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Plainfield Local History

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Plainfield’s Local History

The majority of my childhood was spent in Plainfield Illinois, reading the prompt for this paper I thought it would be a great opportunity to gain an understanding of the town I grew up in. Little did I know that I was going to have my hands full trying to find the right information for this history paper. Through my adventures of trying to find valuable information, I learned a great deal about the history of Plainfield, and its importance in the world. I believe that Plainfield played an important role in the history of the nation since 1865, and although it might not have played and enormous role, Plainfield did have an impact.

Plainfield is considered to be the oldest township in Will County’s history.
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Looking at a business directory from 1873-1876 the people of Plainfield all had different jobs for a living. There were Grocery stores, Hardware stores, Druggists, Physician/Surgeons, Furniture stores, a Hotel owned by JW Beggs, and tons of manufacturers where citizens of Plainfield would work. In the early 1900’s jobs started to become a little more specific, and there were much more of them. For Example: Banks, Dentists, Grain Coal and Cement, Plumbing, ad Printerys. The now had restaurants for people to dine in. There were a few businesses that were extremely important to the economy of Plainfield and required lots of employees. First was the Plainfield Grain Company, the company was around from 1912 to 1970 when it was liquidated. But for its time in was a major employer for the people of Plainfield and serviced a great deal of needs for the town. Another Important company was the Townill Tile Factory. Clay was in high demand for farmers who needed to drain their soil, so Heuson Townill started a factory that would did up clay from the DuPage, and form it into tiles. The intense labor it took to create a tile meant Townill had to hire a lot of employees to work in his factory. Finally was the Chicago Gravel Company, which purchased what is currently Lake Renwick. Back in the day, it used to be a pit of gravel, and ballast. It was said that the Chicago Gravel Company was the largest shipper of ballast in the United States. The pit soon filled in with water and during the wintertime, citizens would harvest ice from the
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