For thousands of years, the Kishwaukee River Valley was a very important part of the lives of the Algonquin and Potowatomi Native American tribes. The river itself was used by both tribes to transport goods for trade. The Potowatomi also used the lands here as council grounds and areas for rest and relaxation. The name "Kishwaukee" is derived from the Potowatomi word meaning "River of the Sycamore". The Potowatomi utilized the large sycamores, found along the banks of the river, for their dugout canoes. The river also designates the northern most natural range of the sycamore tree.
Galena became a rapidly growing area, in the late 1820's, when lead began to be mined there. The United States government sent an army, led by General Winfield Scott, to the Northern Illinois area to quell disturbances between the new settlers of Galena and the Potowatomi tribes led by Chief Blackhawk. After the Indian wars of 1833, the Potowatomi were relocated west of the Mississippi river onto Indian reserves in Iowa. This opened up Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin for further settlement.
James Sayres from New Jersey, a soldier in General Scott's army, fell in love with the Kishwaukee valley when the army came through here in 1832. After being discharged from the army, James Sayres returned here, with his family and friends, and founded Newburg Village in the spring of 1835. Newburg Village Golf Club was named for this community located on this site during most of the 19th century. Mr. Sayres constructed a saw mill, just west of the current bridge, utilizing the flow of the Beaver Creek into the Kishwaukee River which provided a perfect natural mill race. Abel C. Gleason came to Newburg Village in September of 1835 to help Sayres with the construction of the saw mill. Afterwards, the men constructed Northern Illinois' first grist mill. Mr. Gleason purchased these mills, March 8, 1838, from James Sayres and Company. These enterprises provided the nucleus that the village grew up around.
The county's first blacksmith shop was opened in Newburg Village in 1836 by Moses Williams.The first church sermon was delivered in June 1836 by Henry Enoch. George Hartwell was the first male born in the village on February 8, 1837. January 1838 saw the completion of regular stage service through Newburg Village provided by the Brink, Walker and Company. The stage line immediately constructed the famous Newburg House and Inn. The Inn provided local residents with their weekly entertainment and was a favorite stop-over for those traveling between the rich mining areas of Galena and the bustling metropolis of Chicago. The first school was formed in 1850 by J. A. Gleason and R. E. Streeter. On February 1, 1855, Alfred and Mary Ford deeded to Green Brimmer, of Vermont, the south half of section 30 and the north half of section 31, the present farm that Newburg Village Golf Club sits on. Mr Brimmer was the first to farm this land and the street Brimmer Way is named for him.
Chicago was the closest large metroploitan area to Newburg Village. Chicago's greatest advantage was it's excellent shipping facilities and strong ties for moving goods east. However, Chicago had a very large disadvantage. Her lack of money for continued investment and very poor connections to the west. William B. Ogden, Chicago's first mayor and one of the city's greatest boosters, spearheaded a program to take advantage of the rich lead operations in the Galena territory while, at the same time, opening up the west to Chicago commerce.
The construction of Chicago's first successful railroad, the Chicago and Galena Union Railroad, began in 1847. A third-hand steam locomotive, renamed The Pioneer, made its initial trip out of the city of Chicago to Oak Park on October 25, 1848. By December the railroad had reached the DesPlaines River. The railroad chose a route which bypassed Newburg Village in favor of an easier river crossing at Cherry Valley. This decision signaled the economic decline of Newburg Village. The village did manage to hold on throughout the balance of the 19th century.
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