Warrenville and the American Civil War: Hudson Family

The American Civil War deeply affected every community across the North and the South. In Warrenville, 50 brave men volunteered to fight for the Union cause and 17 paid the ultimate price. As the war came to an end in 1865, 150 years ago, Warrenville tried to return to some normalcy, however the sadness left by war time loss would last for many years.

The Joseph and Mary Hudson family was a local Warrenville family that lost a loved one in the war. The family came to Warrenville from Elyria, Ohio, after first visiting Mrs. Hudson’s father, Abel Culver, in the growing community in 1844. With the promise of farm land, the family settled in the Warrenville area in 1845 after shipping their furniture over Lake Erie to Chicago. The Hudsons first stayed in Big Woods, but when Mr. Hudson’s farming plans did not materialize, he found temporary employment as a tavern-keeper in Warrenville and moved the family into town. A year later, in 1848, the family bought the former Little Red Schoolhouse building, formerly located at 3S463 Batavia Road. This building had served as the first public building in town and the home of the community’s school from 1836 through 1848 when the Hudsons moved in, enlarging and remodeling the structure to become a private residence.

Lil Red Schoolhouse

During his active years Mr. Hudson dabbled in local politics, holding the offices of justice of the peace, constable, township collector, and three times he was elected tax assessor (1852, 1853, and 1866). The last office may or may not have brought him popularity. At any rate, there was much coming and going at the Hudson home, especially while he was justice of the peace. Mr. Hudson also served in the affairs of the cemetery association as a director, trustee, secretary, and treasurer at various times.

The Hudsons had three children: Bowman, William and the oldest, Josephine. Josephine was a school teacher who never married and continued to live in the family home after her parents’ death. William, the middle child, joined the 8th Illinois Cavalry in December of 1863, and sadly died in a Richmond, Virginia, prison on March 4, 1865, just weeks before Confederate General Lee surrendered to Union General Grant.

Please join us this coming Sunday, January 25th at 2:00p.m. at the Warrenville Public Library to learn more about the last year of the Civil War in our program “1865 in 48 Minutes” which is part of our five year series Warrenville & the American Civil War. Reservations to attend the free program can be made through the library at through their website www.warrenville.com or at (630) 393-1171. You can also learn more about Warrenville during the Civil War years by stopping into the Museum during 2015 to view our Warrenville & the American Civil War exhibit.

Information included above taken in part from Leone Schmidt’s “In and Around Historic Warrenville.”

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