Winfield Township History
from the "1874 Atlas & History of DuPage County, Illinois"
This township was settled in 1832 by Erastus and Jude P. Gary, who pitched their tents on the west branch of the DuPage river, within the eastern bounds of this township, and were the first white settlers in the town, and upon thorough investigation they found the soil presenting three distinct sources of wealth to the farmer: The rich rolling prairie awaiting the farmer's plow; fine and well watered grazing lands, and beautiful groves of timber, for fuel and building purposes; and when friends in the east were advised of these facts, the town soon settled up with a class of enterprising and upright citizens, and as early as 1834 such men as J. S. P. Lord, A. Churchill, A. Fowler, Col. J. M. Warren, A. E. Carpenter, E. Galusha, and many others, were added to the settlement. About this time a Baptist church was organized at Warrenville. The western side of this town was settled at an early day, and in 1836 the Baptists, Presbyterians and Methodists built a union church, and worshiped in the same building in brotherly love and unity. the first election under the township organization was held in 1850, and about this time the stations of Turner and Winfield were located.
In 1855 J. B. Turner platted and recorded about twenty-two acres of land under the name of "Turner Junction," and the following year, Dr. J. McConnell platted and recorded about fifty acres as the town of Turner, but by act of subsequent legislation the several plats and additions were merged into one town, under the name of Turner. The corporation is now under municipal control, and is two miles square, with 150 voters, and is the political center of the township. It is thirty miles west of Chicago. One of the finest school buildings in the county is located at Turner. It was erected the past season. It is a substantial brick building, and cost about $25,000- a fine view of which can be seen in this work. Turner is one of the principal railroad centers of the State, the Chicago and Northwestern railroad company, with its various branches, and the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy railroad branch running to Aurora, there connecting with the main line. Forty-six daily trains pass this place, and, with extras, this number is often increased to eighty, averaging from sixty-five to seventy trains per day. In 1854 the Chicago and Northwestern railroad company erected repair shops, which were greatly enlarged in 1864. the manufacture of railroad frogs is extensively carried on, as well as general repairing. Seventy-three men are now employed in this shop; besides, twenty-two engineers and brakemen receive their pay at this point.
Seven thousand dollars is paid monthly for wages. The amount of coal delivered at this point by the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy railroad during the past year has been from 800 to 1,100 cars per month. The freights of this company amount to from $15,000 to $20,000 per month. The gross business of the Chicago and Northwestern railroad company at this point is from $25,000 to $30,000 per month. The telegraph office at this place has ten lines passing through, conveying 5,000 messages monthly. the general management of the railroad shops is under the immediate control of H. H. Lakey, a railroad man of large experience, and Mr. J. B. Trull is the local agent.
The Congregational Church of Turner has a fine, substantial building, which was dedicated in 1869. The cost of the church was about $4,500. Present membership, 40.
The Methodist Episcopal Church was erected in 1850 at a cost, including parsonage, of about $5,000. Present membership, 60.
The United Evangelical Church was organized in 1867, and erected a house of worship in 1870, at a cost of $3,200, and now have a membership of 35.
The German Roman Catholic Church have erected a substantial church building at a cost of about $3,000, and have a large congregation.
WINFIELD STATION (recorded as Fredericksburg) was platted January 25, 1853, by J. P. Doe. It is a station on the main line of the Chicago and Northwestern railroad, and three miles east of Turner. It has one church- the St. John's German Roman Catholic- which waS organized 1867, with twenty members, and has increased to sixty-five. The society has a substantial church, erected 1867. There is one common school, with fifty-eight pupils in attendance.
WARRENVILLE is a small village situated in the southeast corner of Winfield township. It is one of the oldest towns in the county, and is situated on the west branch of the DuPage river. It derived its name from Co. J. M. Warren, who settled in 1833. there are here Baptist and Methodist Churches; also a tannery, grist mill, hotel, post office, stores, etc. The Baptist Church was organized in 1836, by Elder Hinton; a church was erected in 1855, at a cost of about $3,000. The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized about 1854, by Elders Hewes and Olmstead, with seventeen members; present members, thirty-seven. There is one public school at Warrenville, kept in the basement of the M. E. Church, with forty-five scholars. the tannery is owned and operated by Dorus Stafford, is doing a fine business, and is, we believe, the only tannery in the county.