History & Genealogy of
Thornton Township
Presented by Illinois Genealogy Trails

©Kim Torp

Cities, Towns & Villages within Thornton Township....

Village of Burnham
City of Calumet City
Village of Dixmoor
Village of Dolton
Village of Hazel Crest
City of Harvey
Village of Lansing
Village of Phoenix
Village of South Holland
Village of Thornton

History .....

Some places of Local Interest in Dolton:

Dolton Station: "A village of Cook County, on the Chicago & Eastern Illinois, the Chicago & Western Indiana, and the Pittsburg, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis Railroads, 16 miles south of Chicago; has a carriage factory, a weekly paper, churches and a graded school. Population in 1880 448; 1,110 in 1890 and 1,229 in 1900." Source: "Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois", 1901

West Hammond
(historical name in 1900, not sure of it's current name, though possibly is now Calumet City): "A Village situated in the northeast corner of Thornton Township, Cook County, adjacent to Hammond, Ind., from which it is separated by the Indiana State line. It is on the Michigan Central Railroad, one mile south of the Chicago City limits, and has convenient access to several other lines, including the Chicago & Erie; New York, Chicago & St. Louis, and Western Indiana Railroads. Like its Indiana neighbor, it is a manufacturing center of much importance, was incorporated as a village in 1892, and has grown rapidly within the last few years, having a population, according to the census of 1900, of 2,935." Source: "Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois", 1901


Harvey: County Cemetery, Elliott Cemetery, Homewood Memorial Gardens, Saint Gabriel Cemetery, Saint Johns Cemetery, Saint Paul Cemetery, Washington Memorial Gardens

Calumet City: Glen Oak Cemetery, Holy Cross Cemetery, Mount Forest Cemetery, Mount Glenwood Cemetery, Oak Ridge Cemetery, Oakland Cemetery.

Biographies .....

HON. WILLIAM F. PROPPER has enjoyed thirty-five years of constructive law practice in Chicago and Cook County, and among other public honors that have come to him has been a service of two terms in the Illinois Legislature.

Mr. Propper has some unusual ties that bind him to Thornton Township in Cook County, where he was born near Dolton November 6, 1874. He is a son of Frederick C. and Maria (Kuester) Propper. His father was born at Seddin, Brandenberg, Germany, and was brought to America by his parents in 1849. The first home of the Propper family was in the City of Chicago, at what is now Twenty-sixth Street and the Chicago River, which in that day was almost the southwestern city limits. Subsequently they moved to a farm in Thornton Township, at what is now the western 'limits of Calumet City. The farm on which Mr. Propper was born was originally homesteaded by his maternal grandfather, Frederick Kuester. Frederick Kuester was also a native of Germany, coming from Goldewin, Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Frederick C. Propper was a Union soldier in the Civil war, being a member of the Eighty-second Illinois Infantry. He took part in the battles of Gettysburg and Chancellorville and in other engagements of the Army of the Potomac in Virginia, and in later years was familiarly known as Colonel Propper. He was very prominent in the Grand Army of the Republic. Colonel and Mrs. Propper lived for fifty years on the old Dolton farm and celebrated their golden wedding anniversary there in 1918.

William F. Propper attended school at Dolton and Chicago, and was twenty years of age when he graduated from the Kent College of Law in Chicago. He was admitted to the bar in 1896, and for many years has had a law practice with offices in Chicago, at 155 North Clark Street, and has also handled a large amount of business in his home locality. For eighteen years he has been village attorney for the Village of Dolton, and since 1902 has been elected for eleven terms as supervisor of Thornton Township, which office he now holds. On November 2, 1926, he was elected a member of the Fifty-fifth General Assembly of Illinois, representing the Seventh Senatorial District. He was reelected in 1928, and during his two terms was a member of the committee on judiciary, municipalities, roads and bridges, senatorial reapportionment, Chicago traction, motor vehicles and others.

Mr. Propper is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, is affiliated with Harvey Lodge, A.F. and A.M., Harvey Council, R. and S.M., Pullman chapter, Royal Arche Masons, Chicago Heights Commanderty, Knights, Templar, the Scottish Rite, Valley of Chicago and Medinah of the Mystic Shrine. He is also a member of the Eastern Star and Harvey Lodge of Elks. On September 25, 1901, he married Miss Rose E. Seng, of Chicago. They have one daughter, Mabel E., and reside at 349 Lincoln Avenue, Dolton, Illinois.


1860 Mortality Schedule for the Town of Thornton

1880 Mortality Schedule for the Town of Thornton (Enumeration District 201)

Important Addresses.....

Dolton Public Library Website

14037 Lincoln
Dolton IL 60419

Harvey Public Library
155th Turlington
(708) 331-0757

Lansing Public Library
2750 Indiana Avenue
Lansing, Illinois 60438
(708) 474-2447

South Holland Public Library
16250 Wausau Avenue
South Holland, IL 60473
Phone (708) 331-526246

South Suburban Genealogical and Historical Society

3000 W. 170th Place
Hazel Crest IL 60429
Telephone: (708) 335-3340

Village of Thornton Historical Society
114 North Hunter Street
Thornton, IL 60476
(708) 877-6569


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