Huntley, Illinois is known as “The Friendly Village with Country Charm”.
If you are considering moving to Huntley, Illinois, you should know a bit of its history. In this installment of Know Your Town, we look back at the history of Huntley and at how this welcoming town came to be known as “The Friendly Village with Country Charm”.
The Village of Huntley was founded in 1851 by Thomas Stillwell Huntley. Born in 1807, he grew up in Cortland County, New York where he was inspired by his prominent father who owned most of Ellicottville, New York. Thomas excelled from a young age in school and later as a merchant. He was town supervisor, a justice of the peace and a founding member of the Ellicottville First Presbyterian Church.
In 1830, Thomas married Eliza Fox, also a member of an affluent New York family and the sister of a New York State Senator. They had 2 children together and were married until her death in 1873. In 1876, Thomas remarried to Emma Annette Brinkerhoff. His third and last child was born to Emma. Emma was 36 and Thomas Huntley was age 71.
At the age of 39, in 1846, Thomas Huntley left New York behind and set out to Illinois where other family members had settled a few years prior. He bought 680 acres of land in Grafton Township for $1.25 an acre. On today’s map of Huntley that land is at the corner of Conley Road and Route 47. Little did he know at the time that he was moving to Huntley, Illinois!