History - remembering the past

graphicFounded in 1836, Homer Township was once known as "Yankee Settlement" and was first settled by New Englanders. Many of these early residents arrived by way of Lake Michigan, their vessels landing near Fort Dearborn - now the city of Chicago. From there, they boarded private schooners and traveled to the area now known as Riverside, then crossed the Des Plaines River at Butterfield Ford and continued on to Homer.graphic

Until very recently, Homer Township remained primarily a farming community, largely unaffected by the expansion of communities along the Illinois and Michigan Canal or the growth of Chicago.

Homer Township is home to John Lane, inventor of the first steel plow that literally changed farming forever. A monument commemorating his innovation stands on a farm located at the intersection of Gougar Road and 163rd Street. One of the area’s early settlers was David Kennison who lived in Homer Township around 1846. A veteran of the Revolutionary War, involved in the fighting in the Battle of Bunker Hill and a participant in the Boston Tea Party, he lived to the age of 114 and is buried in Lincoln Park.

The Ross School, a one-room schoolhouse, was built in 1863 in the 13200 block of West 159th Street. It has been restored and moved to a site in front of Homer Junior High School at 15711 Bell Road, and dedicated as a museum in January 1997.



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