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About this collection

The Bensenville Historical Collections include materials from the 19th and 20th centuries containing portrait, land and candid photographs, letters, books, articles, ledgers, business, school, and church records, maps, oral and family histories, and ephemera. 

Bensenville area settlement began after the Treaty of Chicago in 1833 and included many German families from Hanover and Prussia fleeing crop failures. The village was incorporated in 1884 and became a valuable railroad transfer point that allowed local farmers and industry to quickly move their goods to markets in Chicago and elsewhere. Churches and schools were vital community places for the new immigrants as was a mix of light industry that developed into the 20th century, as agriculture began to decline.

World War II brought the aviation industry and eventually the beginning of O’Hare International Airport in the 1950’s. Today Bensenville has a diverse population, light industry, vibrant schools, parks, and public library on tree lined streets, nestled within the background of air traffic coming into and out of O’Hare International Airport.

 
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