Friends of the West Chicago City Museum

Friends of the West Chicago City Museum The Friends of the West Chicago City Museum are an independent support group for the West Chicago Ci
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Come make a Frosty tonight and take a picture at our photo station ⛄️ Happy Frosty Fest!
12/02/2023

Come make a Frosty tonight and take a picture at our photo station ⛄️ Happy Frosty Fest!

Our   is to Frosty Fest 1999! See you tomorrow for this year’s edition!Be sure to stop by the Museum from 4-7pm for a Fr...
12/01/2023

Our is to Frosty Fest 1999! See you tomorrow for this year’s edition!

Be sure to stop by the Museum from 4-7pm for a Frosty craft, see our latest exhibits, take a picture in our selfie station and purchase a West Chicago Historic Landmark ornament!

It's our last Museum Monday of November and we are using that opportunity to share the last of our 2023 Tales Tombstones...
11/27/2023

It's our last Museum Monday of November and we are using that opportunity to share the last of our 2023 Tales Tombstones Tell scripts. We hope you have enjoyed reading these stories, but fear not there are always many many West Chicago tales to tell:)

"As you come to the last stop on tonight’s tour, we shift our focus to the youth of Turner, and the story of Adelaide Evenden Cole, a member of the first graduating class of Turner School in 1878.

"Adelaide was born here in Turner on April 15, 1861, three days after the start of the American Civil War. She was the second of three daughters born to Lucy Avard and Thomas Evenden.
Her mother Lucy Avard was born in Kent, England, on February 10, 1830 and came to the United States with her parents at the age of 20, where the family first settled in Utica, New York.

"Her father Thomas was also born in Kent County, England, but four years earlier in 1826 and came to the United States in 1850. Lucy and Thomas married in 1852 and the couple came west in June of 1856, settling in Junction. Other members of the family also migrated west with the Evendens including Lucy’s sister Augustus Norris. When they first arrived in the newly formed community of Junction, Thomas opened a harness shop in town.

"The Evenden family were members of the Congregational Church that once stood on E. Washington Street, at the intersection of Galena Street, where US Bank Stands today. Tragically when Adelaide was nine years old her oldest sister, Christie died at the age 17. We are unsure of her cause of death, but typhoid fever, tuberculosis and diphtheria were common infections that could quickly take the life of a young, seemingly healthy person in the days before antibiotics and more advanced medical care.

"Raising children in the new town of Junction no doubt brought its challenges, including providing an education. When John Turner first platted Junction in 1855, he deeded land for the Congregational Church, which held an early school and two lots on Fulton Street for a new school. In the late 1860s town residents began to plan for a new public school building, but it wasn’t until the town was officially incorporated in 1873 as the Village of Turner that the first brick was laid for what would become Turner School (the first Turner School). The three story brick building cost $25,000 to build, the equivalent of almost $640,000 today. When it first opened it only offered primary school courses as many teens left school to work or help their families in other ways.

"Miss Harriet Yakeley, the second principal of the new school, was responsible for many educational improvements and innovations, and introduced the first high school courses at Turner School. The first high school graduating class in 1878 consisted of Misses Carrie Roundy and Addie Evenden, who both became teachers here in Turner. Carrie Roundy would have a long career teaching in Turner, and even had a kindergarten named in her honor.

"Turner School would be renamed North Side School when South Side School was built in 1887 near today’s high school. Later Washington School occupied the land that held the first Turner School and today the Fire Protection District sits on that land on Fremont Street.

"After teaching for a few years, at the age of 29 Adelaide married William Cole, a train engineer, and the couple moved to Chicago where they lived the rest of their lives. They never had any children of their own. When Adelaide passed away on March 30, 1915, at the age of 53 she was brought home to West Chicago to be buried next to her parents."

Thankful for all of you and this amazing history we get to share in! We hope you have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving! ...
11/23/2023

Thankful for all of you and this amazing history we get to share in! We hope you have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

Photo: 1860s CB&Q Depot

Today we share another script from our latest Tales Tombstones Tell, adding a story about an Irish immigrant family that...
11/17/2023

Today we share another script from our latest Tales Tombstones Tell, adding a story about an Irish immigrant family that helped shape Turner.

Eliza Sutter Conley, 1824-1901

Eliza Sutter was born in Ireland in June of 1824. At the age of 16 she immigrated to the United States with her brother. She met and married fellow Irish immigrant James Conley in 1843. The young Conley family started their life in New York where James worked on a farm in St. Lawrence County and where Eliza gave birth to the couple’s first child, a daughter Anna in 1844. Within a year the family had moved to Illinois and a second child, this time a boy, John was born. And just 4 years later a third child, another girl, Elizabeth, or Betty as she was known, was born here.

By 1849, the year the railroad tracks were built west from Chicago and created a Junction at what would become West Chicago, the Conley family had three children and a new large farm right here in the newly established Winfield Township. The Conley’s were some of the rare Irish immigrants that had left Ireland prior to the great famine and therefore did not detest farming and the hardships it could bring as later Irish immigrants did.

When the Conley family arrived in this area in 1844, it was all open prairie, with few remnants of the Pottawatomi camps that used to dot the landscape. James bought 40 acres of land for $150 in what would become West Chicago and grew wheat on the family farm. Over time his farm prospered and he purchased more land, eventually owning 250 acres west of town.

In the 1850s and after the railroad town began to build up, the Conley family sold their profitable farm and moved into Junction. There were new opportunities to serve the large number of people passing through town in the early days of the bustling railroad community. James opened up a restaurant in the Chicago and Northwestern Depot. Eliza did all the cooking at the popular eatery. The first home the family built on the south side of town near today’s Glen Arbor Church was only the third home built in Junction, but as their restaurant business prospered the family built a large frame house on two acres of land near the railroad station. With the big home and once their children were grown the Conley’s took in boarders, at one time housing members of three other families, all men who worked on the railroad. As Turner grew the family sold off lots of their property for other homes to be built.

The family also played an important role in the Turner community. As long time landowners and business owners, they helped shape the growing town. James served on the first board for this very cemetery. Oakwood Cemetery was sorely needed when it was finally established in 1858. Sadly the Conley family needed the cemetery themselves when Annie, their oldest daughter passed away in 1891 at the age of 47.

During their years in town, James also served many terms on the local school board, helping to establish and open the first Turner School, which would later be called North Side School and was later renamed Washington School.

The Conley’s retired from their restaurant business in 1900, and one year later after months of illness Eliza passed away. In her obituary she was remembered as a truly Christian women who was devoted to her family and home. When James passed away in 1909 he was remembered as a man who loved a good joke. It was also noted that he had extremely entertaining and valuable stories about the early days as a pioneer in this area.

The Conleys arrived in Junction when there was only one house and in consequence witnessed the town’s growth into Turner and then West Chicago. It was said about James that he began life in Winfield Township without any money, but by honest and arduous toil secured a competency for old age, and at the same time gained the respect and confidence of all who knew him.

Have you been downtown to see the Veterans’ Banner Display? This wonderful tribute to many West Chicago Veterans can als...
11/11/2023

Have you been downtown to see the Veterans’ Banner Display? This wonderful tribute to many West Chicago Veterans can also be seen online as well.

The City’s downtown area will be decorated with banners depicting local men and women who served in the armed services through November.

Today we continue to feature the scripts from our 2023 Tales Tombstones Tell. During our program this year we featured s...
11/07/2023

Today we continue to feature the scripts from our 2023 Tales Tombstones Tell. During our program this year we featured stories that tied to the 1873 incorporation of the Village of Turner, and perhaps no story is directly tied as closely as Charles Clark.

Charles Clark was born of Irish parents in Ottawa, Canada. His family moved across the border to Syracuse, New York, when he was two years old. While growing up in Syracuse, he decided that he wanted to become a teacher. At the age of 20 he began his new profession and taught in that New York area for about six years.

Charles then moved to Wisconsin, and taught school in Williams Bay at the head of Lake Geneva for two winters. He moved to Turner and taught school at Gary’s Mill, an early one-room schoolhouse that was located on today’s Gary’s Mill Road. At Gary’s Mill School, Charles met and then married Arvilla Currier, who was also a teacher at the school. Arvilla was the daughter of Rev. William Currier, the oldest Civil War Volunteer from Turner. Currier School currently stands near the location of that historic one-room schoolhouse and is named for Arvilla.

After a few years, Charles taught school here in Turner at the Methodist Episcopal Church, the current home of Glen Arbor Church near the High School. By night Charles gave singing lessons in neighboring towns, and was very successful in all of his pursuits.

Unfortunately, Charles and Arvilla’s marriage was short-lived. Arvilla died in 1865 at the young age of 32. Arvilla and Charles did have one son together, Charles D. Clark, who became a well-known attorney and later a DuPage County judge.

Two years after Arvilla’s death, Charles remarried Amanda Williams, who was from Syracuse. Charles and Amanda had one son, Clarence, who tragically, but not uncommon in those days, died in infancy. He is buried in the Currier plot, next to his father’s first wife Arvilla. After their infant son’s death, the Clarks adopted a daughter, Clara.

Soon after he remarried, Charles left teaching and opened a coal and lumber business on W. Washington Street. When the Village of Turner was formerly incorporated 150 years ago this year in 1873, Charles presented the signed petition for incorporation to Judge Myron C. Dudley of the DuPage County Court. He served as Turner’s first Town Clerk and later as a Village Trustee and President. He also served on the School board for 16 years.

Three years after his second wife Amanda had passed away, Charles died at his home after suffering with complications from a stroke in February of 1894 at the age of 63. His funeral was one of the largest ever known in Turner.

The following was taken from his obituary. “He was a great favorite with the children, and young men confided in him and the aged sought him for his counsel, sympathy and friendship. The entire community have only words of respect, praise and love for his memory. He was generous to the poor almost to a fault…A favorite expression of his was, ‘We cannot let the family suffer.’ Probably no worthy appeal for help was made to him in vain, and eternity alone will ever reveal how much he did for the relief and assistance of others. Taken all in all Mr. Clark was a rare man…”

Halloween is over and holiday preparation season has begun:) Our 2023 Historic Landmark Ornament of the Center Pavilion ...
11/03/2023

Halloween is over and holiday preparation season has begun:) Our 2023 Historic Landmark Ornament of the Center Pavilion has arrived just in time! Pick yours up during City Museum hours or email us at [email protected] for local delivery or shipping. Ornaments are $12 each, or $10 for members.

Reed-Keppler park area was originally known as Reese’s Woods, part of the old Harvey farm. In 1934 the City of West Chicago obtained the property and established the West Chicago City Park. Over the next three years, the park was developed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The shelter house on the hill was one of two buildings built by the WPA, a Depression Era Federal Program. Other WPA projects included a lagoon, baseball diamond and bleachers and major landscaping. Under Mayor Walter Fawell, in 1956 the park’s name was changed to “Reed Park” after the death of Congressman Chauncey Reed, who had given the dedication address for the park in 1934 when he served as State’s Attorney. On May 20, 1971, a referendum was passed establishing a park district. Two years later the park was renamed “Reed-Keppler Park,” adding the name of Dr. John Keppler, who was a local dentist and was mayor at the time the City opened the Park. In 1973 the City leased the 88-acre Reed-Keppler Park to the newly formed West Chicago Park District.

Today we continue to feature the scripts from our 2023 Tales Tombstones Tell by sharing the story of the Village of Turn...
11/02/2023

Today we continue to feature the scripts from our 2023 Tales Tombstones Tell by sharing the story of the Village of Turner's first family.

"Welcome to the grave of Clara Haffey Church. Clara was a woman who witnessed firsthand the growth of Turner, and no doubt contributed to the growing community alongside her husband. As you’ll hear later in life, Clara sadly faced an unfortunate fate, one that far too many women encountered in a time when they had little power, and little was known about mental health.

"Clara Haffey was born in New York in October of 1836. By the early 1850s, she was living in DuPage County, and in 1854 she married Lucius B. Church, a fellow New Yorker, here in Turner Junction. Shortly after they were married, Lucius began running a restaurant which was located next to the Chicago & NorthWestern depot. The traffic in and out of the depot along the bustling train lines in the early days of Turner made the restaurant very busy and very profitable.

"When the Civil War broke out in 1861, many local men answered the call of duty. Lucius left his restaurant business, and his wife, Clara, here in Turner in 1862 when he went to serve with the 105th Illinois Infantry. Lucius was one of the lucky ones and returned home in June of 1865, as a Captain. He was Turner’s highest-ranking officer during the Civil War. Lucius had proven himself as a good soldier during the War and was appointed by President Grant to work for the newly formed Internal Revenue Department. At first his work allowed him and Clara to remain here in town, but soon he was transferred to Montana. Clara joined him and the couple lived in the developing west until 1873, when they came home to Turner.

"1873 was an important year in the Turner Junction community. Although Lucius had an important job in Montana and the couple was able to travel throughout the west, the call back to this community to help with the government of the newly incorporated town was no doubt appealing. Lucius and Clara were important people in our growing community and on their return, their status was rewarded. When Lucius was elected the first president of the Village of Turner 150 years ago in 1873, Clara became the first, first lady of Turner. Lucius served a second two-year term as Village President from 1879 to 1881. Lucius worked for a well-known baggage company and in 1883 he opened his own business. The family was very successful and also owned large parcels of land. The couple never had any children of their own, but Clara took on a motherly role in caring for the 5-year-old son of her niece for a time.

"After Lucius died in 1893, by all accounts Clara seemed to run the family affairs well, but at some point after 1900, she was admitted to Dr. Ransom’s Sanitarium. It is hard for us to know exactly what was wrong with Clara or who had requested she be admitted to the mental institution, as records were not well-kept back then.

"In 1887, Ransom’s Sanitarium established a Special Nervous and Mild Mental Cases wing with a capacity of just 20 patients who enjoyed private rooms decorated in a personal manner. Mental health patients were not confined to their pleasantly decorated wing and were often taken on outings. The home was described as a haven of rest, delightfully located one mile north of the city of Rockford, on the east bank of the Rock River. The picture of life for those in Clara’s case is much different than other Turner women who we know faced similar mental health struggles and were institutionalized in the Elgin Mental Hospital. The one big difference between Clara’s home and the Elgin Mental Hospital was cost. Treatment in Ransom’s Sanitarium was not cheap, but those that could afford to be cared for there were made as comfortable as possible. Clara died in the Sanitarium on August 31, 1910, and was laid to rest here, next to her husband. The first couple of Turner witnessed so much during their lifetimes, and helped lay the foundation for our village, but their story, as all life stories do, include details that reveal the complexities of life."

Thanks to everyone who stopped by the Museum during today’s downtown Trick-or-Treat! 🎃 Gretchan flew back home ;) did yo...
10/28/2023

Thanks to everyone who stopped by the Museum during today’s downtown Trick-or-Treat! 🎃

Gretchan flew back home ;) did you hear her go? 🧙🏻 And we had a bird’s eye view to the huge trunk or treat line at the !

We hope you all have a great wonderful Halloween! 👻

And it begins! Happy Halloween 👻 Downtown Trick or Treat 1-3pm!  Come see Gretchan 🎃
10/28/2023

And it begins! Happy Halloween 👻 Downtown Trick or Treat 1-3pm! Come see Gretchan 🎃

Today we continue to feature the scripts from our 2023 Tales Tombstones Tell by sharing the story of the Reuter family w...
10/27/2023

Today we continue to feature the scripts from our 2023 Tales Tombstones Tell by sharing the story of the Reuter family who faced a family tragedy in 1896, the year the Village of Turner officially became the Village of West Chicago.

"In 1896 a momentous thing was about to happen to the Village of Turner. The “powers that be,” powerful male leaders of the time were orchestrating a name change for the town from Turner, which was often informally called Turner Junction, to West Chicago. The leaders had hoped that the name change would spur growth and development, and maybe even persuade a few people into thinking the newly branded West Chicago was a cosmopolitan, thriving and a little closer to Chicago proper than it actually was located.

"The name change was important to the future of the community. The railroad junction that was built up into our town was actually thriving and attracting immigrants from all over the world. Dominick Reuter and Emma Hummel Reuter were two such immigrants who had come to Turner from their native Germany. In the growing town of Turner there were many jobs and opportunities for new immigrants. Dominick Reuter worked as one of Turner’s blacksmiths, establishing a Blacksmith shop in 1890.

"Blacksmiths had always been a necessary part of Turner’s business community. In the 1800s and early 1900s economies and people were dependent on horse-drawn transportation. Local blacksmiths made horse shoes, as well as all the metal on wagons and carriages. Bridle bits and harness buckles for horses were made and repaired by blacksmiths as well.

"Household and farm hardware, such as hinges on barns and latches on doors were fashioned in the blacksmith’s forge. There was quite a profit to be made in the sharpening of plow blades for farmers. Even toys such as ice skates, wagons and doll buggies were the work of the blacksmith.

"Here in Turner, the railroad also had need of blacksmiths. A rolling mills, where rails were cut and straightened had operated on W. Washington Street, just across from today’s library by 1869.
Although blacksmithing declined after automobiles became popular in the 1900s, there was good earnings for a blacksmith and Dominick Reuter’s business operated for 41 years. When the decision of changing the name of Turner to West Chicago came up, we can guess that Dominick might have been excited at the prospect of more business in a newly rebranded town, attracting more people. But the excitement around change didn’t stop life and every day tragedies.

"In 1896 just as our community was becoming West Chicago, in June Dominick and Emma welcomed their first child, a little boy, Nicholas Reuter, named after his uncle. The hope for the change was mirrored in the new family starting a new chapter of welcoming their baby boy. Sadly though infant Nicholas died when he was just three months old. It is no doubt he was deeply mourned. As a memorial to his son, Dominick Reuter fashioned this iron fence using his blacksmith tools to surround his baby son’s grave.

"The Reuter family would move on from heartbreak in the newly renamed town of West Chicago and go on to have five more children, all girls. Dominick and Emma lived until 1935 and 1968, respectively; both of them are buried in Glen Oak Cemetery on Arbor Ave here in West Chicago."

Map of Winfield Township & West Chicago borders in 1904

It's Where in West Chicago Wednesday! Do you recognize this scene from 1965? What roof is Rosa Rosalez standing on?
10/25/2023

It's Where in West Chicago Wednesday! Do you recognize this scene from 1965? What roof is Rosa Rosalez standing on?

Today we continue to feature the scripts from our 2023 Tales Tombstones Tell by sharing the story of the Wurtz family. "...
10/24/2023

Today we continue to feature the scripts from our 2023 Tales Tombstones Tell by sharing the story of the Wurtz family.

"Welcome to the graves of the Wurtz family. As the railroad you just heard about brought many new opportunities to Junction, it brought many immigrants. The Wurtz family, like the majority of Turner residents in the late 1800s had been born in Germany.

"Salome Schoch and Jacob Wurtz had come from the state of Baden in southwest Germany. Baden was the center of the liberal movement during the late 1840s, a time of many European rebellions. Jacob, and his brother Christian, were involved in a revolt against the German Prince. Soon after the revolution was crushed, the Wurtz brothers left for the United States and a new life; they first settled in Lancaster, New York near Buffalo.; we aren’t sure how closely Salome knew Jacob in Germany or if they immigrated to the United States together, but we do know that they married in New York in 1849 and quickly moved to the western frontier of Illinois. Their first daughter was born here in Winfield Township in 1851, just one year after the trains from Chicago reached this western point of Turner Junction. In 1854 their second child, a son Christian was born.

"Like many German immigrants that came to this area, the family had a farm where they raised gran crops and managed a dairy herd. Their third child, Michael who was born here in Junction 1856 took over the family farm at the age of 21 and within a few years bought out his siblings’ shares. The land was made up of over 125 acres and was located in what is now the northeast corner of Fermilab. Michael was a successful farmer and as DuPage County grew, he was part of the movement of dairy farmers that challenged Cook County’s stronghold on the milk economy. I know it is hard for you all to imagine Cook County being overpowering;)

"In the late 1880s, Michael was one of the organizers of the Turner Co-operative Creamery. The Co-op was comprised of local dairy farmers who wanted a competitive market for milk and the frequent milk trains through Turner offered the perfect mode to give their milk a competitive edge. For eighteen years the Co-op was a successful venture. In 1906, Borden’s built a bottling plant here on the site of the present-day Jel Sert factory off of Route 59. This cut the Co-op’s profits, and it could no longer compete with the larger centralized milk producer. Within a year, the Turner Co-op had disbanded.

"Prior to the Co-op shutting down, in 1896, Michael married Kate Forney. Kate’s family was part of the Pennsylvania Dutch community that was also made up of many German immigrants. Michael and Kate were married in Ogle County, just to our west and then settled back on the Wurtz family farm. Both parties were older newlyweds. Kate was thirty-six and Michael was forty when they started their life together. Two years later, they adopted a daughter Estella. Besides Michael’s involvement with local milk producers, he was also an active member of the Methodist Church. He served as a trustee and a steward, and was a member of the building committee for the new Methodist church which was constructed in 1902; that building is today’s Glen Arbor Church.

"Michael retired from farming in 1913, and it is about this time that the Wurtz family farm was sold and the family moved into town proper. They built a new brick home at 502 Harrison Street. Michael passed away in 1931, with tuberculosis being a contributing factor in his death. He was laid to rest here with his parents. His wife Kate would live another 16 years. Their daughter Estella married Samuel Gregory and they lived on Norris Ave here in West Chicago, not far from Estella’s childhood home."

We were so happy to be part of Turner Elementary PTO and Turner Elementary School’s 70th Anniversary Fall Fest Celebrati...
10/23/2023

We were so happy to be part of Turner Elementary PTO and Turner Elementary School’s 70th Anniversary Fall Fest Celebration Friday night.

We love sharing the history of our community and seeing so many people engaging with the memories and sharing their own stories!

Thank you to everyone who shared your story with us. If you have memories, photographs or other pieces of Turner history, feel free to DM us or email us at [email protected].

Today we share another script from our 2023 Tales Tombstones Tell. We normally only feature people buried in the cemeter...
10/19/2023

Today we share another script from our 2023 Tales Tombstones Tell. We normally only feature people buried in the cemetery we are speaking in, but since this year was an anniversary year for both the Town of Turner and Turner School, we decided to include John B. Turner. You can read all about him here, and then make sure to join us tomorrow evening at the Turner Fall Fest and 70th Anniversary Celebration to learn more about John Turner and the West Chicago Elementary School District 33 school.

John B. Turner 1799-1871
"Tonight as we celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Incorporation of the Town of Turner, we begin by telling the story of John Bice Turner. Although he is not buried here, nor did he ever live in this community, West Chicago pays tribute to him as our founder.

"More widely, John B. Turner, is known for being a prominent Chicago railroad man, but it was his foresight and connections that led to the creation of this very community. Although we credit John Turner with creating the town that would become West Chicago, like other “industrial founders” of that time, he actually had little to do with the development of the town that would bear his name.

"John Turner was born in 1799 in New York where he grew up on a farm. In his early professional career he became involved with canal construction in New York and then the railroads that quickly became the exciting new way to travel in the late 1830s. As Chicago looked to out-compete St. Louis by expanding their railroads in the 1840s, John Turner brought his east coast expertise and assisted men like William Ogden to make Chicago the hub of all rail traffic.

"Throughout the last half of the 1840s, Ogden and Turner tried to convince DuPage County that a railroad was needed. At first a straight line was drawn from Chicago to Elgin, north of the settlement that would become West Chicago, but discussions were had with Wheaton and even Warrenville and Naperville to acquire the land to provide the train right-of-way. Those in southern DuPage wanted nothing to do with the railroad, stating it was undemocratic and would hurt farmers who could better control getting their crops to market in Chicago by wagon. As the arguing about where this western train line should go continued, John Turner saw an opportunity. By 1847 he became the acting director of the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad, and although a more direct route to Galena might have saved the company money, Turner had purchased a plot of land west of the DuPage River and east of the Fox River. There was nothing out of the ordinary about this plot of land, but within a year of his purchase the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad had decided that plot of land would be a focal point for the western expansion of rail traffic. The Galena and Chicago Union Railroad tracks met the newly developed Aurora Branch right on John Turner’s land. That junction, that still exists on W. Washington Street, just southwest of the library, would be the first junction in the state of Illinois, and the plot of land that John Turner owned would become the community of Junction.

By the time the first track reached this junction in 1849, the course of history was set. Eventually the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad would pass through this junction and the Aurora Branch would become vital to the Midwest, becoming the Chicago Burlington & Quincy, and then the Burlington Northern. Today those two train lines that John Turner connected on his plot of land are two of the biggest railroad companies in the world, BNSF and Union Pacific.

John B. Turner subdivided up his plot of land and made way for the early railroad town development, but his focus was on Chicago. The McConnell family would plot another portion of town to the north, where we stand now and name that plot Turner in honor of John. When the village was incorporated in 1873 it did so bearing Turner’s name. For many years people still referred to the community as Turner’s Junction, remembering how it got its start.

"John Turner is remembered for his many contributions that helped cement Chicago and West Chicago in railroad history. He lived out his life in Chicago, where he and his wife raised their 6 children. He passed away in February of 1871, two years before our community officially became the Village of Turner. Eight months after he died his daughter’s mansion was destroyed by the Great Chicago Fire, but famously a portrait of John B. Turner’s was saved as heirlooms were thrown into a carriage and driven away from the blaze."

We are closing out National Fire Prevention Week by sharing an image from the early days of the West Chicago Fire Depart...
10/13/2023

We are closing out National Fire Prevention Week by sharing an image from the early days of the West Chicago Fire Department.

This images shows one of the first motorized trucks, circa 1918.
Left to right: Ernie Norris, Ted McCabe, A.G. (Tony) Goetz, William Wagner, Charles Sproat, and F.A. Goetz. At this time the Fire Department occupied the first floor of the Turner Townhall, now the City Museum at 132 Main Street.

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132 Main Street
West Chicago, IL
60185

Opening Hours

Thursday 9:30am - 2:30pm
Friday 9:30am - 2:30pm
Saturday 9:30am - 3:30pm

Telephone

(630) 231-3376

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