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The Japanese government sends Inoye Katsumsa to America. He spends one year at Alfred Walker’s farm learning American agriculture.

2 Feb–Mr. and Mrs. O. J. Stough hold their inaugural masquerade ball and arrange for a special train to transport guests from Chicago to Hinsdale.

1 Apr–Hinsdale incorporates as a village and Judge Joel Tiffany becomes the first village President.

Wood gavel, c. 1873.

Likely the first gavel used by the Hinsdale Board of Trustees in 1873.

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Hinsdale's first Village President, Judge Joel Tiffany.

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37 people sign a petition to the Illinois Diocese to form Grace Church.


A police force begins and is headed by Constable Clark, with horse thievery a common occurrence.


According to lore, Ben Fuller plants an Ohio Buckeye Tree around this time. 140 years later, it becomes the largest of its species registered in the United States.


A two and a half story frame structure is built at 25 E. First St. “The Colored Baptist Church” uses the upper story of this building every Sunday evening for services.


11 Feb–Lake Ransom, resident of 428 S. Lincoln St., was found dead by the side of the street at the intersection of First and Lincoln Street. 

Wanted Poster, 1882.

Donated by Patrick Regnery, 1994.

Poster with multiple rewards for any information that could lead to the arrest and conviction of the murderer or murderers of Lake Ransom. The death of Lake Ransom remains one of Hinsdale’s only unsolved mysteries. Over 100 years later, opinions on the case differ: was Ransom murdered or did he die by his own hand? 

Dress, c. 1882. 

Donated by Mr. Thomas Scott Jones and (Mrs.) Helen Bebb Jones née Hench, 1985. 

Bronze silk taffeta dress with a maroon velvet collar and bodice inset, trim on long sleeves, and panels in skirt. The bodice laces have been replaced. The front of the skirt is open and the wearer would have had an underskirt beneath this dress. The dress originally belonged to Mrs. Jones’ grandmother, Katherine Cable née Elting, as part of her trousseau. She married Fayette S. Cable,, who, along with his two brothers, founded the Cable-Nelson Pianos company, which was a leader in piano manufacturing at the turn of the century. 


First high school class graduates with four students (all women) and Mrs. Blodgett’s first grade class has nearly 30 students.

Wedding Dress, 1885. 

Donated by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Barnes, 2004. 

Wedding dress of Flora Elizabeth Dodge, born 28 January 1856 in Janesville, Wisconsin, married 9 June 1885 in Monroe, Wisconsin to Warren Hatgood Freeman who served in the 13th Massachusetts Infantry during the Civil War. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1879. The Freemans resided in Hinsdale from 1892 to 1944. The dress is made of ecru eyelet with lace trim at the bottom and includes 15 mother-of-pearl buttons down the front. The skirt has three tiers with lace trim on each tier and is self-lining. 


The intersection of Third Street and Garfield Avenue in downtown Hinsdale becomes the first site of an all-boys school. Later, the site becomes Hinsdale High School in the 1920s, and Hinsdale Middle School starting in 1976.

Hinsdale buys a horse-drawn hook and ladder truck with hose, axes and accessories. Around this time the Hinsdale Hook and Ladder Company No. 1 is formed. They shared quarters, equipment and personnel with the Hose Company, and the two formally merge in 1893, under the name Hinsdale Volunteer Fire Department. An African American man serves on the department, possibly making it the first integrated unit in the Western Suburbs.


O. P. Bassett, a rumored personal friend of President Lincoln, builds a dome shaped greenhouse–he later creates the American Beauty Rose. Two years later, he builds a Colonial Revival style house, which still sits on Sixth Street.

Incorporation Papers of the Hinsdale Library Association, 1887.

The Hinsdale Library Association was incorporated on 14 April 1887. The Hinsdale Public Library was founded as the Hinsdale Library Association, a private subscription library, in 1887. As public interest grew and at the election in 1892, Hinsdale’s citizens voted to establish it as a free public library. In April 1893, the first library board of directors was elected and in August, the library opened its doors to the public. Mrs. Flora Candee was the first librarian, serving for 12 years. Mrs. Ella Ruth was the librarian for 13 years. Mr. Deming H. Preston was the first president and served on the board for 26 years. Afterward, Mr. C. E. Raymond served for 31 years. During the first year of its opening, the library served 337 patrons. By its 50th anniversary, it was serving nearly 4,000. In 1893, 6,360 books were loaned from the library and in 1943, over 68,000 were borrowed.


The Hinsdale Beacon begins publication. Charles E. Cushing is the publisher.

The Hinsdale Club is incorporated. William Duncan presides over The Hinsdale Club when it receives its charter. Financial difficulties lead to its dissolution in 1941 and its clubhouse becomes The Community House.

Hinsdale Club Record of Officers and Members, 1890-1903.

The book is a record of signatures of officers and members of the Hinsdale Club from 1890 to 1903. The officers and members are recorded.

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Charles E. Cushing, publisher of the Hinsdale Beacon.

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The village hires its first attorney, Linus C. Ruth Sr.

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Stough Park is acquired.

Photograph of the Old Settlers of Hinsdale, c. 1890. 

The original photograph was taken of the founders of Hinsdale. In the background is the schoolhouse erected by William Robbins in 1866. The names of these settlers are found on various landmarks, street signs, buildings, and more in modern-day Hinsdale.

Top Row (Left to Right): Dr. H. G. Ohles, M. H. Middleton, George Burtt, A. Johnston, Edwin Bowles, A. G. Ayres, William Robbins, Benjamin Plummer, Walter Leslie, E. P. Hinds, R. A. Childs, B. F. Jones, Charles Pfeifer. 

Middle Row (Left to Right): Reuben Farr, A. Dorathy, L. C. Ruth, T. J. Woodcock, Eben Millions, C. H. Hudson, D. A. Courter, A. L. Pearsall, William Johnston, D. L. Perry, William McCredie, John Bohlander.

Bottom Row (Left to Right): Isaac S. Bush, John Gifford, Phil Bryer, Perry Townsend, J. W. Webster, Alfred Payne, Dr. J. B. Hench, Daniel Roth, William Evernden, A. Walker, Dr. Bascom, N. S. Carrington, Mr. Andrews, Dr. H. F. Walker.


Wood and brick-paved roads are constructed.

The Fresh Air Home, 32 W. Ogden Ave., begins to give underprivileged Chicago women and their children a chance to enjoy the country. The Fresh Air Association was one of Hinsdale’s most successful philanthropies. The association provided women and children from Chicago’s poor neighborhoods “a vacation in the country.”


The Hinsdale Unitarian Church hosts Swami Vivekananda, who addresses the church on two Sundays. He is known to have introduced Hinduism to America and calls for religious tolerance.

1 Apr–30 Oct–Chicago hosts the World’s Columbian Exposition, a world’s fair. The exposition was an influential social and cultural event and had a profound effect on American architecture, the arts, American industrial optimism, and Chicagoland’s image. E. M. Barton, owner of the world famous Sedgley Farm, exhibited his heard of Brown Swiss cattle at the fair.


Village officials approve of the installation of telephone “poles and wires.” The first telephone exchange is set up in McGee’s drugstore at 49 S. Washington St.

Fred C. Morris founds Morris Florists which continues through the 1960s. 


William Day Gates, founder of the American Terra Cotta & Ceramic Company, one of the Midwest’s “big four” producers, begins building an 18-room mansion for his family to showcase terra cotta construction. 


Garfield School opens.

Emmanuel Karlson opens his boot and shoe shop in the newly constructed Buchholz Building at 13-15 W. First St.


The Old Music Hall burns to the ground 32-26 E. First St.


The first issue of The Doings is published by a young Dan Merrill.


Hinsdale Library receives best sellers including Alice in Wonderland.


Daniel Merrill, publisher of the The Doings.

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Charter member of the Hinsdale Woman's Club, which held its first meeting in 1895.

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6 Feb–Electric lights begin to illuminate the streets of Hinsdale.

3 Oct–Hinsdale’s Roy Whitson beats out members of the La Grange Bicycle Club to win the Stiles Fulton Cup for the second year in a row.

3 Oct–J. H. Papenhausen, an early Hinsdale tailor, alters his building at 2 W. First St. by moving the entrance to the east side and filling the area where the doors had been with a large plate glass window.


J. B. Campbell publishes his photographs in Hinsdale for his publication, Hinsdale the Beautiful.


31 Jan–A deranged resident staying at the Park Hotel in Hinsdale threatens a female cook with a knife claiming that she was a fortune teller who had defrauded him in the past.


27 Mar–Ulrich and Anderman buy the Wright building at 18 W. First St. to house their steam laundry business.


Spanish-American War (1898).


Hinsdale Golf Club is founded on the Ayres property in current day Clarendon Hills. 


23 Mar–The first meeting of the Hinsdale Business Men’s Club is held in Evernden Hall, located above 40 S. Washington St.


20 Aug–E. M. Barton, president of Western Electric Co. and Sedgley Farm at 5501 S. County Line Rd., becomes the owner of the first residence in Hinsdale to be connected to electricity.


July–The new Hinsdale train depot is completed at 21 Hinsdale Ave.

2 Oct–Hinsdale Club officially unveils its new building on the S. W. corner of Garfield and First St. 


21 Oct–Hinsdale’s post office relocates to the Heinemann building at 53 S. Washington St.


After commissioning Frank Lloyd Wright to build a home for her and her husband at 121 S. County Line Rd., Grace Hodges Bagley (pictured left) and other members of the Chicago Woman’s Club, successfully lobby for the creation of the world’s first Juvenile Justice System. Bagley continues to devote her life to social welfare, including starting a nursery for working mothers and helping to educate immigrants for U.S. citizenship.

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