History & Genealogy of
Evanston Township
Presented by Illinois Genealogy Trails

©Kim Torp



Cities & Towns within Evanston Township:


City of Evanston




History .....

The area now known as the North Shore was once home to the Potawatami Indians. Villages were situated along the forested shores of Lake Michigan, where abundant game and easy access to the lake supported a lifestyle of hunting and fur-trading.

The first known European visitors were French voyageurs, who referred to the area as 'Grosse Pointe,' after the large point of land now marked by the Grosse Point Lighthouse. The French explored the shoreline, but did not attempt colonization. After the War of 1812, the United States acquired the French lands around Lake Michigan, and Grosse Pointe became Grosse Pointe Territory.

After living here for centuries, the Potawatami were forced to cede all their lands to the U.S. in a series of five treaties dating from 1795 to 1833. The government then parceled out plots of land to pioneer settlers who were moving from the East. The first permanent settler of Grosse Pointe was Major Edward H. Mulford, a jewelry dealer from New York. In 1836, Mulford bought 160 acres and improved the land with the Ten-Mile House, a house and tavern which held the territory's first post office and the first court of Cook County.

By the 1840 census, Grosse Pointe had 330 residents. Boundaries of Grosse Pointe changed as more land was annexed into the district. In 1850 Grosse Pointe was renamed Ridgeville, and increased its population to 441 by that year. In 1855, Northwestern University was founded by John Evans, Orrington Lunt, Andrew Brown and 6 others. On February 15, 1857, the town of Evanston was founded, named in honor of John Evans, who went on to a career in politics. Between 1860 and 1870 the population of Evanston quadrupled, and a fire department, telephone system, public library and other amenities were added to accomodate the growing population. In 1873 Frances Willard (1839-1898) founded the Woman's Christian Temperance Union in Evanston, and the city remained "dry" until the 1970's. In 1874, Evanston expanded once again by annexing North Evanston, and then South Evanston in 1892. In 1925, Charles Gates Dawes (1865-1951) of Evanston became Vice President with President Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933); he received the Nobel Peace Prize for the "Dawes Plan" to restore the German economy following World War I. [source: excerpted from Evanston Public Library's website at http://www.evanston.lib.il.us/community/history.html and the State of Illinois' website at www.state.il.us/gov/history.htm]

Biographies .....

ACKLEY, JAMES E.  builder, was born in East Hampton, Conn., August 10, 1841.  He learned his trade in his native place, serving an apprenticeship of three years.  He then took contracts for building in East Hampton for ten years, and in January,  1871, came to Evanston and worked for two years in Chicago, since which time he has been building and contracting in Evanston.  He married Miss Sarah C. Smith, of East Hampton. [Source: History of Cook County by A. T. Andreas, 1884. Contributed by Dori Leekley]

ADAMS, EZRA was born in Perry County, Ohio, July 28, 1819.  He came with his parents in 1828 to Vermillion County, Ill., where he learned his trade and worked at it ten years.  Then for twelve years he was engaged in mercantile business in Danville, after which he kept a hotel in Champaign City for three years.  In 1864 he came to Evanston and was proprietor of the Avenue House five years; then kept a tobacco and cigar store in Chicago for two years; then turned his attention to his trade of painting in Evanston, which he is engaged in at the present time.  Mr. Adams is a member of Evans Lodge, A. F. & A. M.  He married Miss Mary David, of Illinois, in November, 1840.  She died in April, 1850, leaving three children--Mary E. (now Mrs. Lawrence Abbott, of Chicago), Theodore F. and Ashbury.  In 1852 he married Miss Clarinda Burt, of Coshocton, Ohio.  She died in 1861, leaving four children--Morris, Jasper J., Oliver P. and George W.  His present wife was Miss Martha L. Peck, of Connecticut, whom he married in 1863.  They have four children--Waldo P., Clara L., Marvin O. and Frank E. [Source: "History of Cook County" by A. T. Andreas, 1884. Contributed by Dori Leekley]

NOYES, George Clement, clergyman, was born at Landaff, N. H., August 4, 1833, brought by his parents to Pike County, Ill., in 1844, and, at the age of 16, determined to devote his life to the ministry; in 1851, entered Illinois College at Jacksonville, graduating with first honors in the class of 1855. In the following autumn he entered Union Theological Seminary in New York, and, having graduated in 1858, was ordained the same year, and installed pastor of the First Presbyterian Church at Laporte, Ind. Here he remained ten years, when he accepted a call to the First Presbyterian Church of Evanston, Illl., then a small organization which developed, during the 20 years of his pastorate, into one of the strongest and most influential churches in Evanston. For a number of years Dr. Noyes was an editorial writer and weekly correspondent of the "The New York Evangelist," over the signature of "Clement." He was also, for several years, an active and very efficient member of the Board of Trustees of Knox College. The liberal bent of his mind was illustrated in the fact that he acted as counsel for Prof. David Swing, during the celebrated trial of the latter for heresy before the Chicago Presbytery -- his argument on that occasion winning encomiums from all classes of people. His death took place at Evanston, Jan. 14, 1889, as the result of an attack of pneumonia, and was deeply deplored not only by his own church and denomination, but by the whole community. Some two weeks after it occurred a union meeting was held in one of the churches at Evanston, at which addresses in commemoration of his services were delivered by some dozen ministers of that village and of Chicago, while various social and literary organizations and the press bore testimony to his high character. He was a member of the Literary Society of Chicago, and, during the last year of his life, served as its President. Dr. Noyes was married, in 1858, to a daughter of David A. Smith, Esq., an honored citizen and able lawyer of Jacksonville. "Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois", 1901



Calvary Catholic Cemetery
301 Chicago Ave
Evanston, 60202
1859 847-864-3050

Story of death of Thomas E. Tallmadge of Evanston in Douglas County, IL Train Wreck

Other Evanston Township Deaths:




Marriages:

Benjamin Kite m. Sarah E. Ritter, 21 Jun 1877, Evanston South, Cook County (src #1)


Military.....
Spanish-American War Veterans Listing Evanston as their residence:

NAME

RANK

COMPANY

UNIT

RESIDENCE

BURNETT, EDWARD

PVT

F

8 IL INF

EVANSTON

GRAVES, LEON J

PVT

D

1 IL INF

EVANSTON

GREEN, FRED L

PVT

D

1 IL INF

EVANSTON

HANSON, THOMAS O JR

PVT

D

1 IL INF

EVANSTON

HARBOUR, PETER F E

PVT

D

1 IL INF

EVANSTON

UPCHURCH, BAILEY

PVT

C

8 IL INF

EVANSTON

DEAN, HONOR

PVT

I

8 IL INF

EVANSTON, FL


[These names are from the Illinois State Archives's Database. For Honor Dean, I suspect a typo so I have included him even though the database says Evanston, FL.]


CROWD SHUDDERS TO SEES BABY CARRIAGE UPON COWCATCHER CHICAGO, Oct. 9.Women covered their eyes and struggled hard to keep from swooning, even strong men turned away with blanched faces as the 6 o'clock train rushed into the Chicago & Northwestern railroad station yesterday afternoon at Evanston. On the cowcatcher was torn and mangled clothing. White skirts and a shirtwaist, mixed with the oil of the pounding driving rod. But that was not the worst of it. High up on the front of the locomotive, jammed between the flagstaffs and the big headlight, was a baby carriage. It was empty. Only a few shreds of linen decorated its caved in sides. The engineer got down, pulled the pieces of clothing and the baby carriage away from the engine, climbed back to his throttle and was off . Several men jumped from the train as if they intended to attack him. Then the news reached the station that Mary and Elizabeth Hayes, 6 and' 10 years old respectively, 1715 Emerson street, had become frightened at the sight of the engine dashing down upon Item, six blocks from the station, and had left the baby carriage, filled with laundry, on the track. The crowd breathed a sigh of relief. [source: Oct. 9, 1907 LaCrosse Tribune, Submitted by Src #104]



Important Addresses.....

Evanston Public Library
1703 Orrington Avenue,
Evanston, Illinois 60201
Tel: (847) 866-0300
FAX: (847) 866-0313


City of Evanston
Civic Center
2100 Ridge Ave.
Evanston, IL 60201

Evanston Historical Society
225 Greenwood
Evanston, IL 60201



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Sources:
#1: Vital Records Index, transcribed by K. Torp