The Town Of Grundy County, Illinois
Located along the Illinois River, with the historic Illinois & Michigan Canal running through it, Grundy County is a progressive area poised for growth while preserving a sense of history and natural beauty. The excellent transportation network, Interstates 80 and 55, provides Grundy County residents and industries an opportunity for metropolitan experiences combined with a quality of life that is second to none.
Each of the twelve communities of Grundy County has its own special mix of commercial, industrial, recreational, and residential development. From beautifully preserved downtowns, to an affordable housing market, to fully developed industrial parks, Grundy County has that hometown feel and immediately makes visitors welcome. With more than 420 square miles of land and approximately 35,000 residents, Grundy County has room to grow. The county offers small-town living with city amenities as well as opportunity for businesses to start small and expand to their fullest potential. Grundy County is comprised of the communities of Morris, Coal City, Minooka, Gardner, Diamond, Mazon, South Wilmington, Braceville, Carbon Hill, Verona, Kinsman, and East Brooklyn. Located only one hour from Chicago, these 12 communities are centrally located to major markets and provide competitive land prices and excellent local education and access to 36 colleges and universities within 90 miles. The quality of life in Grundy County is superior, thanks to its resources including public works, health care facilities, and “hometown” attractions.
Located off two major expressways, Grundy County is a place that offers comfortable and affordable living. The first permanent settlers of Grundy County arrived in 1831. Morris was incorporated in 1842 and named after Isaac Newton Morris, a commissioner with the I&M Canal. The first post office was built for $35 the same year. Ten years later, in 1852, people arrived to what is now the Village of Minooka by way of the Rock Island and Peoria Railroad. Minooka, meaning “contentment” or “good land” in the Potawatomi language, was incorporated in 1869. Many of the buildings that now house businesses date back to the mid to late 1800’s. Progress was brisk. The first annual Grundy County Agricultural Society Fair was celebrated in 1853. The following year, First Central School, a wooden three-story building, was erected. During the same year, Chapin Park was created and Grundy County’s first bank was formed. Dodson & Clapp established a match factory and the first wooden river-bridge opened.
By 1865, Grundy County had grown to a population of 12,959. The new town of Diamond was laid out in 1873, and in 1875 Coal City opened its first mine. Verona was platted in 1877. Braceville split from Main Township in 1898, while South Wilmington organized as a village in 1899. East Brooklyn was incorporated in 1903.
One hundred years after the arrival of the first permanent settlers, Grundy County had accumulated a list of remarkable events and people. Prior to his debate with Douglas in Ottawa, Lincoln had visited the Morris home of William Hopkins; Theodore Roosevelt had campaigned in Morris; and Jane Adams spoke at the Congregational church. Grundy County residents took advantage of endless improvements, including better transportation, better health care, more communications, more recreational facilities, reliable energy supplies, and dependable public works. A number of clubs formed, schools were built, First Trust & Savings Bank merged with First National Bank, and a park was developed to include a swimming pool and dance pavilion. To this day Grundy County continues to evolve in order to better the lives of its residents.