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  • Janet Miller

From the Archives: Flagg Creek


Flagg Creek, circa 1955. From the Hinsdale Historical Society.
Flagg Creek, circa 1955. From the Hinsdale Historical Society.

Flagg Creek Water Reclamation District–we all send our money there. Many residents probably don’t even know the creek still flows through Hinsdale. The original route of the creek bisects Hinsdale from west to east. (See map).


The heavy lines on this map indicate the actual sewer lines installed in the village as of 1959. The lighter lines represent the actual path of Flagg Creek where it does not exactly coincide with the sewer line.
The heavy lines on this map indicate the actual sewer lines installed in the village as of 1959. The lighter lines represent the actual path of Flagg Creek where it does not exactly coincide with the sewer line.

Flagg Creek was named for an early settler named Reuben Flagg who first came to the area in 1830. His daughter was reported to be one of the first white children born in Will County.  The creek was described in bucolic terms by the early developers one Hinsdale. 


One early resident mentioned catching fish there in the spring when the water was high.


Over the years, the issue of sewage required action by the village. Hinsdale Sanitary District was formed in 1926. The district included Hinsdale, Clarendon Hills, and part of Westmont. The idea was to divert the flow of sewage into a water treatment plant. It was designed to handle sewage for a population of 18,000, though the District’s population was only 11,000 at the time. 


Flagg Creek on Second Street in Hinsdale, circa 1955.
Flagg Creek on Second Street in Hinsdale, circa 1955.

By the mid 1950’s with increased development, the sewers in both Hinsdale and Western Springs were polluting Flagg Creek during heavy rains. Most of the creek was covered over at this time. Various solutions were proposed, but as all of us know, problems continue to this day.

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