Wauconda, Illinois

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Wauconda is a village in Lake County, Illinois, United States. The population was 9,448 at the 2000 census, estimated to be 12,614 in 2006, and is projected to reach 13,811 by 2011.[1] It is the site of the Wauconda Bog Nature Preserve, a National Natural Landmark.

Contents

Government

Wauconda's local government consists of a Mayor, Clerk, and six-member Board of Trustees who are elected to four-year overlapping terms of office. Village Board meetings are held on the first and third Tuesday of the month. Committee of the Whole meetings are held the second, fourth and sometimes fifth Tuesday of the month. All meetings begin at 7:00 p.m., and the agendas as well as the approved minutes can be accessed on the Village website at www.wauconda-il.gov.

Village Elected Officials

The Village Administrator oversees all Village departments and serves as a liaison between the Village residents and the Board. The Administrator supervises the daily operations of the Village with the assistance of a highly qualified full-time professional staff, including the Chief of Police and the Directors of the following Departments: Public Works, Finance, Human Resources/Risk Management, IT, Environmental Quality, Building and Zoning, and Economic Development.

History

Traditions say that Wauconda was named for an Indian Chief by that name, who is buried somewhere on the southern bank of Bangs Lake, where the town hall was later built. The word translated from its Indian language means “Spirit Water.”

When the first settlers arrived there were no Indians, as they had moved westward. In 1840, a remnant of the Winnebago tribe lived on the shores of the Fox River and came to Wauconda to trade. Several Indian mounds were found near here, and it is probable there was an encampment at Slocum Lake.

In 1836, Elihu Hubbard built a log cabin on the bank of the lake. In 1848, Justus Bangs, the first settler, built a home where the town hall now stands, and it was for him the lake was named. Wauconda was organized in 1849, and the first town meeting was held the first Tuesday in April (IE: April 2nd), 1850.

Most of the early settlers came from New England and New York. They came by covered wagon and some came through the Erie Canal and the Great Lakes.

The first main street ran along the bank of the lake and the streets leading into it were lanes. They used to ford the inlet and outlet of the lake.

The stage route from Chicago to Janesville, Wisconsin went through Wauconda. Ambrose Bangs drove the stage from Chicago to Janesville for eight years. It took him one week to make the round trip.

The first post office was at Slocum Lake, but the settlement did not prosper so on June 27, 1849, it was moved to Wauconda. The first postmaster at Wauconda was Hazard Green.

The first Baptist church was organized in the fall of 1838 by Elder Joel Wheeler of McHenry. A church was built by the Methodists in 1856 on the Common and was occupied by both Methodists and Baptists on alternate Sundays until February 1870, when the Baptists organized and in the summer of 1870 built a church at the cost of $5,500.00, dedicated October 30, 1870, free of debt. The Methodist church was organized Sept. 3, 1852, under the direction of Rev. C. French.

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