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New Lenox Village


New Lenox Village Hall is located at 1 Veterans Parkway, New Lenox, IL 60451; phone: 815-462-6400.

New Lenox Village as Described in 1878 [1]

This pretty little village is situated on the banks of Hickory Creek, and on the Rock Island & Pacific Railroad, thirty-three miles from Chicago, and about six miles from Joliet. It is surrounded by a beautiful grove of timber, and grand old forest-trees shade it in Summer and protect it against the storms of Winter. The village of New Lenox was laid out in 1858 by George Gaylord, of Lockport, and surveyed by A. J. Mathewson, County Surveyor. The village is known on the original plat by the name of Tracy, and was given in honor of the General Superintendent of the railroad at the time of the laying out of the village. But with a modesty rarely met with in the present day, he shrank from such notoriety, and at his urgent request, the name was changed to New Lenox, to correspond with the name of the township. A man of the name of Robinson built the first residence in the village, and Van Horne put up the next one. Both of these were built before the village was laid out. David Letz built the next house, which is now a part of the hotel kept by Doxtader. The first storehouse was erected by Paschal Woodward, who owned both the building and the stock, though it was managed by a man named Haines. The first post office was established in 1858, and John B. Saulsbury was appointed the first Postmaster. The mail-bags are now handled by Ward Knickerbocker. An excellent grain warehouse was built by Samuel Woodward, and is now owned by the railroad company and rented by George Hilton, who handles grain pretty extensively. The first schoolhouse was built long before the village was laid out, and stood just across the street from Ward Knickerbocker's store. The present handsome school edifice was built in 1869, is a two-story frame and cost about $3,000. Prof. Frank Searles is principal of the school, and employs an assistant during the Winter season. The following is a summary of the business carried on in the village: Three stores W. Knickerbocker, Tunis Lynk and George Hilton; three blacksmith-shops, one grain warehouse, two wagon shops, one hotel, one tin shop, and one physician Dr. F. W. Searles. J. B. Saulsbury carries on a butter-factory, which is quite an establishment, and adds materially to the importance and business of the village. He does not make cheese, but devotes his entire attention to the manufacture of butter, and works up from four to five thousand pounds of milk daily, which is made up on shares for his patrons.

  1. The History of Will County Illinois. Wm. Le Baron Jr., & Co., Chicago, 1878.
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