History & Genealogy of
River Forest Township
Presented by Illinois Genealogy Trails

Cities & Towns within River Forest Township:

Village of River Forest

"In 1831, Bickerdike and Noble, a Chicago firm built a sawmill just north of Lake Street on the east bank of the Des Plaines River. The mill, reportedly the only one within 20 miles of Chicago, was vital to the growth and settlement of the River Forest community. Settlers were attracted by the fertile land, forests and river, which bordered on the west.

The arrival of the railroad in 1865 was probably the single most important factor in the development of the community. John Murphy, who followed the railroad to River Forest, graded the first River Forest streets and completed the conversion of the Thatcher acreage and another farm into a town. The Village of River Forest was incorporated in 1880...."

Important Addresses.....

River Forest Library
735 Lathrop Ave.
River Forest, Il. 60305

Historical Society of Oak Park & River Forest
P. O. Box 771
Oak Park, Illinois 60303-0771
Phone: (708) 848-6755

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