Arlington Heights Information
Arlington Heights lies mostly in the west side of Wheeling Township, with territory in adjacent Elk Grove and Palatine townships, in an area originally notable for the absence of groves, elephants, and trees. The General Land Office began selling land here in 1835. In 1853 Jack Tobin, originally from Oswego, New York, persuaded the Illinois & Wisconsin Railroad to make a stop here, and laid out a town called Dunton. Dunton Street, named after William Dunton, is the village’s base line that splits addresses east and west, with Campbell Street splitting north and south.
By 1850 the area had largely changed its ethnic composition, as many German farmers from Saxony had arrived during the 1840s. John Klehm might serve as an example; he was at first a potato farmer, supplying the Chicago market, and in 1856 began a nursery for cherry, apple, and pear trees, later moving into spruce, maple, and elm, and then flowers. By the late 1850s the area had become noted for its truck farms, sending hair products as well as vegetables to Chicago on the railroad.
The little town at the depot slowly grew, acquiring a blacksmith, a cheese factory, a hardware store, and a hotel. It incorporated as Arlington Heights in 1887, when its population numbered about 1,000. Most were farmers, but they were joined by others who worked in Chicago since Arlington Heights was an early commuter suburb.
The town developed religious institutions that reflected the origins of its citizens. The first churches were Presbyterian (1856) and Methodist (1858), with a German Lutheran church following in 1860.; Catholics built it’s first church in Arlington Heights in 1905.