Full Text:1852-1861 1852 Illinois Seventeenth General Assembly on June 22 enacts law to incorporate the town of Woodstock. It is to be one mile square. Officers shall be President, Treasurer/Assessor, Constable/Collector plus three Trustees elected from each of two wards, all with one year terms. The town government is given set powers to levy taxes, regulate certain activities, require sidewalks be built, condemn land for roads, and sell real estate for non-payment of taxes. Law is not in effect until a vote is taken on July 26 to approve incorporation. If favorable, election of town officers to take place first Monday in August. Regular elections to take place first Monday in April thereafter. Election for town officers is held August 2; Alvin Judd is President. On August 21 the first meeting is held in the courthouse. Board acted the first of many times on a request to extend Tryon Street south to intersect with Marengo & Dundee Road. C.B. Durfee opens first bank. Steam saw mill opens. Woodstock Drug Store advertises soda fountain and ox marrow, bears' oil, rose oil, hair tonics, clover and garden seeds for sale. Enjoyable vocal music concert at Presbyterian Church. Wool is 42$ - 45$ per pound. A well-fed, well-tended sheep will provide approximately 5 pounds per year. McHenry County Agricultural Society is formed to conduct agricultural fair. 1853 Ordinance passes to regulate unmuzzled dogs and sluts running at large. Permits killing or shooting. Two more 3-story brick buildings to be built next to Phoenix block. Town board reports $240 in taxes collected; passes an ordinance providing for impoundment of any hog, sow or pig running at large. Town board levies 3 days work from every able- bodied male citizen to work on the streets or commutate at 75$ per day. Town board passes ordinance to prohibit strong beer or porter, sold, given or drank on Sundays. This is the first of many, many actions passing, repealing and re-enacting regulation of alcohol of all types for this decade and far beyond. Town board acts on first sidewalk matter; to be built of oak planks 10' by 1W on sturdy stringers. This is the first action on a multitude of sidewalk matters that continue into the 20th century. Alvin Judd advertises 2-horse carriage routes to Union, Elgin, Waukegan, and points north. M. Haas advertises coffins, black walnut made to order-short notice. 1854 Shade trees are required to be set in rows 10' from street. Illinois-Wisconsin Railroad given permission to use streets and alleys of the town. St. Mary's Catholic Church organizes and builds new $4,000 brick church. County gets permission from State Legislature and levies tax of 2 mills per $1 of assessed value on real and personal property to build new courthouse and jail. Large quantities of wheat are grown. Brick storehouse is built to store it. Burtschy's brewery located near barn of old Woodstock House burns. Cheap Grocery Store advertises 16 lbs. 1st rate sugar $1. Republican Party formed at Ripon, Wisconsin. 1855 Chicago, St. Paul & Fond du Lac railroad reaches Woodstock and hauls several trainloads of wheat. Passenger trains run daily (ex. Sunday); 2 trains from and 2 trains to Chicago; travel time varies from 2 Vi to 4 hours. At election in April to remove the county seat to Algonquin Township the ayes were 1048; nays 2095. Town board votes to widen road from Woodstock to Crystal Lake and names it Lake Street. "Whereas, confusion and turmoil seems to be the order of the day and drinking and dissipation and street fights are practiced..." ; town board establishes police force. Railroad is obstructing creek and water is accumulating. Property owned by Mary McMahon on west side of Public Square, occupied by Hill's Tavern, is bought for $3,000 by citizens of Woodstock; donated to County for new courthouse. Old courthouse and site given to the town. Haas & Griffing build first ice house at Dufield Lake east of town. 1856 Town board refuses to pay for gunpowder used to celebrate victory in election to move county seat. County sells "Old Rat Hole" to Lindsey Joslyn for $723. Woodstock Sentinel publishes first issue July 17; formerly the Illinois Republican. Boston Cheap Store changes its name to Woodstock Cheap Store. McHenry County Agricultural Society holds Sixth Annual County Fair at Woodstock October 8th and 9th.