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Editor's Notes:

History of Millburn

by Beatrice Anderson (around 1975)


1. Church Parsonage

In 1873 members of Millburn Church undertook the construction of a parsonage. Until that time there had been no residence for the pastor. Much of the labor on the house was donated by local men. It was ready for occupancy in 1874. The Rev. C. M. Binham and family were the first to occupy the parsonage.

4. Strang's Store

The corner store built in 1856 by Robert Strang.

In 1856, the red brick corner store was erected in Millburn by Robert Strang. On September 17 of that year an agreement was made, and entered into between Stephen Sherwood and Robert and "Jake" John Strang for the bricks to be used in the construction of the corner store and a home for the "Jake" Strangs (brick house east of Millburn) the cost of the bricks to be $4.50 per thousand. Brickyard was in the vicinity of what is now Lake Villa. Robert's building was 20'x30', two stories high. The first floor was used for the store and living quarters for the family were on the second floor. Farmers brought in eggs and butter to be traded for cotton goods, dishes, lamps, and staple groceries sold in the store. Business thrived during Civil War days, because not until later did general stores become common. Here local residents from time to time and passed on the news of the day. Some of the prices for those days - tea $2.00 a pound, rake 50 cents, axe and handle $1.50, cord of wood 84 cents, 20 lb. flour 50 cents, wages on farm $21.00 a month, and 1/2 day threshing 50 cents. In 1874 Robert Strang retired and his son, John M. Strang took over the operation of the Corner Store. An attached house was built in 1880 to provide living quarters for Mr. and Mrs. John Strang.

In 1956 the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Millburn Corner Store was observed. A souvenir historical booklet was published by the Fosters who had purchased the building in 1949 and operated the store at the time of the celebration. The Fosters had restored the store and living quarters including the attached house which had been built about 1880 for Robert Strang's son, John M. Strang, who had taken over the management of the store when his father retired.

The store was operated by the Fosters until 1965, when nearby supermarkets made it difficult for the little independent grocer to remain in business. Mr. Foster died January 27, 1960, Mrs. Foster or someone had converted the building into four apartments when she died October 10, 1967. Other storekeepers before the Fosters were: About 1921-1922 Mrs. Wetzel's Ice Cream Parlor, Bert Wallace, Groebli, Huth Family, Hairell Family. NR#2, BA-2#7

5. Strang's Store Addition

Addition built in 1880. In 1874 Robert Strang retired and his son, John M. Strang took over the operation of the corner store. An attached house was built in 1880 to provide living quarters for John and Mary Jane Strang. There was a second floor spacious parlor as well as a smaller first floor one. NR#3, BA-2#8

6. Site of Robert Strang's first home

(Log cabin) replaced by a frame home (1839).

7. Where log cabin stood

Used as a house of worship and school (1890).

8. Robert Strang Retirement Home

The log cabin, no longer adequate, was replaced by a frame house which was sold to William Stewart, who in turn cut it in half. One of the halves was moved across the road to Pantall's where it later became a barn. The other half was sold to George Strang, Jr. and was moved a short distance south (east side of road) to be used as a barn and tool shed. In 1867 the frame house was replaced by one of the finest homes in Lake County at that time, a large yellow brick residence tastefully furnished and situated in the midst of well kept grounds, adorned by beautiful shade trees.

The carpenter work was done by a well known workman of that day, also a Scottish pioneer, William Bonner. The masonry work was done by William Mavor, who later married daughter Mary Strang. In 1893, Mr. Mavor was one of the contractors for the World's Fair buildings at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The exterior walls are of brick veneer. The bricks were Milwaukee Cream City bricks, (Research in Museum files on bricks) brought from Milwaukee by horse and wagon. It is said that the home cost $10,000.00. The new home had a double parlor, dining room, kitchen, butler's pantry, utility room, open stair in the front hall, and seven bedrooms with ample closet room, a widow's watch on the third level, a full basement and even a bath room with a zinc bath tub. Many years later when the son Robert L. was married to Erma Hughes an addition was built on the west side to make living rooms for them. That was removed in the early 1920's.

Shortly after the home was built it received the name Albion Place, so named, it is said, because Mrs. Strang came from a place by that name in Scotland. The Robert Strang home ws sold by the Strang family in 1950 to Philip Anderson. He restored the old home and the barn and conducted an antique business there. The place was given the name "Millburn Manor". At times he had tours through the home, all furnished with beautiful antiques.

In May 1967, the 100th anniversary of the home was celebrated with "open house", and guided tours through the home and antique shop.

The Robert Strangs were the parents of twelve children, six lived to adulthood. NR#4, BA-2#9

9. George L. Stewart Home

Built in 1870's. Family moved to Waukegan in the early 1890's. House to west of church moved in October, 1967 by Phil Anderson to west side of Hwy 45 north of the Millburn Manor. NR#10, BA-2#6

10. Millburn Church

Millburn has had four houses of worship since its beginning. The first, a log cabin which served as church and school, was built in 1840, west of the Robert Strang home and across the road north of the present church.

A new "meeting house" was erected across the road on land donated by Mr. George Strang, where the present church now stands, and was dedicated June 1, 1847.

The third building, (a frame building with steeple and belfry) was built in 1867. It was destroyed by fire January 12, 1935. It was replaced by the present brick structure in 1936-1937. Dedication was June 3, 1937. In 1968, an educational building was added in order to better serve the growing church.

In this new land the religious life of the settlers was not neglected. In 1840, the Reverend Flavel Bascam, an agent for the Home Missionary Society came into the area and organized the Congregational Church with fourteen charter members.

Services were held regularly in the little log meeting house (across the street north of the present church) in charge of a visiting pastor or the deacons.

Thirty pastors have served the church during the years, three of them have served a combined number of sixty-three years: "Father" Dodge for eighteen years, the Rev. Mr. Safford for fourteen years, the Rev. Mr. Messersmith for thirty-one years. Nor was religious life neglected. In September 1840, the Reverend Flavel Bascom, and agent for the American Home Missionary Society, organized the Congregational Church with fourteen charter members. In his auto-biography Flavel Bascom wrote: "August 2, 1840 I preached in a new meeting house, to a new congregation. The little church I there organized has had a subsequent history of much interest, --- and is still ranked among our able and useful churches. It is called the Church of Millburn."

The first resident pastor was the Reverend William Bradford Dodge, affectionately called "Father" Dodge. He and his family came from Salem , Massachusetts in 1844, where he had been a teacher for many years. He had hoped to retire in this new land, but there was work here for him to do. He was 61 years of age at the time he became pastor, and he served for 18 years. He endeared himself to all and was affectionately called "Father" Dodge. NR#12, BA-2#11

11. The Masonic Lodge

William H. Strang, son of George, built store building in _______ and it was in business there until 1888 when the building was sold to the Masonic Lodge. New building in 1955. Although several fraternal organizations were active during the early years in Millburn only one has served the community continually for over a century. Early records show the first communication was held by special dispensation from the Grand Lodge on June 8, 1853 at Antioch, Illinois. The communications were called on the first Thursday preceding the full moon; the installation fee to be one dollar and the dues seventy-five cents per year, payable in two installments.

A charter was granted October 3, 1853. The first communication under the charter was held October 13, 1853, in Antioch, Illinois. On October 28, 1869, the Grand Lodge granted the request for Millburn as the permanent location of the Lodge.

Meetings were held in the John Hughes Hall (southeast corner of Route 45 and Millburn Road) until the William Strang store was purchased by the Masonic Lodge of Millburn January 1, 1888 for eight hundred fifty dollars. The building was remodeled to fit the needs of the Lodge and all meetings were held there until the building of the new temple.

On September 4, 1892 Masons residing in Antioch formed their own separate organization to be known as Sequiot Lodge No. 827. On October 9, 1940 the local lodge was granted permission to change the name for Antioch Lodge to Millburn Lodge.

In 1955 the old Lodge hall was torn down and materials hauled away to be used in some other construction, and a new modern building was built. It was ready for dedication September 24, 1956.

It should serve the community well for many years. BA-2#12

12. George Strang Home

Built in 1846. Their first home was of frame construction, built on his land, south of the site of the present Masonic Temple. Fire destroyed the home in the early 1850's and about 1857 a brick home similar to brother "Jake's" replaced the first home. It was torn down in 1932 by Marcus Hoffman and was replaced by a one story brick home BA-2#13.

13. John A. Strang.

John was a son of George. He married Emma Gillings in 1881, built this home and lived there the rest of their lives. John was a farmer and cattle buyer, and since he was out on the road (the pike) he was called "Pikey" Strang. BA-2#14

14. Mrs. Yule's house

No record has been found of the year it was built. BA-2#15

15. The Creamery

The Creamery in Millburn came into being in the late 1890's. It was operated by a man named Wienke. (No longer exists.)

16. The Wienke Home

It is assumed this home was built about the same time as the creamery. This land was a part of the acreage owned by Jake Strang. BA-2#16

17. William White

Farmer and undertaker. Home was built in 1876. First Millburn Cemetery was located a short distance south east of this home. It (the cemetery) was moved to a new location (Millburn Cemetery) in 1868. BA-2#17

18. Peter Strang, Jr.

Home built in 1876. He built a home north of crossroads in Millburn (south of William White's east side of route 45). The home was torn down in 1976. BA-2#18

19. Blacksmith Shop

(No longer exists.)

BA-2#19. Wm. Stewart Home

Built early 1900's. NR#11

20. Richard Pantall Home

Built in 1868. When Richard Pantall and his wife, Charlotte, came to this area a small piece of land was purchased for a home in 1858. Two or three years later they added to the original purchase.

Mr. Pantall set up a cobbler and paint shop in front of Dr. Leonard's home. He and Dr. Leonard were close friends. (That house has been known as the Dr's house for many years.)

The Pantall's first home was a three room ______ roofed house a trifle west and north of the present house.

When the present home was built the shop was moved into the former dwelling.

The house was built by local skilled carpenters about 1868. The Pantalls lived there until about 1910 when they moved to Chicago. Some tenants of the Pantall house have been:

NR#16, BA-2#21

BA-2#20. Martin Home

Was built in 1908 when Ed Martin and Eva Kennedy Taylor were married. They lived in the home to celebrate their golden wedding there. They both passed away in 1960. NR#17

21. Martin's Store

In 1861, Richard Pantall built and opened a shop and general store where he was in business until about 1897 when he turned the store over to Ed Martin who continued the business until 1958.

The front part of the present store was constructed in 1862. Some years later the back part of the store and a basement were added.

Besides selling groceries and general merchandise, Mr. Pantall was Millburn post master 1864 - 1904 when rural delivery began and the mail came from Wadsworth post office.

He had the distinction of service as post master longer than any other in Lake County.

Upon his retirement Mr. Pantall sold the business to Ed Martin who had been associated with him since 1887.

Mr. Martin continued in the business for another fifty years.

Then several tenants leased the Store.

In 1958, at the age of 84, Ed Martin owner of Lake County's oldest operating general store, and one time supervisor of Newport Township for 12 years, retired after being associated with the store for 70 years. Coming to Millburn in 1887 at the age of 14, he went to work for Mr. Richard Pantall in the Millburn Store. Twenty years later Mr. Pantall turned the business over to Mr. Martin. The Martin Store was a popular place over the years. Here could be found boots and shoes, paint and hardware, men's work clothes, yard goods, notions, groceries, meats, fruits and vegetables. And who could forget the bag of candy when the bill was paid!

Here politics were argued, all problems of the community solved, as men sat around the pot-bellied stove and ate crackers from the cracker barrel and cheese from a 50 pound cheddar cheese.

The building is owned by Mr. Martin's son Richard P. Martin of Los Angeles, and an antique shop replaces the old general store. NR#9, BA#22

(Editor's note: This is the building that houses our museum. Richard Martin willed it to the HMCA, Inc.)

22. Sammy Smith Store and residence

South half of present building, 1856. NR#8, BA#24

BA-2#23. Haisma Cottage

Built in 1926. NR#15

23. Doctor's House

The house directly south of Sammy's Smith's has been called the Dr.'s House for many years, because it was the home of three of Millburn's doctors.

Dr. Homer Leonard was the first doctor to come to Millburn. The year was 1858. His home was a very small house with a store front.

Richard Pantall was a friend of Dr. Leonard's and when the Pantalls came to Millburn they stayed with him until they got their own dwelling built a little farther north.

Mr. Pantall carried on his shoe repair business there until his own shop was ready.

Dr. Leonard sold his place to Dr. Tombaugh who came to Millburn in 1884.

Dr. Leonard married Elsie Thain, (sister of John A. Thain, aunt of Lyman Thain). After their marriage they lived in the house next door across from the Masonic Temple. They moved to Rosecrans and then to Kansas City. Dr. Leonard died in 1921.

It is supposed Dr. Tombaugh was responsible for adding several rooms and remodeling the house.

He left Millburn and went to Waukegan where he continued his practice for several years.

Dr. Homer E. Jamison came to Millburn and established his practice. He, too, added rooms to the home and made it more modern. In connection with his offices he had his own drug store. He made up his own prescriptions, no need to go to the drug store, just wait a short time and he had it ready.

The beloved doctor served the community well for many years. One of the last of the old country doctors.

His wife, Mattie, and daughters, Vida and Doris, were active in the community, too.

When Delco Plants (to generate electricity) were common in the country, the doctor had such a plant in his basement, also the plants which generated power for the church and the hall were there, as neither place had anywhere to house them.

If a group stayed too late at night at the hall or church, there came the warning that the lights would soon be out! NR#14, BA#25

24. Dr. Taylor Home

This home was built by Dr. Taylor in 1865.

Dr. David B. Taylor 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. Dr. Taylor died at his home in Millburn on August 1, 1904. NR #7, BA-2#26

25. (No Name) House

It is believed that a part of this house was built in the 1850's by whom is not known. NR#6, BA-2#27

26. George Jamieson House

"Jake" Strang's adopted daughter, Jessie built, 1897, a retirement home for her own father, George and his wife "Aunt Fanny" Dodge Jamieson in 1897.(West end of farm). It is a modest frame home still in good repair. NR#13, BA-2#28.

27. "Jake" Strang House

He bought his own farm just east of the village. In 1853 he married Helen Trotter, daughter of a neighbor, and they made their home in a log cabin situated on a knoll overlooking the creek.

In 1856 they built a substantial brick home on the farm. The cost of the bricks $4.50 per thousand. (See Corner Store for info about bricks.)The walls were of double brick, and field boulders were used in the foundations. Hand hewn timbers are in evidence in the frame work. At the time the house was built it had a flat roof, but that did not prove to be satisfactory so a pitched roof was added.

The carpenter work was done by William Bonner. All the wood trim inside was made by a hand lathe, likewise the wooden trim on the outside.

"Jake" and Helen Strang were faithful and earnest workers in the community and the church. He was a warm supporter of all education and religious interest, and the worthy poor numbered him among their friends.

He served as a deacon of the church for six years and as church clerk for several years.

For fifty years Helen Strang, known as Aunt Helen, was teacher of the primary class in the Sunday school.

The "Jake" Strangs had one adopted daughter, Jessie, (born the daughter of the George Jamieson's). Jessie married the local minister, George Mitchell, in 1902. They were the parents of six children. NR#1, BA-2#29

29. Blacksmith Shop

(No longer exists.)

30. David Hughes, Welsh

Home was probably built in the early 1870's. After his death his widow lived here (mother of Mary Hughes White). Later Captain Pollack occupied the home. BA-2#30

31. Hughes Hall

Early 1860's on the same lot to the north of the home, Mr. Hughes built a hall, known as Hughes Hall. On the first floor, Mr. Hughes, undertaker and cabinet maker, had his work shop. He made coffins to order, in advance if so desired. He served as the local undertaker for many years. He made furniture and some of his work is still in local homes. There were but a few fine houses within a radius of five miles of Millburn which he had not built or repaired. Hughes Hall was the scene of many social gatherings and meetings - the Modern Woodmen, The Foresters, the Masons, and the Christian Church used the hall for their meetings, on the upper floor. (no longer exists)

32. John H. Hughes

He brought a lot, the southeast corner of what is now Millburn Road and U.S. 45, and there he built their home. There were three rooms downstairs and two rooms upstairs. As finances allowed and growing family demanded, other rooms were added including the south and north bay windows.

Other owners of the home - Bater, Spring, and Messner. (No longer exists) BA-2#31

The home was torn down in 1974. A replica of the Hughes home was built by Phil Anderson. NR#18

33. James Jamieson Home

Built in 1868. Mr. Jamieson was Scottish. Was a farmer, come to retire in Millburn. NR#5, BA-2#32

34. Jamieson Shop

He built a "tinker" shop. near the side walk where he did repair work. He also did carpenter work. (No longer exists.)

35. George Strang, Jr.

Built this home. In later years many different tenants lived here. BA-2#34.

36. Dr. David B.Taylor

It is not known who built the house. Here he continued his practice and built an office out near the sidewalk, which made it more convenient for patients, west of the home. Later this building was moved from the Taylor yard to the "Jake" Strang farm where it was used as a wood shed.

Dr. Taylor and his family lived here until his death in 1904. BA-2#35

37. Mrs. Elsie Bonner Lawrence

A widow, builder of this home, came to Millburn with her two little daughters in 1872. She was Scottish and had come to America with her husband and settled in Michigan about 1867-1868. Her husband died there, and she and the little girls came to make their home with an uncle, William Bonner. In a few years she felt she should have her own home. Dr. Taylor gave her a lot to build on, and neighbors helped with the construction. This was probably in the early 1880's Sometime in the early 1890's, (1894), she had the misfortune to lose the home and furnishings by fire. Again the neighbors helped build a new home. The oldest daughter, Margaret, taught at the Hockaday School and later went to Tabor College, Tabor, Iowa. After graduation she became professor of mathematics at the same college.

The second daughter, Geogina, became a secretary. She met and married Harry Bascom, grandson of the Rev. Flavel Bascom who organized Millburn Church. Mr. Bascom was the secretary of the Y.M.C.A. in Newton, Massachusetts where they lived for many years. BA-2#36

38. Shop

Built sometime in 1890's.

About the turn of the century, or a few years before, when the creamery was built and doing business in Millburn just south of Willow Brook Antiques Shop, some one from Wisconsin thought it would be profitable to build a blacksmith and repair shop close by and in turn get the farmer's trade when they brought milk to the creamery every morning. A small piece of ground in the northwest corner of the farm across the road was purchased and a shop built there.

Business was not as good as anticipated, as there was an old established blacksmith shop in Millburn east of what is now Route 45 on the south side of Millburn Road.

When the creamery closed there was no business and in the course of time George (Mugzy) Jamieson, who lived a short distance north, obtained the shop and carried on a woodworking shop, also a repair shop, until his death in 192___.

The estate was sold and Mrs. McIntyre became the new owner. She remodeled the building into a summer cottage. She spent summers there going to Chicago or New York for the winters. BA-2#37