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Thomas Stillwell Huntley

Thomas Stillwell Huntley The village of Huntley was named for Thomas Stillwell Huntley (March 27, 1807 – May 21, 1894). Thomas Huntley and his wife, Eliza Fox Huntley, and children Charles, Harriet and William arrived in the area in 1846, having traveled weeks by wagon from upstate New York. The family settled on farm land on what is now Route 47 and Conley Road. In the first Grafton Township elections in 1850, Thomas Huntley was elected the township supervisor. It…

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History of the Huntley Town Square Gazebos

When you stand in Huntley’s beautiful town square park, you are standing on history. The park was designated as a public square by Thomas Stillwell Huntley, who donated the land to the town that bears his name.  The earliest plat map of the village, dating to 1853, shows the town square park’s location. For more than 160 years, the central park has been a lovely landmark in Huntley. Three bandstands, or gazebos, have centered the town square park over the…

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Latimer Brothers Bike

Latimer Brothers Bike In 1897, two inventive brothers based in Huntley developed a new type of bicycle they believed would revolutionize the industry. The Latimer brothers owned and operated a mill along today’s Mill Street, east of the present-day Route 47. But the brothers had other, more creative ideas. Frank Latimer designed a new type of velocipede that he felt was much more economical, efficient and safe. The bike was rear-driver, with pedals moving in an up and down motion, as…

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Sew Hop’d Brewery & Taproom Opens in old Milk Factory

A Look Back in Time: Borden’s Milk Factory Recently a new business opened in Huntley – Sew Hop’d Brewery & Taproom— in a building that was once the “Queen of the West” Borden Milk Factory (circa 1907). The building has been a milk factory, Fencil’s gasket company, and currently also houses the Union Special Machine Company, manufacturers of various machines and parts including sewing machines. This factory faces south along the Chicago and Northwestern railroad tracks in Huntley. The local…

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One-room Country Schools in the Huntley Area

One-room country schools existed in the Huntley area until the 1920s when the rural schools began consolidation with Huntley School District 158.  The schools dotted the countryside, usually spaced within a three-mile walking distance of surrounding farms.  Rural schools taught first through eighth grades.  If students passed their Eighth Grade Exams, they attended the high school in town.  The county annually evaluated the country schools listing the teacher and directors, attendance, the school equipment such as number of desks, library books, blackboards and…

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