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Huntley Area History

  1. Aerial of Huntley Looking Northeast
    The L shaped building in the foreground was known as the Disbrow Building. Andrew Disbrow had his wagon repair shop in the lower part of the building facing Main Street. The I.O.O.F. - Independent Order of Odd Fellows - occupied the second story. In the lower level along Church Street, there was a millinery shop and a grocery store. The First Congregational Church is seen in the center of the photo. North of the Congregational Church was the parsonage that was donated to the church by Thomas Huntley in 1885. This building no longer exists. The German Lutheran Church, now Trinity Lutheran Church, can be seen in the upper left of the photo. The German Lutheran Church steeple in this photo is the tall steeple which was later struck by lightening. The 1875 Huntley School can be seen to the right of the First Congregational Church. The photo dates to after 1909 when an addition was added to the rear of the school.

  2. Aerial View North from former Catty Corporation
    Aerial view looking north from the Catty Corporation smokestack circa 1920.

  3. Alice Mae Hadley Statler
    Alice Mae Hadley Statler, 1884 - 1964. Known as Mae, she was born November 29, 1883 in Huntley. She was the daughter of Milo D. and Anna Sinnett Hadley. She was descended from two early founding Huntley families. She married Dr. Oliver I. Statler on October 7, 1911. He was a practicing physician in Huntley for nearly 50 years until his death in 1954. Mae was a member of the Ladies Aid of the First Congregational Church of Huntley and served many years as church organist. She was a charter member of the Women's club of Huntley and a past president of the American Legion Post 673 Auxiliary. She and Dr. Statler had one son, Oliver H. born in 1915. Mae died in April 1964.

  4. Amos Brothers Restaurant
    The Amos brothers opened their restaurant in the west side of the Pabst Building, located at the southeast corner of Main and Church Streets. When William Amos returned home to Huntley following service in World War I, he and his brother franklin opened their restaurant. The Amos brothers are pictured in front of their business. The women are unidentified.

  5. Anna Skeels
    Anna C. Skeels, the daughter of John and Cecelia Skeels, was born in Huntley in April 1877. She attended Huntley schools, graduating with the high school class of 1895. Her businessman father had been part owner of the Devine and Skeels General Store on Woodstock Street in Huntley, and later owner of Skeels Dry Good Store in Huntley. Anna was a teacher, and later, after her father's death, became a sales clerk in the store once owned by her father. Anna Skeels never married. She died in Elgin on December 28, 1927.

  6. Attorney Letter to Patrick Devine
    Elgin attorney E. C. Lovell informs Patrick Devine, who is in failing health, that his newly written will has been deposited in the vault at Home National Bank. The fees for the will and several patents were paid by Patrick's son, William Devine. Patrick Devine was born in 1793 in Ireland and died in Rutland Township December 19, 1873. William Devine (1848 -1909) was the son of early Rutland Township settler and farmer Patrick Devine. William became a Kane County school teacher, then moved to Huntley in 1875 to go into the general store business. He and John Skeels operated the Devine and Skeels General Store at the corner of Main and Woodstock streets in Huntley until his death in 1909. William Devine married the former Minnie Johnson (1860-1944) on Feb. 14, 1883. Together they had three children, Hugh, Mildred and Dorothy.

  7. Barbara Hemmer Ernesti
    Interview questions answered in writing by Barbara Ernesti on May 5, 2012.

  8. Bel Boy Beer Advertisement, 1937
    At the end of prohibition, the Huntley Brewing Company began operating out of the building that once housed the Cornell Brothers and Jelke's milk processing plants on South Church Street. The plant produced Bel Boy, Copperhead and Indian Maid beers. Although the company filed for bankruptcy in 1935, this advertisement is dated 1937.

  9. Bel Boy Beer Tap Knob
    Tap knob for distribution of Bel Boy Beer, produced by the Huntley Brewing Company. The company was established in 1934 in the former Cornell Brothers Creamery building (later Catty Corporation) on south Church Street. The company also produced Copperhead Indian Maid beers. The brewery filed for bankruptcy one year after opening, but remained in operation until 1937, when it finally shut down.

  10. Betty Ann Lazansky
    Elizabeth (Betty) Ann Lazansky (1917-2005) at 4 months old. She was the daughter of Charles and Hazel Hadley Lazansky. She graduated from Huntley High School and from National Louis University with a degree in education. Elizabeth taught for more than 32 years in the Huntley and Woodstock elementary schools. In November of 1937, she married Leroy Anderson.

  11. Betty Lazansky Anderson and Oliver H. Statler, 2001
    Cousins Betty Lazansky Anderson and Oliver H. Statler are shown at the Huntley Area Public Library when Oliver came from Hawaii to visit his hometown of Huntley. Oliver and Betty were descendants of Huntley early settlers Richard and Olive Hadley.

  12. Beverly Heine and Mayor Henry Ackman
    Beverly Heine Eisenmenger shown with Mayor Henry Ackman in 1960 at the dedication of the new Huntley fire barn on Coral Street. Beverly was the presenter at the dedication. She was attended by Lenny Ackman and Harold Hansen.

  13. Blizzard February 1936 Coral Street
    The January-February snows of 1936 were record setting, crippling the town of Huntley for weeks. After the snow, horses are tethered on the north side of Coral Street. The white John G. Kelley house (Razed summer of 2017) is visible in the background.

  14. Blizzard February 1936 Main Street
    The January-February snow storms of 1936 crippled the town of Huntley for several weeks. The milk transfer truck was vital to getting the farmers milk to the train station. The truck is seen along Main Street with the businesses on the south side of the street. Cook's Drug Store and the State Bank of Huntley are prominent.

  15. Blizzard February 1936 Town Square along Coral Street
    Following the record snow of January-February 1936, horses line the northwest end of the town square along Coral Street. The tower for the old fire bell can be seen to the left, and the white John G. Kelley house is to the right.

  16. Blizzard February 1936, Charles Lazansky
    Rural Huntley mail carrier Charles Lazansky (foreground) attempts to shovel the beginnings of the snowstorm that lasted for weeks. This photograph was taken in January of 1936. By February, Huntley was buried several feed deep in snow.

  17. Blizzard February 1936, Lawrence Rugg (L) and Ivan Bandlow (R)
    Shoveling snow was a common site in the snowy winter of January and February of 1936. Lawrence Rugg (left) and Ivan Bandlow (right) attempt to make a path for their car.

  18. Blizzard February 1936, Milk Truck Stuck in Snow
    The winter of 1935-1936 saw some of the highest snowfalls in Huntley history. But February of 1936 had days of heavy snow that brought the area to a standstill. Schools were closed for six weeks because the rural students could not get into town. But the milk could not wait. Huntley men shoveled mountains of snow for days to allow the milk transfer trucks to get through. This photo is along Dundee Road.

  19. Blizzard February 1936, Shoveling Snow
    The heavy snow of February 1936 brought life in Huntley to a virtual standstill. Piles of snow, taller than an automobile, were seen in the area. The men are unidentified.

  20. Blizzard February 1936, Sled with Milk Cans
    Farmers brought their milk to town on sleighs during the snowy winter of 1935-1936. Milk cans can be seen in the sleigh in the foreground. The town square gazebo can be seen in the background at the right.

  21. Blizzard February 1936, Sleds along Coral Street
    Sleds glide along Coral Street in the 1936 snow storm. The white John G. Kelley house can be seen behind the sled. The dark building in the far background is the Lutheran School.

  22. Blizzard February 1936, Truck in Street
    Mounds of snow blanketed the Huntley area.

  23. Blizzard February 1936, Village Hall on Railroad Street
    The Huntley Village Hall (far right) along Railroad Street is buried in snow, possibly in the 1936 blizzard. This village hall was in use until the new village office was built on the town square in 1939. The building with the tall smokestack at right had long been a milk processing plant.

  24. Borden's Milk Plant Circa 1906
    Built circa 1906 on Vine Street (now Illinois Route 47), Huntley. The local factory was a success due to the surplus of milk available from area farmers. When Bordens ceased production at the Huntley location, the Victor Mey milk plant moved into the building. The building was vacant during the 1920's and 1930's. The building still stands as of 2013, substantially changed, and houses the Union Special, a sewing machine manufacturer, and several smaller businesses.

  25. Borden's Milk Plant Circa 1910
    The Borden's Milk processing plant along Vine Street (today Route 47). The business opened in Huntley in 1906 or 1907, produced condensed milk. The convenience of the nearby railroad made shipping the milk into Chicago very efficient. When Borden's ceased production at this location, sometime after 1915, the Victor Mey milk processing company took over the plant. It closed in 1925. A portion of the building still remains, significantly changed, along Route 47.

  26. Bricking Woodstock Street 1916
    In 1916, Huntley Village Trustees voted to pave Woodstock Street, as well as Main, Coral and Second streets, with brick. The work on Woodstock Street was completed in 1917.

  27. Brinkerhoff House
    Thomas Stillwell Huntley (1807-1894) built this home at the corner of Woodstock and Third streets in 1856. The stately home still stands today. When T. S. Huntley died he willed the home to his brother-in-law, Abram Brinkerhoff (d. 1917). Abram and his wife Ellen (d. 1922) were to care for Huntley's youngest child, still in his minority.

  28. Browntown School District #119
    Located on Marengo-Huntley Road near Leech Road (McHenry County, Coral Township). Built circa 1858, this school was closed in 1948 and consolidated with the Marengo schools. The structure is still standing. Usually, teacher turnover in one room schools was high, however, Hazel Heideman taught at the school for its last 22 years. Mabel Donahue Hemmer also taught at Browntown. Records show that in the 1940s the school had a good well, served hot lunches, and had a merry-go-round, swings and basketball goal. Browntown’s final school year only had three students.

  29. Buffalo's Grand Dance Program 1901
    Program for the Buffalo's Grand Dance held on June 12, 1901.

  30. Butler School District #121
    Located at the northwest corner of Harmony and Seeman roads, this one-room school was built before 1860 and closed in 1920 when it consolidated with the Huntley schools (McHenry County, Coral Township). Photos and records over the years tell of plays, musicals, picnics, poor attendance and declining enrollment. Upon closure, the building was used for farm equipment storage but was vacant in its final years. It was torn down in 2006 despite last minute efforts by local historians to save and move the structure.

  31. Catholic Order of Foresters Program for Annual Ball 1901
    Catholic Order of Foresters Program for Annual Ball on October 18, 1901.

  32. Catty Corporation Circa 1945
    Englishman Hugh D. Catty began his cellophane packaging company in 1907. The Huntley, Illinois facility was opened in 1921 in a facility that previously housed the Fencil Gasket Company. The building, located at Church and Mill streets, operated at this location until 2007, when the business moved to Harvard, Illinois.

  33. Charles Conley Farm
    The Charles Conley farm was located on IL Route 47 about 2 miles north of the Village of Huntley. This photo, taken during the winter months, shows the home, barn and outbuildings. Charles Conley was born August 3, 1863 and was the husband of Margaret Higgins. They raised six children in the home, Agnes Purvey, Marcella Beltz, Roy (Mary O'Rourke), Harold (Ada Winne), Clifford (Margaret Kelly) and Marion, for whom one of the Huntley School District schools is named. Charles Conley died in 1945. His son Roy took over the farm and raised a family there.

  34. Charles Conley Farmhouse Route 47 Circa 1920's
    Charles Conley (1863-1945) at the wheel, wife Margaret (Higgins) seated in the rear in the dark coat, daughter Marcella in front seat. The couple had three sons Harold, the oldest (birth date unknown), Clifford (1901-1967) and Roy (1904-1967). Two of the sons are shown seated on the grass circa 1910. The farm was located north of town about 2 miles along the east side on what is now Route 47. Son Roy and his wife, the former Mary O’Rourke (married 1936) later lived on this farm and raised a family of eight children. Roy and Mary Conley’s son, Raymond, was killed while riding his bike on the road in front of the farm in 1963.

  35. Charles Huntley
    Charles Huntley (1834–1883) came to this area in 1846 with his family. At the time, he was about 12 years of age. He was Thomas Huntley’s older son. When the Civil War broke out he was among the first from the area to enlist. He assembled 300 other local men to join with him. He was a lieutenant and later a captain in the Sixteenth Illinois Cavalry. His troops were captured after a long battle at Strawberry Plains, Virginia and Charles Huntley spent the remainder of the war in southern prisoner of war camps, including Libby and the notorious Andersonville Prison camp in Georgia. After the war he established a stagecoach route and later mail route through to the west. He was in business with his cousin, Silas Huntley, the son of Thomas Huntley’s brother Daniel. Charles was a very adventurous and enterprising young man and a very astute businessman. Among the companies in which Charles C. Huntley had an interest were the Northwest Stage Company, which was engaged in transporting mail and passengers on routes from the present day Fargo, North Dakota, through Montana and later, Oregon and into the Utah, Idaho and Washington territories. He also had interest in the Oregon & California Stage Company, which was engaged in similar business on the route from California, to Portland, Oregon. The Wells Fargo Company eventually purchased the routes to add to their many routes, paying Huntley $10,000. That along with his earnings for a year and a half netted him $20,000 besides his stock. Charles Huntley immediately established other routes, to Oregon and the Dakotas and managed these for eight years. He was a wealthy man when paralysis, brought on by exposure and starvation during his prisoner of war years, caused him to abandon his business and return home to Huntley where he died at age 49. Thomas Huntley, Charles Huntley and other members of the Huntley family are buried in the Huntley Cemetery on Dean Street.

  36. Charles Skeels
    Charles P. Skeels was the oldest son of Huntley businessman John P. Skeels and his wife, Cecelia. Charles was born February 22, 1873, in Huntley. He was a 1891 graduate of Huntley High School. Charles later moved to Kansas. He was a retired salesman. He died in Elgin, Illinois, on February 9, 1943.

  37. Charles Weltzien
    Charles Weltzien was born in Mecklenburg, German, in November of 1819. He died August 19, 1901. His wife was Friedricke (Rachel) Schroeder. They were married in 1847. The couple came to the United States in 1857. Charles was overseer of Thomas Stillwell Huntley farms until he bought a farm in 1868 on Coyne Station Road. The couple had six children, John G. Weltzien (12/14/1847-11/1/1913). Also Mary (1850-1932), Fred (1854-1933), Sophia (1857-1944), Mina (1859-1947), Carrie (1865-1954). All of the children, except Carrie, were born in Germany.

  38. Congregational Church Circa 1890
    The First Congregational Church of Huntley is seen from its west Church Street side. The original church was first dedicated in 1864. In 1887 the small social hall was built on to the rear of the church. An addition with a Fellowship Hall, classrooms and offices was added in 1957. In this photograph, Church Street, in the foreground, is unpaved.

  39. Connor Sisters
    The Connor sister are pictured at the 50th wedding anniversary celebration of John T. and Mary Connor Kelley on January 31, 1943. The sisters are, from left to right, Mrs. Foley, Mary Kelley (1867-1955) and Margaret Connor.

  40. Coral Street Looking East
    The photo shows Coral Street looking east toward the Huntley town square. The cross street is Vine Street, later Illinois Route 47. The large building right of center is the Sawyer Kelley Mill built in 1892. W. G. Sawyer owned two mill buildings in the town. The other one was on Vine Street. His partner was John G. Kelley. Mr. Sawyer was at one time a supervisor of Grafton Township. In the center background of the photo is the two-story, L-shaped Hawley building, built circa 1878. The building housed Hawley's General Store facing Woodstock Street and the town square. Telephone poles can be seen in the photograph. Village ordinance granted the Chicago Telephone Company the right to erect and maintain its poles and cables in Huntley in 1897.

  41. Cornell Milk Factory
    This facility at Church and Mill streets had been the Cornell Brothers Milk Factory from 1907 until about 1915. The Jelke Milk Company took over the building about 1915 and the second tower was built at that time. The tower was made of layers of brick and was used to carry away steam created by work at the dairy. The building was later used by the William Fencil Gasket company (1938-1946) and then Catty Corporation (1946-2007). The tower never was used by the Catty Corporation and was razed in June 1974.

  42. Cousins Betty Lazansky Anderson and Oliver H. Statler
    Cousins Betty Lazansky and Oliver H. Statler shown in Huntley circa 1923. Betty (Elizabeth Ann) was born in Huntley March 16, 1917 and died there on November 14, 2005. Betty was a long-time Huntley school teacher.

  43. Daniel Duff
    Daniel Duff was born in Dooly, Perthshire, Scotland, June 9, 1818. He came to America in 1836, settling in Florida, where he joined the army to fight in the Seminole War. He later settled in Chicago, and eventually, in Huntley. In 1844 he married Waity Cummings and the couple had six sons and one daughter. In 1852 Daniel Duff went into the business of general merchandising, but in 1859 returned to the farm and continued his agricultural pursuits for the next 20 years. His farm was located in rural Huntley, along today's Kreutzer Road, in northern Rutland Township. He served as Rutland Township supervisor for many years. He died on October 9, 1892 after a lengthy illness. His funeral was held at the First Congregational Church in Huntley.

  44. Deans on Mill Street, Circa 1950
    Dean's Milk Company factory, built in Huntley in 1946, was the first new milk processing plant in town since the 1920's. Situated along Mill Street, the plant produced milk in cartons and jugs for consumer use. At the time it was built, to produce Country Charm milk, all the milk processed came from farmers within a 15-mile radius of the plant. The business still operates at the same location today.

  45. Devine Loan Letter
    William Devine (1848-1909). This letter is a handwritten business correspondence between NW. Devine and F. J. Dacy Esquire in Woodstock, Illinois. William was born in Gilberts, Rutland Township, Illinois. He was the son of Patrick and Sarah Devine. In 1883, William married Minnie Clara Johnson. William Devine was a partner in the Huntley, Illinois, Devine and Skeels General Store from 1876 until his death in 1909. William was certified as a school teacher in Kane County, Illinois, in 1870 and briefly taught elementary grades before entering the merchandise business. William is buried in the Huntley Cemetery.

  46. Doris Schramm Marsh
    Interview questions answered in writing by Doris Marsh on May 5, 2012.

  47. Dorothy Devine 1911
    Dorothy Johnson ("Dot") Devine was the youngest child of Huntley businessman William Devine and his wife, Minnie Clara Johnson. The Devine family home was on Woodstock Street, and Mr. Devine's general store was at Woodstock and Main Streets. Dorothy was born in Huntley in 1900 and died in 1986. Dorothy never married. She is buried in the Huntley Cemetery.

  48. Dorothy Devine 1920s
    Dorothy Johnson ("Dot") Devine was the youngest child of Huntley businessman William Devine and his wife, the former Minnie Clara Johnson. The Devine family home was on Woodstock Street, and Mr. Devine's general store was at Woodstock and Main Streets. Dorothy was born in Huntley in 1900 and died in 1986. Dorothy never married. She is buried in the Huntley Cemetery.

  49. Dr. Oliver I. and Mae (Hadley) Statler
    Huntley physician Dr. Oliver I. Statler and his wife, Mae Hadley Statler c. 1911. The Statlers were married October 7, 1911. Dr. Statler had opened his practice in Huntley following his graduation from Rush Medical Chicago in 1906 and his internship at Polyclinic in Chicago in 1908.

  50. Dr. Oliver I. and Mae (Hadley) Statler 1949
    Dr. Oliver I. Statler (1879-1954) and Mae Hadley Statler (1884-1964). Dr. Statler had his office in his Woodstock Street home. Parents of Oliver I. Statler.