Orangeville, Illinois

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Orangeville is a village in Stephenson County, Illinois, United States. The population was 751 at the 2000 census. The area's earliest white settlers arrived in 1833 and the village was platted in 1851 by John Bower, who is considered the village founder. In 1867 Orangeville was incorporated as a village. The town's central business district contains several 19th century commercial buildings many of which were built during the railroad boom of between 1888–1914. By the time the Great Depression was ongoing, business in Orangeville had started to decline, with the last bank closing in 1932.

Orangeville is about two miles (3 km) south of the Illinois–Wisconsin border and about 35 miles (56 km) west of Rockford, Illinois. The town itself is located in farmland surrounded vale and rises from the Richland Creek on its west end, down High Street and into the central business district, where the Central House hotel occupies the highest lot. Public education in Orangeville is the responsibility of Orangeville Community School District #203 which operates an elementary school and a combination junior and senior high school.



Early history

Before 1837 the area was occupied by Native Americans who utilized it for hunting grounds; the Sioux tribe had a camp near Oneco. Game that populated the Orangeville area included buffalo and deer.[1] John H. Curtis purchased the 80 acres (320,000 m2) of land, which included the area that would eventually become Orangeville, on January 1, 1838 at the Dixon Land Office. Curtis constructed a dam on Richland Creek, and on the creek's west bank erected a gristmill and a saw mill. Curtis died in 1843 and both mills stood idle until John Bower arrived in 1846, with his family, after having visited the area the year before. Bower purchased the 80 acres (320,000 m2) and the mills.[2]

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