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Editor's Notes:

History of Millburn

by Beatrice Anderson (around 1975)

People: T thru Z

Names of some of the pioneer families who settled in the area up to about 1850. Hearing of the rich lands of the new country from relatives already settled here, several other Scottish families came to this locality and made their homes.


Dr. David B. was born December 26, 1827 in Kingsville, Ohio. He came to Millburn 1865. He built, in 1865 the home at the north east corner of what is now U.S. 45 and Millburn Road. He married Josephine Dodge June 15, 1863. Their children were Edith Ione, Ralph, and Edward. Dr. Taylor died at his home in Millburn on August 1, 1904.
(Editor's Note: The Taylor descendents have done much genealogic research about this family and a copy of some of that material is kept in our files.)


John & Isabel (Scotland) 1845. There have been Thains living in the Millburn area since 1845, when the first John Thain (age 78) came to Millburn with his son John. The family came from Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Their home was north of the village about a mile, close to Mill Creek, some distance east of what is now Route 45. It was reached by a private road.

John, Jr. had a family of six children. All except a son, James, left the area when they were grown up.

James married Margaret Jamieson, and they had nine children. One daughter, Elsie Jane married Dr. Homer Leonard, the Millburn doctor. Later Dr. Leonard practiced at Rosecrans, Lake Villa and later in Kansas. All the others, except John A. and Mamie, left the community. John A. remained on the farm, then called Sunny Hill Farm. He raised full blooded Short Horn Cattle and was active in community affairs, being secretary of the Millburn Mutual Insurance Company for twenty-five years.

John A's wife was Hattie Howard. They were the parents of two daughters and a son. Gussie who married Guy Hughes, (she is still living on their farm northwest of Millburn (1980); Hazel married Ernest White, son of William White (Millburn). They went to Montana where they spent the rest of their days on a ranch. James Lyman married Anna Christianson and they took over the operation of Sunny Hill Farm. They had twosons - John Arthur and Alan Lyman.

When the family first came to the area, it is assumed it was John, Jr. who built a mill on Mill Creek. Here oats were hulled and corn was ground, also logs were sawed. When a relative, Alexander Sutherland and his family came from Scotland (1871) he settled near Thains and took over the operation of the mill. It was in use until the late 1890's. Speckt, a native of Germany, was also a near neighbor of Thains. When he left the neighborhood, Thain bought his holding and also that of the Sutherlands.

Mamie Thain married Scott LeVoy and after living in various places settled on a farm just south of the village of Millburn.

In 1912 they had the misfortune to lose their home by fire. At the time the Sutherland house was vacant, so the LeVoys got possession of it and moved it to their farm, where it is in use today.

The LeVoys passed away some years ago. They had two sons - John and James. Both left the neighborhood.

Sunny Hill farm was sold to Mrs. Clifford Rodman, daughter of Stanley Field, president of the National Historical Museum, Chicago, when the Onwentsia Hunt Club came to the Millburn area.

Lyman and his family moved to Montana where they lived for several years, until the farm was returned to the Thains; and he came back to resume the operation of the farm with the help of his sons John and Alan.

Time went on and the farm was sold again this time to Tempel Smith.


John and Mary (Massachusetts) Home 1 mile west of the village. The Thayers were English. The first of the family to come to America came to Braintree, Massachusetts about 1630.

John Thayer, his wife Mary. and their family of eight left Massachusetts at the time of the great westward movement, (1838 - 1839), came to the Millburn area and settled on a farm just west of the new settlement.

Mrs. Thayer was a very religious person, and was one of the charter members of Millburn Church.

Mr. Thayer served as post master, 1853 to 1856.

Son, William, married Janet Strang, daughter of John Strang, Sr., in 1845. Others of the family married and moved away. Two sons remained in the area as farmers. Son, John, the last to pass away - 1925. To settle the estate the farm was sold at auction in 1926. Janet Strang Thayer died in 1912, the last of the famous Strang family who came here in 1839.


George was born in Scotland 1800. He and his wife, Jane Purvis, also born in Scotland in 1800, and family came to this area from New York State in 1839. They settled here along with other Scottish families. Their home was about one half mile north of Millburn, east side of the road. The buildings were back from the road near the creek, as were those of many other settlers in order to have water for the stock, and perhaps later the stream would furnish power for grist and saw mills.

Their family:

George and Jane Trotter were charter members of Millburn Church (September 1840). They became active in activities of the church and community.

Credit is given to George Trotter for the name "Millburn" being given to the little village being established, formerly called Strang's Corner. The little stream, or "burns" as the Scottish people called it, was referred to as the "mill burn", since mills had been built along the stream and in use. So the village became known as Millburn.

George Trotter died 1862, his wife died 1876.


Alexander, son of George and Jane was born in Scotland in 1832. He came with his parents and family to Millburn in 1839. He married Oliva Ames (born 1834) and they made their home on the family farm.

They were the parents of:

Alexander died in 1894, and Olivia in 1909 No descendants live here now.


Peter and Mary, Germany. Settled on what is now known as Kelly Road, east of Crawford Road, south side of the road. Gave land for a school house about 1848-1850. School was known as the Waterbury School. When the attendance dropped the district was joined with the Browe School District, the adjoining district to the east.


Joshua and Margaret Strang, Scottish. Came from Canada 1842. Settled 3 miles south of the village.


Andrew and Sarah, Scotland. Settled north and west of the Village, Deep Lake road.


George and Margaret, Scotland. 1844. Settled north and west of the village.

White - Denman

William J. White was born and raised on a farm northwest of Millburn. The Whites were early settlers coming to the area from Scotland.

About 1875 Mr. White purchased a farm at the north edge of the village of Millburn, east side of the road. Here he built and furnished a home and on December 7, 1876 he was united in marriage with Mary Hughes, the youngest daughter of David and Margaret Hughes, who was born October 19, 1847 on a farm north west of Millburn. The Hughes family came from Wales.

The marriage of William White and Mary Hughes took place in their own new home where they lived for many years.

In addition to managing the farm, Mr. White conducted an undertaking establishment.

Before her marriage Mrs. White was a teacher in nearby district schools. Later she became the first woman licensed as a funeral director in Lake County.

Upon retirement the Whites moved to Waukegan.

They were the parents of two sons - Lloyd and Ernest. Lloyd followed his father's business and Ernest became a rancher in Montana.

Mr. White died in 1923, and Mrs. White in 1933.

When the Whites retired to Waukegan Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Denman (Margaret White (daughter of David and Margaret White) took over the farm. They lived there the rest of their lives. Margaret passed away October 1, 1952. Jesse May 17, 1955.


James and Jessie, Scotland, 1844. Became a member of Millburn church in 1852. Was active in the work of the church, served as clerk for several years.
Today we find several descendants of the early settlers living in Millburn and surrounding communities. With all the changes in property owners during the years, in not many instances do we see the homestead remaining in possession of the same family for over a century. There are a few farms which are being operated and occupied by the fourth and fifth generations of the same family.

Others, some from each generation, have gone out to carry on their life work elsewhere. Some chose to be doctors, others were teachers, and there were ministers, missionaries, and musicians to name a few vocations.

Those who chose to remain here have taken, and are taking, an active part in the building and support of the community.

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