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Before 1873

Before European Immigrants

The old Indian (Black Hawk) trail is established. It becomes the Southwestern Plank road, which is now Ogden Avenue. The Pottawatomie establish a camp in an area around the Fullersburg forest preserve.

Chief Shabonna was a leader of the native population in DuPage County in the 1800s. During the Blackhawk War, General Winfield Scott and his army passed through the Fullersburg area, however, a more prominent and over-looked person in this time of history was Chief Shabbona. A recollection of him included in Village on the County Line by Hugh G. Dugan states, “---From my first acquaintance with him, which began in the fall of 1818, to his death, I was impressed with the nobleness of his character. He was ever a friend to the white settlers, and should be held by them and their descendants in grateful remembrance.”


Benjamin Fuller arrives in Chicago after traveling across the country from Broome County, New York on horseback.


Orente Grant and his brother, David, buy from the U.S. government the “untamed prairies” bordering Salt Creek, east of Fullersburg.


Robert Jones buys land from the U.S. government for $1.26 an acre. This is the land that William Robbins will eventually buy from Jones in 1862 to create Hinsdale.


The Torode family builds a sawmill at what is now Graue Mill.Early settler Jean Torode tells of the good will between settlers and Pottawatomie Native Americans who live on both sides of Salt Creek near now Graue Mill called the creek “Wewanippissee” or “The Pretty Little River.”


Ben Fuller acquires Brush Hill–a settlement along Salt Creek and present day Ogden Avenue–and renames it Fullersburg.

c. 1850s

Brown jug, c. 1850s.

Jug from Louis Abel, successor to Samuel Myers & Company, was established in 1847 on the southeast corner of Market and Washington Streets in Chicago. This jug was found during the excavation in Village Place on the property that was once used as a blacksmith shop. The blacksmith shop may have belonged to John Samuel Coe, an early settler of Fullersburg, who opened a blacksmith shop in 1844. John Samuel Coe married Harriett Fuller, the sister of Benjamin Fuller, and helped found the Brush Hill School (Fullersburg School), as well as allegedly ran a stop on the Underground Railroad. He later opened a general store.


Formation papers of the Brush Hill School, 1852-1853.

Original papers detailing the creation of a special tax to aid in erecting a building to house the school, and elections of school board officers. The officers of the school included John Samuel Coe, an early resident of Fullersburg who came to the region in 1839, and married one of Benjamin Fuller’s sisters. The Brush Hill School was built by Lieutenant Sherman King around 1853. The school was later known as Fullersburg School and was located on the hill between Fullersburg Cemetery and the plank road, where today’s Fuller Road ends. By 1928, the school was left vacant and a fire destroyed the building in 1938.


Abraham Lincoln stops at one of the inns in Fullersburg for dinner when he travels west for the Lincoln-Douglas debates.


The Civil War.


William Robbins purchases more than 600 acres of what is now south Hinsdale and a few years later hires landscaper H. W. S. Cleveland to plat a village south of the tracks.

Famed Art Nouveau dancer Loie Fuller, a regular performer at the Folies Bergere and creator of the “Serpentine Dance” is born at Castle Inn in what would soon be Hinsdale.

William Robbins

William Robbins was born in New York where he was farming and teaching school before coming to Chicago in 1844. He worked as a store clerk for a while before traveling west during the California Gold Rush. After establishing himself in wholesale merchandising for mining supplies in Northern California, he, his wife, and two children, moved to Chicago to deal in real estate. Aware of the railroad’s plans and potential of Fullersburg, Robbins purchased 800 acres in 1862. He envisioned this rural landscape becoming a residential community and set about platting the town of Hinsdale, naming the north-south streets after national heroes, and numbering the east-west streets.

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Castle Inn

Photograph of the Castle Inn on Ogden Avenue.  Benjamin Fuller, one of the area’s earliest settlers, gradually purchased most of the land in the central community of Fullersburg, which was later annexed by Hinsdale. Fuller served as a farmer, storekeeper, innkeeper, and postmaster, as well as platted the town and renamed it from Brush Hill to Fullersburg. In 1843, Fuller purchased a portion of Orente Grant’s property, which included the building that would become the Castle Inn. The inn was built by Grant in 1836.  At the time of its construction, there were probably no dwellings within the present village boundaries. North of his house across the creek, Fuller built a grocery and saloon in 1843, naming it the Farmers’ Home. Remnants of this building still stand, incorporated into York Tavern.


William Robbins builds his residence at 120 E. Fifth St.


Chicago Burlington & Quincy railroad runs its first train on May 20, 1864. Train dispatching is done by telegraph.


Fullersburg farmer Alfred Walker is one of Illinois’ first cheese manufacturers. Walker’s farm on Ayres and Garfield Ave. produces 100-pound cheeses and is recognized by the U.S. government as a ‘model of agriculture.’


8-10 Oct–The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 devastates the city.


The first village newspaper, The Hinsdale Index, debuts as a monthly periodical. It is published by T. E. Lonergan and runs until 1896.

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