History

of marquardt school district 15


in the beginning...

The passage of the Northwest Ordinance in 1787 brought large numbers of people into the territory that is now Marquardt District 15 and established government control of the area. At the time of the Northwest Ordinance, the land comprising this area was under the control of the Pottawatomie Indians, one of the three subdivisions of the Ojibwas who were also part of the family of Algonquins. During the War of 1812, the Pottawatomie supported the British and were prominent at the Fort Dearborn massacre. Peace with the Pottawatomie tribe came through the treaties at Chicago in 1832 and 1833.

Originally, this entire area was part of the Great North Prairie, covered with coarse blue stem grass that grew from two to eight feet tall. Most of the main thoroughfares that comprise the approximately six and one-half square miles of Marquardt District 15 developed from former Indian trails. Glen Ellyn Road, North Avenue and Lake Street were all Indian trails of the Pottawatomie tribe that connected several encampments. Army Trail Road was basically a Winnebago trail that led from Chicago to the great Winnebago village where Beloit, Wisconsin now stands. Army Trail Road is also associated with the Black Hawk Indian War.

This general area had just been settled and a first crop planted during the uprising in 1832. The settlers stopped work on their homes and farms and joined together to build Fort Payne located just north of Naperville. Andrew Jackson, 7th President of the United States, ordered General Winfield Scott to proceed with the force of regulars to the scene of warfare and to assume operations. General Scott and his army came through Buffalo, New York, around the Great Lakes to Chicago. His army took the Winnebago trail west establishing the name Army Trail Road.

The first actual roads in this area were corduroy roads built by the settlers. These were necessary due to the number of waters crossing DuPage County and spring flooding. As time went on, the area became known for the number of mills and small farms that developed, as well as the establishment of the Illinois Central Railroad. The railroad was built in 1891 as a single track used mainly for milk pick-ups from the various farms. With the amount of settling in the area, the various Indian mounds, chipping stations, and signal stations that had formerly existed began to disappear, and little evidence is left at the present time.

 

a school was built...

Two important outcomes of the Northwest Ordinance in the state of Illinois were the disallowance of slavery and the establishment of free public education since the Ordinance provided money for schools. Education in this area first took place by the subscription system whereby a group of settlers would band together and employ a teacher to teach their children throughout a term. There were few teachers, the salaries were low, and education really did not play a prominent part in the area until the conclusion of the Civil War.

The original Marquardt School was built in 1893 and was located at the intersection of Army Trail Road and Glen Ellyn Road. This early school was a wooden-frame building that was replaced in 1934 with a two-room brick building, located at the same site. The school district began to grow in earnest in the late 1950s with the development of the Village of Glendale Heights.

The Village of Bloomingdale descended from a settlement called Meacham Grove started by Cylas, Harvey, and Lyman Meacham. They built a sawmill and sold land after their arrival in the area from Vermont in 1833. Lake Street, which runs through the center of Bloomingdale, developed from a mound builders trail. Several of the older area residents repeat a story heard during their childhood about the dissatisfaction of some of the farmers in the area with the placement of their school, located on Swift Road, approximately two blocks south of Army Trail Road. Some of the farmers would bring their teams of horses over on a weekend and move the school to a more convenient location for their children to attend. This, of course, upset the other farmers who felt the prior placement was more convenient, and they in turn would move the school back to its former location.

 

and today...

At present, Marquardt School District 15 is a northwest suburban elementary district in DuPage County about 25 miles west of Chicago. The District serves approximately 2700 students from the eastern portion of Glendale Heights, parts of Addison, the southern section of Bloomingdale, unincorporated Lombard, and the northern section of Glen Ellyn Countryside. There are four K-5 elementary buildings: G. Stanley Hall School (1961), Charles G. Reskin School (1964), Black Hawk School (1976), and Winnebago School (1973). The Marquardt Middle School (1974) houses students in grades 6-8 on two adjoining campuses.