Hampshire

The Town Of Hampshire, Illinois

The charming Village of Hampshire is located in Kane County in Northeastern Illinois. Its population of over 3,000 people enjoys living in an area of rolling hills dotted with farms, homes, and small businesses. New residential developments and small industry has been carefully planned and controlled, maintaining the quiet, peaceful feeling of the area.

Situated next to Interstate 90, the area has distinct economic advantages for businesses and easy access to shopping and commuting for residents. Hampshire is about 39 miles from the Greater Rockford Airport and about 45 miles from Chicago O’Hare International Airport. For private aircraft, Lake-in-the-Hills Airport is 17 miles away.

The Park District has a variety of activities and programs for all ages. Sports include soccer, basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, swimming, and flag football. There are many scheduled social events, trips, and camps, in addition to art classes and fitness classes. Hampshire also has excellent schools and public services, making it an ideal town to raise a family. The village has taken on the challenge to uphold its character and plan carefully to secure its future.

Hampshire History

“Hampshire was settled in 1839 along the Galena-Chicago Road north of the present village. Early farmers raised livestock, corn, and grain. In 1840 the people met to name the township. After a lengthy discussion, no name could be agreed upon. Finally, Enoch O. Garland rose up and suggested that the township be named after the state his wife had come from, New Hampshire. The name of Hampshire was unanimously agreed upon that day.

The first settlers staked their claims before the government came to survey. In many cases land disputes ended in bitter law suits and bloodshed. Yet, in Hampshire most matters were settled peacefully. Those who had pre-empted land before it came into the market in 1842 had a year to raise the $1.25 per acre price.

The Muirhead family was among the first settlers in Kane County, building their farm in 1860. Their original farmhouse was replaced in the 1940’s with a Usonian-style home designed by the famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. The home remains in the family today and has been completely restored. The surrounding 800 acres of farmland has been purchased by the Kane County Forest Preserve to be planted with native prairie wildflowers and grasses.

For the last several years, the village has been in transition from an agricultural center to a suburban bedroom community.”

Hampshire Trivia & Fun Facts

“Median household income is above state average.
Median house value is above state average.
Unemployed percentage is significantly below state average.

A wide-spreading fire swept through the Hampshire area in 1839, bringing terrible destruction. The fire swept from the Kishwaukee River to the Fox River, burning miles of prairie grasses, animals, pens, and stables.

Over 1/3 of the settlers in Hampshire were of German ancestry.”