Early Settlers to Glen Ellyn:

Settlers to northern Illinois came mainly from New England, New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. There were two main routes from the east — the Great Lakes and overland. When the Erie Canal was finished in 1825, it offered an easier route through the Great Lakes.

The Preemption Act of 1820 provided for a claim process whereby the land was first pre-empted (or claimed) by an individual. The settler would hold the land until it was surveyed, at which time he was to pay a specified cost per acre of land and the deed was recorded.




Mercy Dodge Churchill

Winslow’s wife

The Babcock brothers, Ralph, Anson, and Morgan, took up claims to a large wooded area in 1833. The following year, Deacon Winslow Churchill and his family of twenty-eight members arrived from New York. They held their claim until it was surveyed in 1840 and then paid $1.25 per acre.







                            Churchill cabin, 1834

John Ackerman married Lurania Churchill and they staked a claim west of the DuPage River. David Christian married Christiana Churchill, Lurania’s twin sister. They settled on the northeast corner of present-day St. Charles Road and Main Street.



          Alonzo Ackerman,
son of John and Luriana

                      Ackerman






Moses Stacy and family arrived in 1835 from Massachusetts. When William Dodge came with his family, he bought a claim from the Babcock brothers. Others arriving that year included A. S. Janes, Milo Meacham, Horace Barnes, Royal Walker, and the Reverend James McChesney.


Early Glen Ellyn History

Glen Ellyn

Historical Society

+1.630.469.1867

The History Center  800 N. Main St. Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

How many names has Glen Ellyn had?




The most common answer is seven, although there is some disagreement about what the seven names should be. Here is the chronology of what we know.

1834: Babcock's Grove -- When the first settlers arrived here, this area is actually described not as a town but as a large tract of land staked out by the Babcock brothers in 1833 (which included much of what today is Lombard).

1835: Fish's Corners  -- Named for Daniel Fish who had a cabin near where three trails converged. Today, the trails are known as St. Charles Road, Geneva Road and Main Street. The little community was also called DuPage Center because of its location at the center of DuPage County.

1846: Stacy's Corners -- This name came into common usage when Moses and Joann Stacy built a popular stage coach inn at the intersection with that same name, now Geneva Road and North Main Street.

1850: Newton Station -- This actually was the name for a new community that grew up a mile south of Stacy's Corners after the railroad came through that area -- what is today downtown Glen Ellyn.

1851: Danby -- This was the name given Newton Station by the new postmaster who had come from Danby, Vermont. Marcellus Jones, who is credited with firing the first shot at the Battle of Gettysburg, listed Danby as his hometown.

1874: Prospect Park -- Danby's name was changed to Prospect Park because the Village fathers thought it would improve the image of the town. (Danby had quite the reputation at that time.) Stacy's Corners and Prospect Park both grew and gradually merged.

1894: Glen Ellyn -- The town adopted this name after Lake Glen Ellyn was built by Thomas E. Hill and the town became a resort community. "Ellyn" is the Welsh spelling of Ellen, the name of Hill's wife, seen in the photo below.










 



Settlers to northern Illinois came mainly from New England, New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. There were two main routes from the east — the Great Lakes and overland. When the Erie Canal was finished in 1825, it offered an easier route through the Great Lakes.

The Preemption Act of 1820 provided for a claim process whereby the land was first pre-empted (or claimed) by an individual. The settler would hold the land until it was surveyed, at which time he was to pay a specified cost per acre of land and the deed was recorded.



About The Historical Society

In 1968, the Village of Glen Ellyn purchased an old building located on Geneva Road, just west of N. Main Street. This much-modified building originally was a wayside inn built by Moses and Joann Stacy in 1846, just 12 years after the first settlers arrived here.

At the urging of Village officials, The Glen Ellyn Historical Society was formed in 1969 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization by a group of volunteers to assist the Village in restoring the building to its original condition and to furnish it with period-appropriate furniture, stoves, cooking and eating utensils, and tools. That task took seven years, but the result was an award-winning museum which stands today as the only fully restored stagecoach inn in Illinois resting on its original foundation. 

The Glen Ellyn Historical Society continues to operate Stacy’s Tavern Museum for the Village, providing regular tours guided by knowledgeable docents. But the Society’s role in the community has grown considerably since 1969.

Around the Museum you will find the History Park at the intersection of Main Street and Geneva Road in Glen Ellyn. Offices and programs are offered at the Glen Ellyn History Center at 800 N. Main Street. Inside the History Center, you will find the Glen Ellyn Center for Historical Research and our wonderful gift shop, Stacy’s Corners Store.

Also part of the History Park is Ward Plaza at the corner of Geneva Road and N. Main Street. This beautiful plaza offers a welcoming north entrance to the Village of Glen Ellyn. Opened in 2011, it is dedicated to Historical Society members and long-time volunteers Doug and Ruthann Ward. 

The Historical Society's mission is to preserve and honor our history. Our vision is a vibrant organization that educates, engages and inspires through history. We hope you will join us in creating a vibrant community with a rich past and promising future.