HINSDALE HISTORY

In the year 1863, the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad changed its corporate mind. Instead of running a track through the town of Fullersburg, located at what is now York and Ogden, it selected vacant land one mile to the south. Thus, the town of Hinsdale was born.

 

William Robbins is known as the founder of Hinsdale. Having knowledge of the railroad’s plans, he purchased the surrounding land. Robbins platted the village in 1865, taming the wild prairie by grading roads, planting trees and building homes. The following year he built the first school on the site of the present Middle School property.

 

Along with a few capable land developers, the fledging town drew wealthy Chicagoans, German and Swedish tradesmen and many others. Each group contributed in creating a thriving village by 1873, the year Hinsdale was incorporated.

 

The original village boundaries were: Chicago Avenue to Sixth Street; Main Street (Garfield) on the east; and on the west, Grant from Sixth to Third and Lincoln from Third to Chicago Avenue – outlined below.

   

 

Until the 1890s, Hinsdale’s water came from wells and cisterns, light from kerosene lamps and candles, and heat from cast-iron stoves and fireplaces. Streets were merely dirt and grass expanses were defined by newly planted saplings. Cows, horses and chickens were kept in backyards.

Advancements came rapidly, however, as the turn-of-the-century approached.  Inspired by public-spirited citizens and vigorous newspaper editors, utilities were established and community improvements were made. Additional amenities were organized to further enhance the village such as a library (1887), golf course (1894), hospital (1904) and numerous service and social organizations.