Nancy Boynton was born in New Hampshire in 1820 and was educated to be a teacher there. In 1838 she came to Deer Grove with her parents to join her brother, David, who had already settled here. Her first teaching position here was at Bangs Lake (later Wauconda) in the cabin of Judge Bangs. When the settlers at Deer Grove were ready to start a school, she taught in a log cabin on Ezekiel Cady’s farm. She was paid $1.00 a week and boarded in the school children’s homes. In 1843 she married Mason Sutherland who had come here from Vermont and had a farm at Hicks and Dundee Roads. The Sutherlands had six children. Nancy died in 1904. — Connie Rawa
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Anson Baldwin, born in New York in 1835 to Lydia Root and John Baldwin, traveled by covered wagon to Illinois with his family in 1844. They bought government land near Deer Grove and built a log cabin. Their farm was where the Palatine Golf Course on Northwest Hwy. is now. Anson enlisted in Co. E of the 113th Illinois Volunteer Infantry in 1862 and fought in the Civil War for three years. Shortly after he returned home he went to a party where he met Maryette Castle who had come here from Michigan to visit a cousin. They were married that August and spent the rest of their lives on the Baldwin farm. They had four children: Ernest, Edson, Edna, and Elode. Along with other church and village service, Anson helped form the Palatine Memorial Association. This group worked to beautify local cemeteries and organized Decoration Day (now Memorial Day) services. For many years Baldwin read the roll of the dead and then walked in the parade to the cemeteries to decorate the graves of those soldiers. He died in 1926, one of the last Civil War veterans in Palatine. — Connie Rawa
With business in the doldrums in 1835, the three Lebanon, New Hampshire, brothers decided to strike out for the West. Their father gave them each a thousand dollars. Having heard that Indian lands east of the Mississippi River were opening up, the Ela brothers set out. The youngest, George, chose an area the Indians called Deer Grove, just southwest of present-day Quentin Road and Lake Cook Road. He farmed there for nine years. 156 years later an archaeologist discovered remnants of that first homestead in Palatine Township: a square nail, handforged door hinge, doorlock, harness rivets, trigger guard, bridle cheek piece, barrel hoop, cattle nosering, pocket knife and handforged chains.
For many years Palatine residents drove into Deer Grove to collect wood for their stoves. In 1911 Palatine veterinarian Dr. John Wilson developed a portion of the grove along Quentin Road into a recreational complex called Deer Grove Park. This park flourished with the coming of the Palatine, Lake Zurich and Wauconda Railroad. Fearing commercialization, far-sighted Chicagoans realized that the grove needed to be preserved for future generations to enjoy. A legal team under Palatine attorney Ralph Peck Sr. initiated condemnation proceedings against 300 defendants who owned 1200 acres in 102 parcels. It took many battles in court to create the jewel we call the Deer Grove Forest Preserve.
Indian Day, September, 1920, was the brainchild of the Indian Fellowship League and its sponsor, the Chicago Historical Society. Its purpose was to renew American Indian traditions and rituals and reacquaint America with Indian culture. Deer Grove was deemed an appropriate place for the encampment and it was a tremendous success. Siouan Chief Buffalo-Bear and Menominee Chief Oshkosh were among 200 Indians to take part in the celebration. 60,000 people viewed the spectacle over four days and the traffic jams on the skinny roads were horrendous. 200 Palatine Boy Scouts kept crowds a respectable distance from the guests of honor and Pathe Weekly caught it all on a newsreel.