Day in McHenry County History

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This "Day in McHenry County History" is not all inclusive. Dated material was taken from local history books up through 1994.


1st 1839 First marriage in Dunham Township between Jacob A. Davis and Helen M. Diggins.
  1912 Harvard Odd Fellows formed.
4th 1915 Woodstock Hospital moves to its longtime location on South Street at the corner of Blakely Street.
5th 1909 A Christian Science Group hold their first meeting in Woodstock.
  1920 The Crystal Lake Community High School District is formed.
7th 1839 The first marriage is performed in Alden Township between Timothy Fuller and Esther Disbrow.
  1946 The Cary Lions formed.
8th 1855 Ridgefield is laid out as a village.
  1868 First Presbyterian Church of Harvard organized.
9th 1983 Cary is incorporated as a village.
  1914 The Woodstock Hospital is chartered.
10th 1842 The First Congregational Church of Crystal Lake is organized.
  1874 Crystal Lake is incorporated as a village.
11th 1979 Low temperature mark of -34o was recorded equaling 90 year low.
12th 1920 McHenry Community High School District is formed.
13th 1973 Prairie Grove voters agree to incorporate the Village.
14th 1863 Dedication of the Alden Methodist Church.
  1926 Dedication of the Marengo Community High School.
16th 1836 Illinois State Legislature names new McHenry County after Major William McHenry who fought in the Black Hawk War.
  1959 McHenry County Association for Retarded Children (later Pioneer Center) was formed.
19th 1934 Fox River Grove American Legion Post 119 formed.
22nd 1920 McHenry American Legion Post 491 formed.
  1923 First Rotary Club in McHenry County is organized in Harvard.
  1920 McHenry American Legion Post 491 formed.
23rd 1965 Lake in the Hills Lion Club formed.
25th 1918 Woodstock Moose Lodge formed.
27th 1920 Richmond-Burton High School District formed.
29th 1913 Marengo Eastern Star formed.
30th 1955 Radio Station WMCW of Harvard goes on the air.


1st 1913 Soil Improvement Association hires the first farm advisor.
2nd 1957 The U.S.S. Bigelow naval destroyer is named after Medal of Honor recipient, Elmer Bigelow of Hebron. The destroyer was christened and launched at Bath Iron Works, Maine.
3rd 1835 Major William McHenry, military leader and state legislator for whom McHenry County was named, died on this date.
  1895 St. Johns Evangelical Church is organized in Union.
4th 1842 First marriage in Hartland between William Fanning and Catherine Donnelly.
  1887 Slocum’s Orchestra entertains at dance at Masonic Hall in Union.
  1895 Permission given to the Harvard Telephone Company to start and maintain a phone service.
  1896 Cary Royal Neighbors of American organized.
  1897 Harvard Eastern Star formed.
6th 1839 Virginia Presbyterian Church organized near Ridgefield.
8th 1951 Alden Fire Department started.
9th 1850 Congregational Church of Algonquin organized.
  1954 Public Library of Fox River Grove established.
  1857 Marengo is incorporated as a town.
14th 1855 An attempt to move the county seat from Woodstock to Algonquin was defeated by vote.
16th 1961 First National Bank of Crystal lake receives its charter.
18th 1900 Fire destroys 1879 structure of St. John the Baptist Church in Johnsburg.
21st 1921 Algonquin Woman’s Club founds the Algonquin Public Library.
22nd 1930 First water over the new dam at Wonder Lake.
23rd 1846 Presbyterians in Dorr Township organizes.
24th 1844 St. John’s Protestant Episcopal Church is organized in Algonquin.
  1857 Amos B. Coon prepares incorporation charter for Marengo Village.
  1907 Harvard Knights of Columbus organized.
25th 1859 Plat of Carey Station (Cary) filed for record.
  1890 Algonquin incorporated as a village.
27th 1856 The old Stone Church built in Marengo for the Methodists. It later became the Colonial Theater.
  1858 Closing of the Collegiate Institute of Marengo just 4 months after it opened. The 5-story brick building burned to the ground in the 1860’s.
28th 1869 Harvard incorporated as a village.
  1902 Triple murder at Ellsworth home in Woodstock.
29th 1952 Harvard Grange #1923 formed.


1st 1939 McHenry County splits into Lake and McHenry Counties.
  1871 German Evangelical Lutheran Church is organized in Huntley.
  1876 St. Johns Congregation Lutheran Church of Algonquin organized.
  1900 Harvard gets rural free mail delivery.
  1900 Rural Free Delivery for mail begins in McHenry County.
  1958 Union Lions Club is organized.
3rd 1920 Huntley Community High School District is formed.
4th 1946 Woodstock VFW Post 5040 mustered in.
5th 1953 McHenry Moose Lodge #691 chartered.
  1882 Birth of Egbert Anson Van Alstyne, McHenry County’s most famous song writer who wrote "In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree," Pretty Baby," and "Drifting and Dreaming."
6th 1843 Burton Township (smallest of McHenry County’s Townships) first established as Wentworth Precinct.
9th 1930 Last day of service for the Elgin and Belvidere Trolley.
10th 1839 First marriage in Algonquin Township between Franklin Wallace and Hannah S. Beardsley, the first teacher in the township in Crystal Lake.
11th 1911 First service of Cary Holy Cross Lutheran Church.
13th 1845 Dorr post office established.
  1889 Chemung Modern Woodmen of American organized.
  1937 80th Anniversary of Woodstock Sentinel.
15th 1919 McHenry American Legion Post 491 was founded.
  1861 School House in West McHenry burns.
16th 1836 Mrs. Mary (O.P.) Rogers becomes the first white woman to live in Coral Township.
17th 1831 McHenry County has its first mixed jury of men and women.
18th 1874 Algonquin Mutual Fire Insurance Company organized.
  1859 Harvard Masonic Lodge No. 209 was chartered.
19th 1961 Harvard VFW Post 5504 mustered in.
  1982 County’s worst air disaster – Air National Guard Tanker crashed near Greenwood.
20th 1810 Birth of William A. McConnell in Pennsylvania who was the first settler of Richmond Township.
  1836 First public religious service held in Pleasant Grove (Marengo) at Calvin Spencer’s house.
21st 1875 St. John’s United Church of Christ (Harmony) was organized.
    West Harmony Methodist Church organized.
  1895 Summit Camp #53 of the Royal Neighbors of America organized in Nunda Township.
22nd 1952 Hebron Green Giants take the Illinois State Basketball Championship.
23rd 1909 A monument is erected in the Woodstock City Square Park dedicated to county soldiers and sailors.
24th 1811 Birth of Dr. Christy G. Wheeler, the first practicing physician in McHenry County and a first settler of McHenry.
  1927 Marengo organizes the first Kiwanis Club in the county.
25th 1963 Crystal Lake Rotary forms.
26th 1894 Richmond Eastern Star formed.
  1840 Bela Tyron commissioned first postmaster of Hebron Township.
27th 1807 Birth of Thomas Stillwell Huntley, founder of Huntley, IL.
  1840 Bela Tyron commissioned first postmaster of Hebron Township.
  1885 Harvard Modern Woodmen of America organized.
  1955 Marengo Jaycees organized.
28th 1922 Soil Improvement Association becomes McHenry County Farm Bureau.
  1928 Florence Nursing Home begins operation in Marengo.
29th 1916 Crystal Lake Rebekahs Lodge #793 forms.
  1920 Hebron Community High School District forms.
30th 1895 Meeting held to organize a Nunda Chapter of Eastern Star.
  1939 Seneca Grange #1896 organized.


1st 1905 McHenry Eastern Star formed.
  1908 Woodstock Royal Neighbors of America formed.
  1943 Comprehensive WWII rationing begins. Local O.P.A. office located in Woodstock.
  1967 McHenry County College established.
2nd 1850 First township elections for all townships. Previous to this from 1837 to 1850 this county was organized into precincts (Fox Precinct was the first to be created on June 5, 1837 and comprised "More land than the present McHenry County." At one time this county and Lake County were combined.
3rd 1890 First regular Algonquin Village Board meeting held.
  1914 Cary State Bank receives its charter.
4th 1899 Harvard Mystic Workers of the World organizes.
  1929 Woodstock Lions form.
  1930 Marengo State Bank was founded.
  1995 Barnard Mills and Greenwood vote to incorporate.
5th 1875 First Woodstock Board of Education elected.
6th 1914 Algonquin Eastern Star formed.
  1917 U.S. enters WWI; McHenry County supplied 1475 men of which 57 were to lose their lives.
  1971 McHenry County Conservation District created by voter referendum.
7th 1883 J.B. Manzer G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union Civil War Veterans) organized in Harvard.
  1954 Woodstock Jaycees organized.
  1955 McHenry Rotary formed.
  1960 Huntley Farmside newspaper started.
8th 1839 First marriage in Seneca Township: John Ackerson to Elizabeth Dickenson.
9th 1956 Village of Sunnyside is incorporated.
11th 1965 A tornado struck the Crystal Lake Plaza in Crystal Lake killing six people. A child was also killed in Island Lake.
12th 1948 Kiwanis Club of Wonder Lake forms – the oldest in McHenry County.
13th 1971 Ground broken for new courthouse on Route 47 – a $3,229,000. project.
14th 1950 All passenger service on the Galena Div. Freeport (C & NW) ended.
15th 1911 Prosperity Lodge of the Mystic Workers of the World forms in McHenry.
16th 1942 Harvard Women of the Moose chartered.
  1956 A petition was granted for the St. Paul’s Episcopal Mission in McHenry.
  1957 Crystal Lake voters adopt a city manager form of government.
17th 1884 Death of Richard Simpkins, the first settler of Coral Township.
  1858 Riley Methodist Church organized.
20th 1965 Frances Kuhn is elected Mayor of Woodstock – the first woman mayor in McHenry County.
21st 1883 The Nunda G.A.R. Post 226 organized.
  1967 Tornado kills 21 in nearby Boone County before ravaging rural areas of Marengo, Dunham, Hartland, and Greenwood Townships.
22nd 1964 Algonquin Jaycees organized.
  1965 Marengo Republican News begins 100th year of publication.
24th 1952 McHenry Chamber of Commerce incorporates as not-for-profit.
25th 1880 Zion Lutheran Church was founded in Marengo.
26th 1898 McHenry County’s contribution of soldiers to the Spanish-American War effort—Co. G, 3rd Regiment of Illinois Infantry Volunteers mustered up.
  1960 First meeting of McHenry County Chapter of Illinois Retired Teachers.
27th 1946 Marengo VFW Post 5766 mustered in.
  1967 Killer tornado strikes McHenry County.
28th 1885 The Crystal Lake Village Board gives Nunda Band permission to erect a bandstand in the Virginia Street Park. It was removed in 1891.
29th 1921 Harvard Moose Lodge was chartered.
  1952 Woodstock is the first city in the county to adopt the city manager form of government.
30th 1947 Huntley Lions formed.


1st 1853 German Presbyterians organize in Greenwood Township.
  1876 Richmond Gazette established.
  1901 Huntley’s first bank opens, the Bank of Huntley.
  1932 Woodstock Post Office occupied. This was the only Federally owned building in McHenry County.
  1965 The Crystal lake Chamber of Commerce operates full time.
2nd 1886 Crystal Lake ordinance notes that saloons must be closed from

10:30 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. and all day Sunday.

4th 1893 The Baptists are the first religious group to organize in the county. The first Baptist Church was located in Crystal Lake.
  1942 Harvard Lions formed.
5th 1873 Saint Mary’s Mission (a protestant Episcopal church) organized in Spring Grove.
  1895 Every Crystal Lake male between 25 and 50 had to pay $1.00 poll tax or work on streets one ten-hour day.
7th 1837 Birth of William Beardsley, the first child born in Crystal Lake.
  1886 Hebron Modern Woodmen of America formed.
9th 1888 Ringwood Modern Woodmen of America formed.
  1921 Pioneer flyer, Ralph Clayton Diggins of Harvard, flew the first air express between New York and Chicago.
  1934 First National Bank of Woodstock is founded.
10th 1823 Birth date of Henry W. Mead – he platted the Village of Hebron.
  1837 State Legislature establishes Village of McHenry as the county seat.
    First term of the McHenry County Circuit Court convenes in McHenry.
11th 1933 First of a series of milk strikes in the county.
12th 1847 Baptists organize in Dorr Township.
13th 1839 First marriage in Dorr Township: Oscar H. Douglass to Sarah Gaff.
14th 1861 McHenry County Board of Supervisors met in Woodstock to form the general outline of county volunteer Civil War units (Companies).
15th 1951 Crystal Lake Jaycees organized.
17th 1909 Delos F. Diggins Library in Harvard dedicated.
18th 1883 Cyclone strikes in Alden and Chemung.
23rd 1895 Assessor’s plat for Greenwood Village recorded.
  1906 The typewriter replaces longhand records of McHenry County government.
26th 1978 Clarence M. Siems dies; Siems Memorial Park established near Union.
27th 1837 First post office established in McHenry County at Crystal Lake.
28th 1966 Formal opening of the Illinois Railway Museum in Union.
29th 1957 Crystal Lake News and McHenry County Guide started.
30th 1953 Johnsburg Public School ceased the practice of hiring Catholic nuns as staff. A parochial school was then started.
  1978 Ambutal of Crystal Lake opens.
31st 1939 Last day of service on the Kenosha Division Railroad through Hebron.
  1957 Illinois Bell Telephone closes switchboard operations in Marengo.


1st 1909 First State Bank of Harvard chartered. Original of this bank started in 1866 and is the oldest continuous bank in McHenry County.
  1954 St. Margaret Mary Church of Algonquin erected.
  1960 Lock added to the 1939 McHenry Dam on the Fox River to accommodate increased recreational use of the river.
  1967 McHenry County college becomes a reality.
2nd 1881 Petition to the Crystal Lake Board to have hog pens and cow yards abutting sidewalks in corporate limits removed to a reasonable distance.
  1885 Handcuffs purchased for the use of Crystal Lake police.
3rd 1845 Commissioners Court names Woodstock Precinct before the townships were set up in 1850.
  1948 Alden Community Club organized.
4th 1895 Crystal Lake passes an ordinance granting Nunda Electric Light Company a franchise.
5th 1837 First Court was held in McHenry, the county seat.
  1883 The Chicago Telephone Co. was given the right of way to place poles on public streets provided they did not interfere with travel or drainage.
7th 1904 Crystal Lake passes an ordinance regulating speed of autos to 8 mph.
  1912 Crystal Lake passes an ordinance that the merry-go-round must shut music at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Saturday.
  1917 American Red Cross chapter organized in the county. The charter was signed by Woodrow Wilson.
10th 1919 Between 15,000 and 20,000 welcome WWI McHenry County soldiers home at a celebration in the Woodstock Public Square.
  1920 Huntley School Dist. 158, the first consolidated district in McHenry county, was formed.
  1921 Union American Legion Henry F. Miller Post 482 formed.
11th 1883 Cyclone strikes in Dunham Township.
  1905 St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church of Harvard formed.
12th 1914 Crystal Lake Odd Fellows formed.
18th 1939 Dedication of Johnsburg cement bridge.
  1942 Harvard holds first Harvard Milk Day.
19th 1936 Community Methodist Church of Fox River Grove organized.
20th 1913 Boy Scout master’s certificate to Dr. J.A. Steele, a Marengo Dentist. Marengo had the first Boy Scout troop in McHenry County.
  1994 Construction of Motorola plant begins in Harvard.
21st 1836 Birth of Dr. S. Fillmore Bennett, author of "In the Sweet Bye and Bye." He is buried in Cedar Vale Cemetery, Solon Mills.
22nd 1852 Woodstock incorporated as a village.
  1902 Hebron has its first automobile owner.
23rd 1952 Alden Hebron garage started.
24th 1903 First recorded bank robbery in the county takes place at the Cary Exchange Bank and nets $3500.
25th 1887 Hebron’s first high school commencement.
  1952 Village of Island Lake incorporated.
26th 1920 Marengo Community High School District is formed.
29th 1895 In Harvard the birth of Paul V. Galvin the founder of Motorola.
30th 1930 Harvard Chamber of Commerce organizes.
  1960 Hebron Rescue Squad receives its not-for-profit charter.


1st 1915 Dr. Miriam Yampolsky, first woman doctor in county, sets up practice in Crystal Lake.
  1952 County Board of School trustees created.
2nd 1922 McHenry Golf Course opens with 9 holes. The second 9 holes were added in 1926.
3rd 1837 The first election in the Fox precinct which incorporated all McHenry County west and two miles east of the Fox River.
4th 1939 The first child born in Richmond Township to John and Pamelia Purdy. Baby’s name is Sarah.
  1855 The first courthouse in Woodstock burns.
  1890 GAR monument dedicated in Greenwood Cemetery. 1000 in attendance.
  1891 The cornerstone of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Harvard is laid.
  1899 The first trip on the electric road from Harvard to Fontana on the Chicago, Harvard, and Lake Geneva line.
  1976 Opening ceremony for the McHenry County Historical Society Museum in Union.
6th 1837 First post office between Galena and Chicago established at Coral.
7th 1896 Crystal Lake paid A.B. Conover 50¢ to bury a cat.
8th 1933 The Village of Lakewood was born.
  1952 Harvard Kiwanis forms.
10th 1919 First meeting of the Christian Science Society of Crystal Lake.
  1940 Burton-Richmond Fire District formed.
  1951 Crystal Lake Kiwanis forms
12th 1920 WWII Congressional medal of Honor recipient and namesake for the destroyer U.S.S. Bigelow, Elmer C. Bigelow was born in Hebron.
13th 1988 Hebron Township Committee on Youth created. Hebron is the most sparsely populated township in Illinois with such a committee.
17th 1920 Algonquin American Legion Post 670 formed.
  1943 The closing of the Chemung Post Office.
19th 1969 Woodstock Community Unit School District 200 was formed.
20th 1871 The first bank in Marengo opens – the First National Bank.
22nd 1840 Richmond founder, William McConnell, was appointed first postmaster.
24th 1852 McHenry County Medical Society organized.
  1962 English Prairie School District 9, last one room school in McHenry County, was annexed to Richmond Elementary District.
28th 1787 Birth of Prescott Whittemore who named Grafton Township after Grafton Township, New Hampshire.
29th 1949 July 29th –31st, first McHenry County Fair held since 1924.


1st 1920 Hebron American Legion Eugene Drill Post 606 formed.
2nd 1841 First Germans arrive in Johnsburg – at first an exclusively German Catholic center.
4th 1875 First issue of the McHenry Plaindealer
  1931 Crystal Lake Lions form.
5th 1840 First session of the county commissioners held in the new McHenry courthouse and jail located on the public square on Pearl Street in McHenry. (County seat moved to Centerville -- Woodstock – in September, 1844.
  1903 First Major League baseball team to play in McHenry County: Cubs vs. Oliver Typewriter Team in Woodstock.
6th 1862 Nancy Joyce Fischer born in McHenry.
  1920 Huntley American Legion Post was chartered.
  1931 Riley Grange organized with 25 charger members—first in county.
  1936 90 page Centennial edition of the Crystal Lake Herald comes out loaded with historical information on Crystal Lake.
9th 1954 Richmond Rotary formed.
11th 1958 Village of Oakwood Hills organized.
  1975 Chicago & Northwestern Railroad terminates its commuter operations to Lake Geneva. All runs end at Richmond until 1980 when McHenry becomes the end of the line.
13th 1919 Death at 90 of Richard Gillilan the youngest son of McHenry County’s first settlers Samuel and Margaret Gillilan.
15th 1894 St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church (McHenry) offered first mass.
  1937 St. Patrick’s Church in Harland Township celebrates 100th anniversary.
16th 1916 Death of Eman Opatrny, the first developer of Fox River Grove and the builder of the Castle Pavilion.
19th 1841 Probably the first marriage in Riley Township between Caroline E. Cobb, a first McHenry County teacher, and Spencer Flanders.
  1950 Egbert Anson Van Alstyne, Marengo pianist and songwriter, honored in Chicago for his contributions to music with such songs as "In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree," "Pretty Baby," "Drifting and Dreaming."
  1956 New Harvard Hospital opens.
21st 1886 Marengo Odd Fellows formed.
  1919 Incorporation of Fox River Grove as village.
23rd 1877 First Harvest Festival held in Greenwood Township—Queen Anne Prairie.
  1921 Woodstock Sentinel becomes the county’s first daily newspaper.
24th 1881 Woodstock G.A.R. Post 108 formed.
25th 1839 First marriage in Coral Township: Samuel H. Bullard to Samantha Dunham
  1875 Orin and Lucas Disbrow sell two acres of land to the town of Alden for a cemetery.
26th 1835 First death is Deida Gillilan. Daughter of first county settlers Samuel and Margaret Gillilan in Algonquin Township.
27th 1872 Buildings on the east side of the Woodstock Square burn down.
28th 1852 Marengo Baptist Church organized.
  1962 Kishwaukee Trail chapter organized.
30th 1952 Nativity Lutheran Church in Wonder Lake organized.
  1959 Phone service in Woodstock changes from manual to dial.


1st 1847 Lewis Boon plats Troy in Greenwood Township north of Thompson Rd.
  1890 Hebron Tribune newspaper started.
2nd 1844 First marriage in Grafton Township: Sanford Haight to Mary A. Sprague.
  1872 Village of Richmond incorporated.
  1950 Lake-in-the-Hills Property Owners Association organized.
3rd 1842 Montelona Baptist Church organized in Richmond.
  1945 Dedication of St. Mary Minor Seminary in Crystal Lake.
4th 1837 First road plans begun by the Commissioner’s Court to build a road north from McHenry to the state line—probably the route that State 31 now follows.
  1956 First McHenry Hospital opens below the McHenry Medical Group building on Green Street.
5th 1965 Last run of Chicago to Madison (C&NW) mail and passenger trains west of Harvard.
7th 1840 First marriage in Hebron Township: George C. Hopkins to Rebecca Tuttle.
8th 1869 First meeting in McHenry County of the Old Settler’s Association.
10th 1906 McHenry State Bank has its start as West McHenry State Bank.
11th 1852 Huntley congregational Church organized.
  1887 St. John’s Lutheran Church organized in Union.
  1914 Electric Street lights for Marengo’s State Street.
  1953 Ridgefield Grange organized.
12th 1935 Marengo Republican-News Centennial edition comes out.
13th 1851 Fox River Courier announces the first passenger run to Huntley of the Galena, Chicago and Union Railroad.
14th 1835 Arrival of Calvin Spencer of Virginia, the first settler of Marengo which was first called Pleasant Grove.
  1844 Meeting held to organize the Presbyterian Church to serve Alden and Hebron.
  1893 Marengo incorporated as a city.
15th 1886 The Chicago phone book first lists telephone toll stations in McHenry County.
  1964 Hebron Jaycees organized.
    Harvard Herald goes semi-weekly – first in the county.
16th 1957 Marengo Lions formed.
17th 1874 Alden Mutual Fire Insurance Company formed.
  1967 McHenry County Historical Society dedicates a marker to the Gillilan family of Algonquin, the first settlers of McHenry County.
18th 1925 Crystal Lake Moose Lodge formed.
  1939 Algonquin Lions formed.
19th 1898 Birth of Rev. Joel E. Wheeler, the first minister of McHenry County. He located in McHenry.
20th 1838 Frist birth in McHenry Township: Ellen Augusta Wheeler to the Christy Wheelers.
  1847 St. Mark’s Lodge #63 Free Masons organized in Woodstock.
  1965 McHenry’s Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church founded.
23rd 1844 Courthouse moved form McHenry to Centerville (Woodstock) which was more centrally located.
  1914 Crystal Lake becomes a city.
24th 1850 Birth of Henry L. Ferris in a log cabin east of Alden. He was the inventor of numerous labor saving devices including a hay carrier.
  1919 Marengo American Legion Kishwaukee Post 192 formed.
27th 1919 Woodstock American Legion Post 412 formed.
    Harvard American Legion Post 265 formed.
29th 1954 Harvard Jaycees organized.
30th 1857 Marengo collegiate Institute (private school) officially opened in a five story brick building on W. Prairie Street.


1st 1857 Scheduled the completion date of the Woodstock Court House on the Square – it was destroyed by fire the following year.
  1875 Crystal Lake’s firs paper, the Nunda Advertiser, was established.
  1929 First phone exchange in county (1895) Harvard sells out to Illinois Bell.
  1931 Riley Grange #1858 formed.
2nd 1854 Richmond Masonic Lodge 143 chartered.
  1980 Melvin Stuessy, Woodstock Educator/Mayor, died.
3rd 1854 McHenry Masonic Lodge 158 chartered.
  1907 Leader Stove factory in Marengo burns to ground.
4th 1848 Masonic Lodge 63 in Woodstock chartered.
  1942 St. John’s Lutheran Church of Island Lake organized
  1979 County Board adopts Year 2000 Land Use Plan to guide development.
5th 1853 Marengo Masonic Lodge 138 chartered.
  1855 Nunda Masonic Lodge 169 chartered.
  1859 Harvard Masonic Lodge 309 chartered.
  1913 Algonquin Masonic Lodge 960 chartered.
6th 1807 Birth of Calvin Spencer, first settler of Marengo.
  1858 Hebron Masonic Lodge 604 chartered.
  1902 Spring Grove was incorporated.
  1919 Greenwood community High School District formed although no school was ever held.
7th 1977 Moraine Hills State Park merged with McHenry Dam State Park and opened.
8th 1962 Chuck Hiller of Johnsburg hit a grand slam homer (first in World Series History for a National League player) for Giants against the Yankees in Yankee Stadium.
11th 1927 Cary-Grove Masonic Lodge chartered.
13th 1966 McHenry Lions Club formed.
14th 1909 Marengo-Kishwaukee Lodge Knights of Pythias formed.
  1982 Harvard Historical Society museum opens in old St. Paul Lutheran Church building.
15th 1889 Hebron Odd Fellows formed.
  1914 Crystal Lake Rebekahs Lodge 784 formed.
  1945 Fox River Post 4600 of the VFW formed – oldest in McHenry County.
  1953 Kiwanis Club of Woodstock forms.
  1992 Expanded Government Center (courthouse) and correctional facility dedicated.
16th 1960 Church of the Nazarene chartered in Crystal Lake.
17th 1869 Immanuel Lutheran Church of Crystal Lake conducts first service.
18th 1955 First meeting of the Crystal Lake Area Senior Citizens.
19th 1850 Presbyterian Church organizes in Marengo.
  1891 Harvard Women’s Club founded.
24th 1865 First Congregational Church in Dorr Township established.
  1906 Woodstock Elks formed.
27th 1919 Alden Community High School District formed.
28th 1962 Dedication of Spring Grove Grade School.
31st 1873 First telegraph message sent from McHenry.


1st 1848 Birth of Fred Hatch, inventor of first upright silo in 1873 east of Spring Grove. Historical Society plaqued the site in 1980.
  1886 J.H. Patterson Lumber Company started in Marengo.
  1887 Village of Crystal Lake gets oil burning street lights.
2nd 1898 Dunham Woman’s Club organized.
3rd 1838 Methodist Episcopal Church organized in Richmond.
4th 1957 Fox River Grove-Cary Kiwanis forms.
  1986 Voters approve creation of Marengo-Union consolidated School District. 165 from former Union District 8, Marengo District 140, and Hawthorne District 17.
6th 1849 McHenry County citizens by vote change from a precinct form of government and adopt the township system of government. Precincts lasted from 1837 to 1850.
    Dorr Township organized.
  1888 Ridgefield Modern Woodmen of America formed.
8th 1994 Community of Ringwood voted to incorporate.
9th 1949 First Annual meeting of the 4-H Town which was organized in part to lease the fairgrounds on behalf of the 4-H organization.
10th 1839 First marriage in McHenry Township: Joseph Fellows to Christiana Robinault.
13th 1992 Johnsburg was annexed by the incorporated Village of Sunnyside, but the name of the new municipality was then legally changed to Johnsburg.
18th 1739 Birth of Major Watson (1739-1840), the only Revolutionary soldier buried in McHenry County. Watson (Major was just a first name) is buried in the Linn-Hebron cemetery in Hebron.
  1834 First recognized McHenry County settlers, Samuel and Margaret Gillilan reach the west bank of the Fox River at present day Algonquin. A stone marker placed by the McHenry county Historical society marks the spot at the corner of Route 31 and Cary Road.
18th 1987 Huntley Odd Fellows formed.
23rd 1895 Village of Hebron was incorporated.
  1912 County Soil Improvement Association, the forerunner of the Farm Bureau, was formed.
  1974 Name of Sunrise Ridge, incorporated in 1974, was changed to Wonder Lake by 1980.
24th 1919 Woodstock Community High School District formed.
    Marengo Community High School District formed.
26th 1886 Richmond Modern Woodmen of America formed.
  1899 St. Joseph Catholic Church building in Richmond was dedicated.
  1946 Bull Valley Garden Club organized.
  1963 McHenry County Historical Society chartered.
27th 1919 Harvard Community High School District formed.
  1961 Cary Jaycees organized.
28th 1905 Norge Ski club leases hill near Cary for ski jumping events.
  1955 Kiwanis Club of McHenry forms.
29th 1889 State Bank of Woodstock chartered.
30th 1837 First marriage in Burton Township: Jonathan Imeson and Mary Wray.
  1965 Death of first McHenry County man in Vietnam War: PFC Lester Erwin Becker of Harvard in Dunham Township.


2nd 1919 Large old school on South Street in Woodstock burns down.
3rd 1926 Crystal Lake Library receives charter to operate.
5th 1843 Commissioner’s Court makes Algonquin part of Fox precinct prior to townships.
6th 1959 Dedication of Marian Central Catholic High School in Woodstock.
7th 1941 Joe Nelles (Army) and Tom Lounsbury (Navy) killed at bombing of Pearl Harbor. First county natives to lose lives in WWII.
9th 1911 Lotus Country Woman’s Club forms in Spring Grove.
10th 1877 Woodstock Literary and Library Association forms.
12th 1980 Melvin Aavang, first licensed pilot in McHenry County died.
13th 1924 Dedication of McHenry Community High School, now East Campus High School, in McHenry.
17th 1844 Algonquin Village plat accepted and adopted.
18th 1843 Congregational Church of Richmond organizes.
20th 1900 Crystal Lake Mystic Workers of the World organize.
  1920 Illinois Bell takes over phone exchanges in McHenry, Union, and Crystal Lake.
24th 1902 Richmond’s worst fire destroys Main Street.
26th 1870 Immanuel Lutheran Church organized in Crystal Lake.
29th 1882 Harley Wayne G.A.R. made up of Union Army soldiers Post 169 organized in Marengo.
31st 1885 West McHenry Modern Woodmen of American organizes.