at the present junction of York Street and Ogden Avenue. In 1923, Fullersburg was annexed to Hinsdale.
Churchville
A little settlement in existence as late as 1939 when DuPage County: a Descriptive and Historical Guide was written, Churchville was located on Church Road just north of Grand Avenue in Bensenville.
Clarendon Hills
Clarendon Hills was named for Clarendon Hills, Massachusetts, a suburb south of Boston. Lying immediately west of Hinsdale, it is unusual in that it was platted with crooked streets, no two streets being parallel. No two lots are of the same size or shape.
Cloverdale
A farming settlement at the intersection of Army Trail Road and present day Gary Avenue.
Cottage Hill
In 1843 John Hovey arrived from Ohio and constructed the Hill Cottage Tavern on St. Charles Road, which was the main road between Chicago and the Fox River. The structure originally stood on the northeast corner of St. Charles Road and Cottage Hill Avenue. The highest point within a radius of almost two miles, it soon became a popular stop on the east-west stagecoach route. By 1845, a village had sprung up around the tavern and the community received its own post office. The village's first name was Hill Cottage, after the tavern. It became Cottage Hill at the request of the postmaster. In 1868, many elm trees were planted and at the suggestion of Thomas B. Bryan, the name was changed to Elmhurst in 1869.
Danby
Early name for Glen Ellyn, taken from Danby, Vermont, home of the Kelley brothers who were farmers and sheep breeders. Located a mile south of Stacy's Corners, this hamlet was previously named Newton's Station. Danby was officially platted and recorded in 1855.
Downer's Grove
Downer's Grove was named after an early settler, Pierce Downer.
DuPage Center
Early name for Glen Ellyn. Winslow Churchill with his wife and eleven children sailed from New York to Chicago in 1834 and claimed land on the west side of Babcock's Grove. Their portion of the grove came to be known as DuPage Center.
Duncklee's Grove
An area in the center of Addison Township covered by a dense grove more than two miles long and a mile or more wide. In the 1830s, Hezekiah Duncklee and Mason Smith staked large claims, both in the timber and on the bordering prairie. Until villages were platted and given names in this area, it was known as Duncklee's Grove and was located southwest of present Bensenville.
East Grove
With a population of 575 in an 1899 directory, East Grove (also known as Gostyn) was a predominantly Polish settlement located between Downers Grove and Westmont along Fairview Avenue. Many of the residents had come from Gostyn, Poland.
Elmhurst
see Cottage Hill
Fredericksburg
Presently known as Winfield, this village was platted in 1853. It grew up around a station on the old Galena and Chicago Union Railroad. The first building was erected here in 1849 by the first station agent, John Hodges. A large freight business soon developed at the Winfield station because it was one of the nearest shipping points to Naperville and Gary's Mill, neither of which had a railroad. Winfield was incorporated as a village in 1921.
Frenchman's Woods
A small settlement in a grove centered at the present intersection of Roosevelt and York Roads. The area was called Frenchman's Woods after Nicholas Torode, a large landowner, because Torode was from the French-speaking Channel Island of Guernsey. A sawmill was located here as well as a limestone quarry.
Fullersburg
see Brush Hill
Gary's Mill
Location of a sawmill and small settlement on the west branch of the DuPage River near present day Roosevelt Road. Erected in 1837, the mill stood on the northern edge of Big Woods, a large forest extending in a northerly direction from Aurora. A post office was established here and for many years both the Wheaton and West Chicago settlements received their mail through this post office.
Gimletville
see Wayne Center
Gostyn
see East Grove
Granger
A small railroad settlement in Wayne Township.
Greggs
Shortly after the Chicago Fire of 1871, when building materials were in high demand, several brickyards were opened here. The brick manufacturers laid out streets and a milk receiving station, first called Greggs Milk Station (later Greggs) was opened on the Burlington Line, but no large town development took place. The brickyards were abandoned before 1900. After World War I, this area was incorporated as the village of Westmont in 1921. The name Westmont is said to have originated because it is descriptive of a westerly location (relative to Hinsdale) on high ground.
Gretna
Gretna was a small farm community founded by Daniel Kelley, located in north Milton Township at St. Charles Road at Main Place, Carol Stream. The Langdon Post Office was located here.
Hinsdale
The village of Hinsdale was platted in September 1865, and recorded in August 1866. It was incorporated in March 1873.
Ingalton
A small railroad settlement in Wayne Township.
Ithica
see Bremen
Junction
John B. Turner, president of the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad, recorded the community's first plat of twenty-two acres in 1855 under the name of the Town of Junction because the Burlington and the St. Charles Branch line joined the G & CU at this location. Turner's plat is the section of town just south of Washington Street in present day West Chicago. He also donated two lots, one to the Congregational Church, another for an early school.
Lace
Located at present day 75th St. and Plainfield Road, Lace was founded in the early 1880s by L. F. Hesterman, who established a grocery store in its center. John R. Keig became the first postmaster in 1887 and named the place in honor of his grandmother, Mrs. Tom Lace. It was mainly a farming and dairying community. The village of Woodridge, incorporated in 1959, was constructed around areas of Lace and an unincorporated area named Woodridge in southern DuPage County.
Lester's Station
Lester, a station on the Chicago and Pacific Railroad, was located on the east side of Salt Creek in Addison Township and midway between present day towns of Itasca and Bensenville. In 1835, Edward Lester of New York with his sons, Marshall, John, Daniel, Frederick and Louis settled at the north end of the large grove found in Addison Township. Lester's Station was the location of a large cheese and butter factory, run by the Lester family. In 1873, Lester platted part of his farm into town lots. In 1874, a post office was established in the area and was designated Salt Creek. Lester's Station was not incorporated until 1928. Lester's Station is now part of Wood Dale.
Meacham's Grove
Named for a family of three brothers arriving from Rutland County, Vermont in 1833. Meacham's Grove was a settlement found in present day Bloomingdale Township on the old Chicago and Pacific Railroad. Meacham's Grove is now a part of Bloomingdale and today's Medinah Country Club.
Medinah
Irving Park Road and Medinah Road intersection mark the south end of the settlement of Medinah. It originally was part of the vast area owned by the Meachams, and was once known as Meacham.
Munger
A small railroad settlement in Wayne Township.
Newton's Station
see Stacy's Corners
Ontarioville
The village of Hanover Park, incorporated in 1958, was constructed around the unincorporated area of Ontarioville which lay in northwest DuPage and a portion of Cook County. It was a small hamlet located on the Chicago and Pacific Railroad between Bartlett and Roselle.
Orangeville
see Wayne Center
Patten Hill
A settlement about a mile north of Wood Dale, it was called Sagone in early days. A post office was established in 1850.
Pierce
see Bremen
Prince Crossing
A rural community named from the crossing of the tracks of the Chicago, Aurora and Elgin and the Chicago Great Western Railroads.
Prospect Park
Early name for Glen Ellyn. In 1870, the village known as Danby was officially changed to Prospect Park, but it continued to be known as Danby until 1882. It is reported that no one remembers why the name was changed to Prospect Park, but it was generally believed that a few rowdy young men had given Danby a bad image. This may have been the reason city fathers decided a name change would be in order.
Sagone
see Patten Hill and Bremen
Salt Creek
see Lester's Station
Schick's Crossing
A former railroad station and post office near Schick Road and the Illinois Central Railroad in Wayne Township.
Stacy's Corners
Stacy's Corners was located in north Milton Township on the northern limit of present Glen Ellyn near Geneva and St. Charles Roads. A neighboring settlement was DuPage Center. It was the location of Moses Stacy's inn-farmhouse known as Stacy's Tavern, built of lumber prepared at Gary's sawmill. At one time, Stacy's Corners had a church, schoolhouse, a factory, a wagon and harness shop, two blacksmith shops, two stores and more than a dozen houses. Villagers tried to persuade the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad to lay tracks for its railroad through Stacy's Corners, but in 1848 construction was begun a mile south down the hill. In 1849, this tiny hamlet moved south to meet the railroad. Dr. Lewey Quitterfield Newton built the first railroad station on land bought from William Churchill. In honor of his efforts, the village's name was no longer Stacy's Corners, but Newton's Station.
Tioga
First settled in the 1830s, Tioga was platted in 1873 by Diedrich Struckman. Because there was another Tioga in Illinois, a group of immigrants suggested changing the name to Benzen, after their hometown in Germany. There also was another town very similar in name to Benzen, so the resulting name became Bensenville.
Turner
In 1857 Dr. Joseph McConnell and his wife Mary platted a portion of present day West Chicago, land lying just north of John B. Turner's plat. (See Junction.) The McConnells were early members of the Congregational Church and were deeply appreciative of Turner's donation of land to the congregation. They chose to record their plat as the Town of Turner in honor of the railroad president.
Turner Junction
Called West Chicago since 1896, Turner Junction was built on land owned by Dr. Joseph McConnell and John Bice Turner. Mr. Turner established the railroad that runs through town. Once known as the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad, it is now the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad. (See Turner.) (See Junction.)
Utopia
Oakbrook Terrace, incorporated in 1958, was built around the small community of Utopia, which lay between Elmhurst and Hinsdale in York Township.
Wayne Center
The oldest settlement in Wayne Township. Settled by Daniel Benjamin, Joseph Vale and their families who were from the Little Scioto River Valley in central Ohio in 1834. A general store and a Congregational Church were built in 1842. In the beginning the community was known both as Gimletville and Orangeville. When Wayne Township was organized in 1850, this town was renamed Wayne Center.
West Hinsdale
Became Clarendon Hills in 1873.
Western Springs
Western Springs is the name given to the mineral springs found flowing there, which was south of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy railroad. The springs were located on a rise of land east of the "flats" and had attracted a few persons to the site before the railroad was built.

updated 7/12/2000


Bibliography

Combination Atlas Map of DuPage County. 1874, Republication ed. Wheaton, Ill.: DuPage County Historical Society, 1975.

Dugan, Hugh G. Village on the County Line, a History of Hinsdale, Illinois. Chicago, Ill.: R. R. Donnelley, 1949.

DuPage County, A Descriptive and Historical Guide. Wheaton, Ill.:Wheaton Title Company, 1948.

Moore, Jean and Hiawatha Bray. DuPage at 150 and Those Who Shaped Our World. West Chicago, Ill.: West Chicago Printing Co., 1989.

Thompson, Richard A. DuPage Roots. Wheaton, Ill.:DuPage County Historical Society, 1985.

Wheaton Public Library - Wheaton, Illinois