Save the Date: 11th Annual Cemetery Walk

The Warrenville Historical Society is happy to announce “Dead Men Talking – And Some Women Too – XI,” which will be held on Sunday, October 21, 2018.  The outdoor 45 minute tours will start every 15 minutes beginning at 6:00p.m. with the last tour at 7:30p.m.  Tours are given on a first come first serve basis.  For those not wishing to walk through the cemetery, a presentation by the interpreters will be given at 5:00p.m. in Trinity Lutheran Church.

During this year’s event, presentations will be made about those who share major life milestones with the history of Illinois and Warrenville. Join us for this evening as we transport you through time hearing the stories of former Warrenville residents.

                         Visitors enjoying the 2017 cemetery walk.

Cemetery tours begin at the Warrenville Cemetery, located on the north side of Warrenville road between Curtis and Warren, Warrenville, Illinois.  Luminaries will light the way to lantern-lit gravesites where histories that shaped our community will be told.  Tour admission is free but donations will be accepted and are appreciated.  All donations benefit the Warrenville Historical Society.  Parking is available at Trinity Lutheran Church located at the N/W corner of Curtis and Warrenville Rds. Refreshments will be served at Trinity Lutheran Church after the tours.

Published in: on September 7, 2018 at 11:42 am  Leave a Comment  
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A Tea Fit for the (Warrenville) Royals

Royal fever has hit an all time high with the royal wedding of Prince Harry and American Meghan Markle in just two days! Warrenville has long had a taste for royal traditions though. For the past 13 years, the Historical Society has thrown a summer tea with all the trimmings, even if we haven’t always stuck to all the formal traditions.

On Sunday, May 6th, our museum director, Sara Phalen, presented at the Warrenville Library all about the history of tea and the proper British etiquette of having tea. Attendees even got to try their hand at formal table setting and creative napkin folding.

As we all watch the weekend excitement across the pond, plan to join the Historical Society at this year’s tea on Saturday, July 28th at noon at the Warrenville VFW. Tea attendees will enjoy a wonderful tea luncheon and entertainment by Paddy and Jon Lynn presenting Edgar Lee Masters’ classic portrait of life and death in early Illinois. With traditional music by folk singer Patti Ecker, this fresh interpretation of small town Illinois life reveals the joys, sorrows, and secrets of Spoon River’s unforgettable characters in story and song.

The tea also features beautiful and creative table settings that adds to the afternoon of formal fun!

Contact the Museum at (630) 393-4215 or to purchase a ticket, $20 each, or to host a table and try your hand at creating a table fit for Warrenville royalty.

The Summer Tea is supported by a Warrenville Hotel Motel Tax Fund Grant.

Published in: on May 17, 2018 at 12:57 pm  Comments (1)  
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Merry Christmas Memories from 1967 #celebrating50

As we wrap up 2017 with the holiday season, we remember Christmas from 1967, 50 years ago, when the City had just incorporated! Please enjoy some of the memories from that historic year as featured in the Warrenville Digest. We hope you all have a happy and merry Christmas!

Published in: on December 22, 2017 at 9:52 am  Leave a Comment  

Holiday Open House

Join the Warrenville Historical Society at the Historical Museum & Art Gallery for a holiday open house celebrating the season and local history! Shop our gift shop featuring our historic landmark ornament series, local history books, and Warrenville inspired art prints and cards! Visit the museum’s exhibits and displays one last time before we close for the winter season!

Published in: on December 6, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Congratulations to the graduates of 2017! #Celebrating50

School is out and summer has arrived! The Historical Society would like to congratulate all of our local students on finishing the school year and especially those who graduated!

As we do that and welcome summer, we also look back to the graduates of 1967. The graduates of that historic year when Warrenville voted to incorporate, were highlighted in the Warrenville Digest on this day 50 years ago.    

Celebrating Volunteers and 2017 Scholarship Winner

Each April the Warrenville Historical Society celebrates those who have donated time to Warrenville history and a young member of our community.

Volunteers are vital to the Historical Society fulfilling its mission of preserving and presenting Warrenville history. The work of docents, program volunteers, cemetery walk volunteers and the Museum Guild is invaluable and we want to say THANK YOU during National Volunteer Appreciation Week.

Treasurer Marty Rogers welcomed volunteers and expressed the Historical Society’s thanks for all the work done over the past year.

This year’s Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast was held on Sunday, April 2nd and aalso allowed us to present our scholarship winner.  Kang-In Han, a senior at Wheaton Warrenville South, was presented with the Historical Society’s 2017 Scholarships. His talents were on display as he graced our volunteers with a beautiful violin performance.

It was a wonderful way to honor his hard work and also thank those who give their time for our mission. Thank you to all of our volunteers, including those who could not be with us that morning. A big THANK YOU also goes out to the VFW and Auxiliary who provided a nice space for the gathering and a delicious breakfast. It was a wonderful morning to celebrate the hard work and dedication of our great community.


Published in: on April 28, 2017 at 9:30 am  Leave a Comment  

Celebrating 50: 1967 Celebration of Washington’s Birthday at Holmes School

2017 marks the 50th Anniversary of the incorporation of the City of Warrenville. As the City of Warrenville and the Historical Society celebrate 50, we will be featuring events and happenings from 1967.

Today we feature a celebration of President Washington’s birthday at Holmes School!  scan0599scan0600-1 scan0601 scan0602

Debating Incorporation: Warrenville Celebrates 50 Years as a City

This is an exciting year for our community, as 2017 brings the 50th Anniversary of the City of Warrenville’s incorporation.  The debate around the incorporation was a hard fought one that occurred over several decades and multiple referendums. The first of seven votes held in 1927.  134 years after the founding of Warrenville by Colonel Julius Warren, residents voted for the formation of a governing body in May of 1967.


You can learn more about the debate around Warrenville’s incorporation at the Historical Society’s program “Debating Incorporation,” an event held in collaboration with the Warrenville Public Library and the City of Warrenville, on Sunday, January 29th at 2:00 p.m. at the Warrenville City Hall at 3S258 Manning Avenue. The event is free, registration is required through the Library at or (630)393-1171.

Holiday Open House: See history, art and shop for unique holiday gifts!

Join the Warrenville Historical Society for a Holiday Open House on Friday, December 9th from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at the Warrenville Historical Museum & Art Gallery.


See the museum while you enjoy live music. Tour the art gallery, including works of art by youth from Warrenville Youth and Family Service’s programs.


Shop local history: Warrenville Historic Landmark Ornament Series including the Albright Building, the Roundhouse and the Warrenville Store, each $10, local history books and craft items made by our Museum Guild ladies are also available for purchase. ornaments-banner-ad

Watch our Albright Artist-in-Residence, Maggie Capettini, paint a museum scene live! Watch her artistic process in real time! The Albright Artist-in-Residency is sponsored by a City of Warrenville Hotel Motel Tax Grant.14611016_1517359938277940_3953804986205395557_n

Free and open to all!

Published in: on December 2, 2016 at 9:28 am  Leave a Comment  

Cemetery Walk Featured Script: Maria Stahring Williams

As we get ready for our 9th Annual Cemetery Walk next Sunday, on October 16, 2016, please enjoy reading this script that was presented during our 2012 event. It features the story of a Williams family member whose family farm was on Williams Road.

If you want to learn more history behind other street and park names in town, please join us on the 16th. More information can be found here

Mrs. Maria “Mary” (nee Stahring) Williams, birth February 14, 1786, death April 16, 1864

Maria Sterling Williams’ family owned large tracts of land on the west side of Warrenville.  She was born on February 14, 1786 in Mohawk, New York, where her father was a Judge.  Her husband, William Williams’ family had been in the Americans since the 1600s and had lived in Connecticut.  During the early 1800s William decided to move to New York to make a better life for himself.  The couple met in New York and married.  Not long after their marriage, war broke out and William joined the American fight and helped defeat the British in the Battle of Sackett’s Harbor in 1812, as part of the War of 1812, often referred to as the Second American Revolution.  After the war William returned to working on area farms.

With eight children, the couple was always looking for new opportunities to better provide for their family.  When they heard about open land available in Illinois, they set off for the prairie.  William arrived at Fort Dearborn, today’s Chicago, in 1834 and received a loan of $43 to help him purchase land in what was then called Big Woods, just west of the area being settled by Colonel Warren.  The oldest daughter, Mary, and two of the sons traveled west to meet their father in 1836 and started building the family home.  By 1838, Maria and the other five children arrived in Illinois.

Early Map of Warrenville, shows the Williams farm in the bottom left-hand corner, Henry S. Williams was one of Maria and William's sons

Early map of Warrenville landowners, shows the Williams farm in the bottom left-hand corner, Henry S. Williams was one of Maria and William’s sons

Their land in Warrenville had finally given William the prosperity he had so much desired.  The farm on Big Woods Road, now called Warrenville Road, was connected to the DuPage River by Williams Road, named for the family.  Besides the farm, they also had 100-acres west of today’s Route 59 and an 80-acre timber tract near the Kane County line.

Early map of Winfield Township, son Henry (H.S. & S.) Williams listed as property owners

Early map of Winfield Township, son Henry (H.S. & S.) Williams listed as property owner along the bottom

The financial success of the Williams family could not provide everything though.  Their daughter Susan died shortly after marrying Platt Conde at the age of 20 in 1845.  Their oldest son, William dropped dead on the Wells Street bridge in Chicago in 1851, at the age of 33.  Another son George passed away in 1853 the age of 21.  When William died in May of 1860, Maria did not think she could take any more tragedy, however the Civil War broke out the next year and the small Warrenville community faced the stress and pain of seeing some of the town’s boys and men leave to fight for the Union.

In 1862, her daughter Mary’s husband, William Griffith, left the family farm which he had inherited when William Williams died and joined the 69th Illinois Infantry.  Warrenville had faced the death of eight of our volunteers by 1864 when her son John left for the war.  Shortly thereafter another son Samuel died at home with his mother in Warrenville.  This was more stress than she could take and she shortly followed him to their final resting place in the Warrenville Cemetery on April 16, 1864.  Despite the tragedy that had plagued the family, her son-in-law William Griffith returned home and he and Mary lived out the rest of their days in Warrenville.

Published in: on October 7, 2016 at 1:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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