“Local History of The Glynch School
in Wauconda Township, Lake County”

“Seventh and eighth grade students throughout Lake County compiled the 1918 School History notebooks in celebration of the Illinois Centennial.  The histories feature photographs and accounts from students and teachers at one-room schoolhouses.  In addition, information on the settlement history of the area is often included, along with photos of early families, businesses and residences.” – Bess Bowers Dunn Museum of Lake County

The following has been transcribed by Vernon B. Paddock from the “Local History of The Glynch School in Wauconda Township, Lake County” compiled by Francis Davis, Orville McEvan, James Dowell and Albert Mueller.  The document “1918 School Histories – Wauconda Township – Glynch School” is provided by the Bess Bower Dunn Museum of Lake County (formerly the Lake County Discovery Museum) through the “Illinois Digital Archives” website of the Illinois State Library.

Illinois Digital Archives website for “1918 School Histories – Wauconda Township – Glynchl School”: http://www.idaillinois.org/digital/collection/lakecoun001/id/3211/rec/48


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Wauconda Township – Glynch School


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Lake County

Lake county lies at the extreme northeast corner of the state of Illinois and is bounded on the north by Wisconsin, on the east by Lake Michigan, on the south by Cook, and on the west by McHenry Co.  Its length from the southern boundry (sic) of the state line to the north is twenty three and one half miles, its average breadth is nineteen and one half miles; containing an area of about 460 sq miles.  It derives its name from being situated upon Lake Michigan, as well as from the great number of small lakes contained within it, amounting to about forty in all.

The county was originally a part of McHenry Co., which was erected from Cook and LaSalle, by the legislature at its cession of 1835-6.  It was detached from the McHenry and erected as the county of Lake by an act of the General Assembly, approved March 1, 1839.

There has been a kind of tradition now existing, that the place where Waukegan (formerly called Little Fort) now stands was once the sight of a small fort and that this point was, at an early day, occupied by the French as a trading post.  But the accounts which are given concerning it have been vague as to time and not entirly (sic) satisfactory.

It seems that Little Fort, now called Waukegan was known to the whites at least one hundred years ago.  From the stream designated as “Old Fort River” we are led to infer that there was once at this point a fort of still older date than the one which was called “Little Fort.”  It is supposed that this place was visited in (1679) by LaSalle and Hennipen.

The land of which Lake county is comprised is a portion of the country accquired (sic) by the United States government by a treaty with the Pottawattomie and other tribes of Indians, at Prairie Du Chien in (1829) by which the Indian title became extinguished in (1835).  By stipulation the Indians remained in the county until (1836), when they were removed to lands assigned them, west of the Missouri River, in what is now the state of Kansas.

Daniel Wright was the first white settler, and built the first house, or permanent habitation in what is now Lake county in August 1834.  It was on the prairie a short distance west of the Aux Plaines River, and about a mile south of Indian Creek.

Other settlers who took up claims along the Aux Plaines River in (1834) were Hiram Kennicott, Jonathan Rice, Asahel Talcott, Rausom and Richard Steele, William Cooley, Charles H. Bartlett, Thomas McClure, Willard Jones, and Amos Bennett, Amos Bennett who was a colored man, the first of the African Race to come into Lake county; he is said to have remarked, with the much self satisfaction, speaking apparently with reference to the Indians, that he was the first white man that ever planted corn in Lake county.

In 1835 settlements were mostly along the west side of the Aux Plaines River extending as far north as the Aux Plaines Bridge in the present town of Warren.

The first public house or tavern in Lake county was opened in the spring of (1835) by Peleg Sunderlin on the Green Bay Road about a mile north of what is now called Spauldings Corners.

The first saw mill and store in the county were established by Hiram Kennicott near the mouth of Indian Creek.

Hiram Kennicott was also the first Justice of the Peace in Lake co. and a Lawyer.  He had studied law at Aurora, New York with Willard Fillmore.

The first public road established by State Authorities within the limits of the present county of Lake was laid out in (1836). It commenced at Chicago at Kinzie St, thence to Wentworth Ridge, thence to Planck’s Point, thence to Hickory Grove, thence across the Des Plaines River to Wisencref’s Point, thence to Spring Creek timber (supposed to be Indian Creek), thence to Winecupp Point, thence across the Des Plaines River to the Green Bay Road.

Green Bay Road was established by the United States government from Chicago to Green Bay for military purposes.  This old road became known as the Milwaukee Road.

In June (1836) a stage line was established between Chicago and Milwaukee by way of the Green Bay Road for carrying passengers and U. S. Mail.  The vehicle used was a common lumber wagon drawn by four horses.  Mail previous to that time had been carried between Chicago and Green Bay, for the accomidation (sic) of the Military Posts, once a month, by a man on foot, by the way of the Indian trail near the lake shore.

In the fall of (1836) the first school house to be built in the county was erected at Libertyville.  It was a log building, the logs being hewn on both sides commonly called a block house.  It was built by contribution by the inhabitants.

The first resort to a court of Justice was that of Mr. Blaidsdell against Ezekiel Boyland in (1836).  this was concerning the occupancy of a claim.

The first post office was established at Indian Creek August 22, 1836, Seth Washburn was appointed postmaster.  It was called Halfday (sic) in honor of a Pottawattomie chief who’s village was on the Des Plaines River near the mouth of Indian Creek.

The first school was opened at Halfday (sic) in (1830) and was taught by Laura Sprague.

In those days the dwelling houses were built of logs.  There being a scarcity of lumber, the floors were usually of material split from logs commonly called “puncheons”, leaving the surface rough and uneven.

Whenever a house of commodores size was finished with sawed material the proprieter (sic) usually dedicated it with a dance called a “house warming”.  The first occasion of this kind in the county was at the house of Hiram Kennicott about he 25th of Dec (1836).

The people old and young for distance of twenty miles around were envited (sic), the company present was very large in proportion to the accommadation (sic) and the occasion was a merry one.

In 1839 Libertyville became the county seat.

In 1841 the county seat was moved to “Little Fort”, then back to Libertyville by the State Legislature finally declared that it should be permanently located at “Little Fort”.

When Little Fort had reached a population of about 2,500 inhabitants, it became incorporated for municipal purposes as a village, by an act of the Legislature approved February 2, (1849); in the act of incorporation was a provision, that at the first election for town officers the inhabitants might change the name of the town to Waukegan.

By an ananimous (sic) vote of the inhabitants at the same election, the name of the town was changed to Waukegan, it being the Indian word, in the Pottawattomie (sic) language for Fort.

The name of the Post office was also changed accordingly.


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Township of Wauconda

Wauconda is one of the fractional townships upon the west line of the county.  It is bounded upon the north by Grant; on the east by Fremont; on the south by Cuba; and on the west by McHenry Co.  As a congressional township, it is known as Township 44, North Range 9 east.  It is four miles wide and six miles long.

Among the early settlers were: Justice Bangs, Elisha Hubbard, Thomas Glynch, Mark Bangs, Peter Mills, A. J. Seeber, D. H. Sherman, John B. Wooster, Daniel Martin, W. H. Hawkins, Thomas F. Slocum, Stephen Rice, and R. R. Crosby.

Biography of Justice Bangs: Justice Bangs was born in Montague, Mass. March, 16, (1806).  He was educated in Stanford, Mass.  He erected the first store in Wauconda in (1845).  He carried the mails from Chicago to Janesville from (1845) to (1853).  He married Miss Louisa Oaks in January (1829).  Mrs. Bangs died in March 1851.  Mr. Bangs was again married Dec. 30, 1851 to Mrs. Caroline Cone who died Nov, 26, 1888.  Mr. Bangs was a Republican, and was supervisor of Wauconda in 1855,1856 and 1864.  He died Dec, 13, 1895.

Biography of William Cook: William Cook was born at Stanford, Vermont in 1801.  He came to Wauconda in 1840.  He was supervisor of Wauconda 1860 to 1863, 1866 to 1868.

The township is watered by Bangs Lake, Slocum Lake and two or three small ponds.

Bangs Lake takes its name from Justice Bangs, Esq, who was the first settler in the vicinity and Slocum’s Lake from Thomas F. Slocum who was likewise and (sic) early settler in that vicinity.

The lands were originally mostly woodlands and oak openings.  It has however a small prairie, formerly known to some extent as Rices Prairie, lieing (sic) immediatly (sic) south of the village of Volo, containing an area of about six hundred acres.

From the abundant supply of timber in this township, it has become quite thickly settled, the population being made up of an intelligent and industrious class of farmers.  It has two small villages – Wauconda and Volo.  The former is located in the south part of the township upon the west side of Bangs Lake, on the Chicago and McHenry Road.  The latter is located in the North part of the township, upon the route of the Old Lake and the McHenry plank road.  It affords three stores, a butcher shop, a pool room, a dry good store, a hotel, two churches, Methodist and Catholic, and such mechanics as are usually found in like country villages.

Limestone is found in abundance in the vicinity of Volo, and the burning of lime at this place has been a source of considerable profit to individuals who have been engaged in this business.

The village of Volo was originally called Forksville from it being situated at the forks of the McHenry and Chicago and Little Fort road.  Before any house was built here this spot became known as the Forks.

The first school in the township was taught by Mrs. Euphemia Valentine in the fall of (1839) in a house built for the purpose of school in the north east part of the town on Section one.

The first post office in the township was erected at Slocum’s Lake, called Cornelia, but after the village of Wauconda commenced the prosper this office was discontinue and established at this place.

The first religious organization in the township was that of the Baptist, organized in the fall of 1838 by Elder Joel Wheeler of McHenry.

Meetings were held at the house of Mark Bangs at Wauconda and Zebuia Fords two and one half miles east of Wauconda until 1856, when the church called the Methodist church was built in common by all sects and occupied by the Methodist and Baptists each alternate Sabbeth (sic) until Feb, 28, 1870 when the Baptist church and society organized and built a church which was dedicated on the 20th of October, 1870.

The first M. E. church of the township was organized Sept, 3, 1853 under the direction of Rev. Charles French, preacher in charge.

The first minister was Rev. Robert Bealtie.  A house of worship was built at Wauconda in the fall and winter of 1855-6.

Roman Catholic Church was completed and dedicated in Nov. 1877.

The German Catholic Church at Volo was first built in (1860).  It was destroyed by fire before it was completely finished and afterward rebuilt.

The M. E. Church at Volo was built in 1872.

A tribe of the Winnibagoes (sic) are said to have camped on the banks of the Fox River and some unknown tribe on what is now known as the William Davis farm.

Many arrow heads, battle axes, the repository of human bones, were formerly visible in various parts of this township.  One of these remained for some time undisturbed, in the central portion of the village of Wauconda.  It is rumored that at at (sic) present, the bones of an old Indian chief lay under the village Hall.

The Sacs and Foxes are said to have roamed over this township, bartering their possessions for those of the white man.  Some inhabitants of Cuba Township remember having seen Tecumseh.



The village of Wauconda is located in the south part of the township on the west bank of Bangs Lake, was organized in (blank).  The name “Wauconda” was selected it is said, by a young man, then a school teacher at that place, who had been reading an Indian story where in the name occurred, and to which he took a strong fancy.

The name was that of an old Indian chief and was given to the township by the commissioners in accordance with the wishes of the inhabitants as expressed by a petition to the commissioners, unanimously signed, and to which there was no remonstrance, in the following words:

“We the inhabitants of Township 44, Range 9, in the county of Lake sollicit (sic) your consideration to the propriety of sollecting (sic) the name of Wauconda for the above township, it being the name of the most important post office in said town.”

The first town meeting held in this town under the township organization; E. L. Huson, collector; A. J. Seeber, Andrew Cook, and J. T. McKinney, commissioners of Highways; Hazzard Greene and J. H. Wesscher, Justice of the Peace; E. L. Huson and Seth Hill, Constables.

Justice Bangs built the first house in the town of Wauconda in (1836) on the banks of Bang’s Lake.  His biography is given in the notes “on the Township”.

Another early settler was William Tidmarsh who was born in Oxford, England in (1832).  He came to this country in (1857) locating in Wauconda where he now lives.  He opened a blacksmith shop and did well at his trade until 1861, when he enlisted in the Fifty First Illinois Volunteers as leader of the Regimental Band serving in that capacity until mustered out at Corinth Miss, June, 30, 1862.  In Oct 1864 he enlisted as a private in Company A. Eighth Illinois Cavelry (sic), serving until mustered out in Aug (1865).  He returned to Wauconda and resumed his old business continueing (sic) at the same until fourteen years ago when he retired.

In (1856) an association was organized for building and conducting an acadamy (sic) in the village of Wauconda who procured a lot and erected a very large building for that purpose.

In (1857) the association became incorporated by a special act of a legislature procured through the exertions of Hon. William Burbank then a Represenative (sic) from Lake co.  The following persons were chosen as trustees: Justice Bangs, Andrew Cook Thomas F. Slocum, J. R. Wells, and W. M. Burbank, who employed Benton Rogers as principle teacher.

The institution continued in successful operation for about ten years, when it was discontinued and the building was rented to the district for a public school.  In the spring of (1871) the district purchased and thourghly (sic) repaired this building which has ever since been used for the graded school.


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District 85.

The Glynch school district comprised sections 13, 14, 23, and 24 of Wauconda Township.  It is located about two miles northeast of the village of Wauconda in a moderatly (sic) rich farming district.  The main objection is that the soil is clay and the road upon which it is situated is very bad.

At the present writing there are only eleven pupils enrolled representing eight families namely: Wm. Davis, McEwan, Mueller, Dowell, Gossell, Nordmeyer, Wheelock, and Bauer.  This enrollment is very different from those found in the old records, which fact shows us that the old settler family names are lost to the district.  Either the members of the family are all dead or moved away.

Early settlers in this district were: Thomas Glynch, Watson Ladd, James Welch, Owen and Charles Calahan, Patrick Slaven, Patrick Welch, and Mrs. Garland.

Thomas Glynch’s biography: Thomas Glynch was born in Wexford co. Ireland, April, 10, (1813).  He left Ireland in (1820) and located in Conn, then went to New York and came to Lake co., in (1836).  He was very poor when he came here but when he died he owned 365 acres of Lake co. land, part of which were sections 23 and 24 in District 85.

One of the earliest families to come into the district which now bears its name was that of Moses Glynch.  He was born in Wexford co. Ireland and fought in the Revolution of 1798, taking up arms in behalf of the Irish homes against British tyranny.  Although he lived and died in Ireland his name has been known here for many years because his children, dissatisfied with the hard life they had to lead in Ireland, left their home and sought peace and comfort in our free country where they found conditions much more favorable.

There were six children in this family – Antony who died at the age of thirty-four; Mary, who became the wife of Henry Ladd, a native of England.  She died in Wauconda about 1839, her funeral being the first held in that place; Joseph; Thomas; Sarah who was married to R. Gahan and George who died young.  Since four of the children died so young only two: Joseph and Thomas really made their name historical.

Thomas Glynch is the one of this old family that we are especially interested in, since he is the one who gives the name to our district.  He was born in Wexford co. Ireland in (1813) and there was reared to manhood.  His educational advantages were very limited by reading, observation and experience made him a well informed man.  He left Ireland for America with only money enough to pay his passage in (1831) when he was only eighteen years old.  He was accompanied by his sister Mary and her husband Henry Ladd.  In a short time he obtained a position which at least gave him board and clothing.  A little later he went to Conn. where he saved the life of Capt. Nichol, who has served as a sea captain on the ocean during the Revolutionary War and had come to America in (1829).  He remained east for four years and arrived in Chicago about (1834) where he was engaged in Government work for two years.  From here he came to Lake co., about 1836-37 with his brother Joseph. Mr. Glynch was married to Miss Catherine Geary, also a native of Ireland.  Their decendents (sic) are: George, who married Mrs. Mary F. Soules; Sarah A., who married Levi Wait; Harriet; Joseph, who married Miss Nellie Bangs; Mary E. and Cassie L.

Mr. Glynch made farming his life, work and raised himself from a very lowly position to one of welth (sic) and affluence.  He owned 482 acres of land in section s23 and 24 which was half of our district.

He cast his first Presidential vote for Martin Van Buren and was ever afterward a staunch Democrat.  He was a Episcopalian but his wife was a Roman Catholic.

Mr. Glynch died in (1891), aged 78 yrs and was buried in the Wauconda cemetary (sic).

The Davis name has been brought into our district by Sumner Davis who was born in Mass. in (1818).  During his early life he was a teamster in Boston in (1842) he emigrated to the west with his wife and two children and settled in Wauconda Twp.  He entered 160 acres of Government land for which he paid $1.25 per acre.  The first house which he built was a “shack” which was soon replaced by a good substantial log cabin.

At that time many of the Winnibago (sic) Indians were frequent visiters (sic) in the settlement and Mr. Davis has handed down a story which states that there was an Indian Camp on his forms.  This is verified by the fact that so many arrow heads and hatchets are found there.

Prairie fires were more trouble to these early settlers than the Indians as is shown by the fact that upon one occasion Mr. Davis set fire to a field of stubble and although 3 or 4 furrows had been plowed around the field the flames jumped the plowed ground and spread so rapidly that it burned up a large amount of fence belonging to his neighbor Thomas Glynch and himself.  He spent most of the fall in splitting rails to replace it.

In politics he was an old line whig and took an active part in the Tippecanoe and Tyler campaign, driving the team which conveyed the log cabin to Boston.  He died in Jan (1186) and was buried in the Wauconda cemetary (sic).

His wife was Alice A. Dudley, a native of Mass. She was born in (1822).

Their decendents (sic) were: Edwin S. who married Miss Moore; May E. who married Hiram Weir; Francis P. who married Miss Martha Harman; Henry who married Emma Brand; Melvin A. who married Miss Mary Haddon.  He was a soldier in the Eighth Illinois Cavalry in the Revolutionary War.  Emma who was married to Wm. Warren; Wm. E. who married Philena Houghton and who still lives on the old homestead.  He is director of our school which office he has so faithfully fulfilled for 31 years.


Organization of School District.

The Glynch School District was organized in (1862).  The following is a copy of the original record.

At the regular Annual Cession (sic) of the trustees of schools of Wauconda Township April, 7, (1862) a new school district was formed to be known and designated at District No. 81 comprising the territory of sections 13, 14, 23, and 24 of Wauconda Township.  The first meeting was held at the home of Owen O. Callaghan May, 5, (1862) at 1 oclock (sic) P.M. for the purpose of electing three school directors for the respective term of 1, 2, and 3 years to be determined by lot on day of election.

This first meeting was organized by choosing Owen O. Callghan, Thomas Glynch and John Monaghan for Judges and John Monaghan for clerk.

These officers elected the following directors: Thomas Glynch, Owen Kirk, and Charles Mullen.

The second meeting was held at the dwelling of Joseph Glynch May, 19, 1862, they acted upon the following article: To choose a moderator to govern the meeting, To note on the site for the school-house.  Last to authorize the directors to hire money to build a school-house the present season in District 81.  As the result of this meeting a school-house was built which still stands and is in use at present.

On June 5, 1863 a meeting was held at the Glynch School-house for the purpose of raising money to pay for the building, to raise money for school purposes and to authorize the directors to continue the lawsuit commenced against the school trustees.  One and one half % was voted on for payment of school-house and 1% for school purposes.

As has been stated the first school house was built in (1862), financed by taxation. The furniture was all homemade, consisting of benches and desks.  A large box stove for burning wood sat in the middle of the floor.

The first library consisted of an American History, and a first reader.

Among the first teachers were: Steven Raymond, Robert Walker, Frank Selvy, James Murry, and Mary E. Glynch.  They were payed (sic) out of the fund raised by taxation, none of them recieving (sic) more than $30 a month.

Among the early pupils were: John and Robert Mullen, Thomas and Charles Callaghan, Celia McCuster, Frank and James Garland, James and Patrick Welch and the Glynch and Davis children.

The school-house has never been used for social gatherings, such as church services or lyceums, but it always has and is still a meeting place for district meetings.


Latest improvement in Glynch District.

Situated about half a mile south of the Glynch School is Earl Davis’ new barn, completed Nov. 1917, the latest improvement in the district.  It is modern and complete in every way and of good size for 36 1/4 acre farm.

Although the farm is small Mr. Davis gets greater dividends from it than many of the neighboring farmers do from many more acres.

The barn is built of a plank frame on a cement wall 1/2 ft thick, 4 ft high, 40 ft long and 26 ft wide.  It contains two rooms: the main floor and hay loft.

The room on the main floor is 9 ft high, containing 10 windows each with 10 by 12 in glass, and five doors.  These are sufficient for proper lighting and ventilating and convenient entrance and exit for men and stock.

The floor is of cement, divided by an ally running north and south, so that the horse barn, 14 ft wide and 26 ft long, is on the east and the cow barn, 18 ft wide and 26 ft long is on the west.

The horse barn consists of four stalls, each provided with a feeding manger; one double stall 9 ft by 8 ft, one box stall 14 ft by 7 1/2 ft and two single stalls each 5 1/2 ft by 9 ft.  This division of the barn has one door and three windows.

The cow barn contains twelve stanchions, six on each side of the feeding manger that runs east and west.  Each cow has three feet of room, and the six windows and three doors in this division make a very sanitary and comfortable place for them.  The walls of this part are whitewashed giving it a very clean and pleasing appearance.

The ally mentioned is about 8 ft wide.  In the south end, about three ft from the wall is a grain supply being large enough to hold a weeks feed.  This is a very handy device and saves Mr. Davis much time and many steps.

Directly above the center of the ally is the hay chute leading from the lay loft above, which is entered by means of a ladder into the chute and from here 3 steps lead directly into loft.

The silo in connection with this barn is (illegible) ft in diam by 30 ft high.  It is made of cement staves.  The roof is wood through which extends a wooden ventilator.  A chute leads nearly to the top.  At the bottom this leads in a feed room 7 ft 7 in x 7 ft 7 in.  This is built against the north side of the barn and directly connected by a door.

The total cast of the barn was $1100 and that of the silo $300.


War Heroes.

Civil War.

Henry Davis
John McCusher
Alfred and Anson Davis
Jack Linders
William Washburn
William Tidmarsh
The Spanish American War
Darwin Granger
Jay Price
Trace Baseley
David Potter

War of 1812

David A. Davis

The Present War

Ralph Alverson
Harry Alverson
Lyle Broughton
Andrew Bangs
Henry Baseley
William Bartell
Frank Brown
Victor Carr
Clyde Carr
Floyd Carr
Ray Cook
Arthur Daley
Dr. Daton – 1st Leut.
Hollis Derry
Louis Cook
Ed Graber
Paul Haas
Robert Henderson
Paul Hicks
Fred Ferdining
Joe Murphy
Ray Murphy
Alden Murphy
Charles Meyer
John Meyer
Home W. McCoy 2nd Leut.
Leslie Paddock
Ed Phanenstill
Walter Satten
Andrew Sovdon
Charles Pratt
Shorty Ziezkel

Copied by Orville McEvan.


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