A Brief History of Bensenville, IL

Bensenville is a village in Cook and DuPage counties of Illinois. A portion of this village is located near O’Hare International Airport, making worldwide air travel convenient. From its population to its buildings, Bensenville is truly diverse, making it an interesting place to visit or live. Incorporated in the late 1800s, this village has a long and interesting history.

The Beginnings of Bensenville, IL

More than 18,000 people now call Bensenville home but this village was once a wild prairie occupied by the Potawatomie Indians. Signed in 1833, the Treaty of Chicago forced this tribe out of Northern Illinois and the first settlers arrived in Dunklee’s Grove in Addison Township later that year, followed by 12 families from Germany. Much of Dunklee’s Grove is now in Bensenville.

At the time, Chicago consisted of only 160 frame buildings. Becoming a land owner required only selecting a strip of land, plowing a furrow around it, building a log hut on the property, and providing written ownership declaration to a Chicago land agency. The first local settlers used resources provided by the land to build houses, farms, churches, and schools.

In 1873, the plot of land that became the village was officially recorded, called Tioga. The Village of Bensenville was incorporated in 1884, with George Cogswell as its first president. School District 2 formed in 1885 and the first school was built the following year on Green Street. In 1894, the Bensenville Volunteer Fire Department was organized.

Bensenville, IL, Gets Connected

The first telephone was installed in the village in 1902 and just two years later, 64 residents had telephones. In 1910, electricity arrived, shedding new light on the village. The railroad became a major employer in the early 1900s and by 1930, 27 freight trains and 52 passenger trains were passing through the village each day. As the population grew, more schools were built, with the first high school class graduating in 1926.

By 1940, the population was 1,875 and once Douglas Aircraft plant was constructed in 1943, 40 percent of the local workforce was employed there. Manufacturers flocked to Bensenville and by 1960, eight major industries had moved to this village. The same year, the Park and Community Public Library Districts were created. Just one year after the village celebrated its centennial, it received a water park and historical commission. This village is proud of its past but is also looking toward the future and the opportunities it holds.