The Village of Huntley, founded in 1851, is a rapidly growing community located in southern McHenry County and northern Kane County, bisected by Illinois Route 47 north and south, the Union Pacific Railroad northwest and southeast, and bordered on the south by Interstate 90.
The Blackhawk Wars of 1834 resulted in terms that sent the first inhabitants of the area, Native Americans, to Iowa, thereby opening up the land to its first white settlers. McHenry County was established in 1837, and in 1838 the first settlers, mostly from New England, came to Grafton Township. One of these families, Prescott and Lucy Geer Whittemore, of Grafton, New Hampshire, settled west of the future town. Thomas Stillwell and Eliza Fox Huntley and children, Charles, Harriet, and William arrived in 1846. The Huntleys acquired land north of the future village and later expanded their holdings to the south.
The Chicago and Galena Railroad constructed a railroad in 1851, which reached as far northwest as Huntley’s Grove. The railroad owners hosted an excursion trip on September 5, 1851, which marked the maiden voyage, to Huntley’s Station, and that was the beginning of Huntley (the “Grove” and “Station” words were later dropped). The Chicago Tribune article that described the 1851 excursion trip stated that there were a few frame houses near the railroad and Mr. Huntley soon built a general store there as well.