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This article appeared in the December 1921 issue of the "LaGrange Citizen" newspaper


 For Long Time Western Springs Did Not Have Post Office -- Village Incorporated in 1886

 (From Western Springs Times)

The sketch of the early life and succeeding growth of Western Springs promised our readers and begun in an issue of two months ago has been crowded out by the large amount of news of present events.

As we came to the village in 1912 we are dependent upon Mr. Macy's valuable book and the assistance of the people who came here in early years for assistance.

Any information that can be given will be very thankfully received.

In those years, the interval between the subdividing of the tract of land purchased by Ferdinand Peck and Thomas Clarkson Hill for the purpose of founding a village in 1871 up to the time of its incorporation in 1886, the villagers, while gradually increasing in numbers, lived the simple life.  Friendships were strong in those days and neighbors few.  All were neighbors then and were genuinely interested in things that pertained to the best of each other and of the village as a whole.

There were no sidewalks except for the boards or planks that were laid here and there to make walking possible and the flickering lights of lantern were the only guides for the pedestrian upon a dark night.

Because the village was situated upon a railroad giving direct communication with a large city, the trip by the women of Western Springs was not at that time a common event as at the present time.  The mother or housekeeper, would keep a daily list of the necessities and we are told it was an event of some importance when she journyed to Chicago to do the family trading.

For years there was no post office and the mail was brought from the city by the men who were employed there.

The first store was a small building a little east of the present post office building and was owned and run by Mead Kelsey, a son of one of the early settlers, Asa Kelsey.

In this store was the first post office over which presided Western Spring's first dispenser of mails Miss Nancy Watson, whose death occurred in the village in 1915.  Miss Watson held the position for twenty years.

At one time Western Springs had prospects of having a hotel.  This idea originiated with T. C. Hill, who considered the project of building a hotel in connection with the Spring house believing the medicinal properties of the water would bring people who were in search of health.  Why this plan was abandoned we are not informed.  The first house ever built in the village was a small one located near what is now the residence of Dr. Rowell.  This was before the subdivision of the south side was made and before any building was commenced north of the tracks.  This house was later destroyed by fire.

The first houses erected on the north side were those now known as the E. C. Patterson house and the Banker house. The Patterson house was the home of one of the village founders, T. C. Hill of "Hadley Hill and Co., Booksellers" of Chicago.

The Banker house was built by Mr. Banker, father of Joseph and Howard Banker.

This article appeared in the December 1921 issue of the "LaGrange Citizen" newspaper

Last Modified:  01/23/2004