Chatsworth, Illinois

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Chatsworth is a town in Livingston County, Illinois, United States. The population was 1,265 at the 2000 census.

Contents

Geography

Chatsworth is located at 40°45′15″N 88°17′35″W / 40.75417°N 88.29306°W / 40.75417; -88.29306 (40.754256, -88.293023).[1]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.9 square miles (2.3 km²), all of it land.

History

Founding of Chatsworth

Chatsworth was laid out by Zeno Secor (1809 – 25 October 1875) [2] and Cornelia Gilman on 8 June 1859. Both founders were from New York. Secor was a member of the Board of Directors of the company that was building the Peoria and Oquawka Railroad. [3] He was a noted civil engineer and marine engine designer, who was involved with a number of railroads. Secor was later president of the Toledo Peoria and Western Railroad. Secor is best known for building a number of ironclad warships for the Union Navy. Cornelia Gilman was perhaps the person of that name who was the wife of Samuel Gilman, another director of the firm, and the man who gave his name to the nearby town of Gilman, Illinois [4] The town of Chatsworth is perhaps named for Chatsworth House, the home of the Duke of Devonshire.[5] Trains were running along the Peoria and Oquawka Railroad before the town was platted. The railroad soon became the Toledo, Peoria and Western.

Original Design of Chatsworth

Chatsworth was surveyed by Nelson Buck, the County Surveyor of Livingston County.[6] However the plan used was virtually identical to that used at Fairbury, including the street names, and very similar to that used at Gridley, El Paso and other places along the Peoria and Oquawka Railroad. This suggests that the railroad supplied the plan from which Buck worked. Like these other towns, Chatsworth was centered a long narrow depot grounds rather than a public square. The plat of the Original Town was exceptionally large, covering 160 acres (0.65 km2) and consisting of forty-two blocks, most located north of the railroad. The early depot was on the south side of the tracks.[7] Block 16 of the plat was not divided into lots and 1878 was being called the City Park. It was eventually planted with over 500 maple trees and a pavilion was added in 1962.[8]

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