Chicagoland History Books of Note.

James R. Grossman, Ann Durkin Keating, and Janice Rieff, Editors. Encyclopedia of Chicago, U. of Chicago Press. 2004.

The surrounding suburbs of Chicago are dependent on the city of Chicago for its economic wellbeing. They are interconnected. We as family historians need to read information on the large cities located near our family farms and suburban residences. Here are the sources I recommend for your research.

The Encyclopedia of Chicago is an excellent resource for anyone interested in the history of Chicago and the surrounding Chicagoland suburbs. This book has a companion website sponsored by the Chicago History Museum and the Newberry Library. There are entries in the book for Winfield, Burlington, Hampshire, Kane and DuPage Counties. This book is a great resource for family historians and genealogists. If you had relatives living in Chicago you can search for entries on the history of many Chicago neighborhoods. One example, I was in need of a concise overview of the Englewood neighborhood near 63rd and Halsted. This is the area where my father George Davis grew up, went to school in and worked.

Ann Durkin Keating. Chicagoland: City and Suburbs in the Railroad Age. University of Chicago Press. 2005.

Ann Keating is a well respected Historian. She is the Dr. C. Frederick Toenniges Professor of History at North Central College in Naperville Illinois. I consider her one of my mentors and some that had encouraged my interest in Chicagoland history. This is one of my favorite books on local history for Chicagoland. It provides an excellent overview of the many “types of suburban” communities that ring the Chicago area. This book provides the context for understanding the growth of Chicagoland and drives home how interdependent the suburbs and Chicago were in the past and continue to be for the future for their economic well being.

Donald L. Miller. City of the Century: The Epic of Chicago and the Making of America. Simon and Schuster. 1996.

Donald Miller’s book provides an in-depth history of the growth of Chicago from its discovery and founding through to the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. In order to understand the growth of DuPage and Kane Counties in Illinois one needs to understand the history and development of Chicago as a City. If one is fortunate to be related to a person that settled in Chicago there are many small biographies and overviews scattered throughout the book. This is well written for a general reading audience.

William Cronon. Nature’s Metropolis; Chicago and the Great West. W. W. Norton Publishers. Revised Edition 1992.

William Cronon is an environmental historian and the Frederick Jackson Turner and Vilas Research Professor of History, Geography, and Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

In this book Cronon; “. . . gives us an environmental perspective on the history of nineteenth-century America. By exploring the ecological and economic changes that made Chicago America’s most dynamic city and the Great West its hinterland, Mr. Cronon opens a new window onto our national past. This is the story of city and country becoming ever more tightly bound in a system so powerful that it reshaped the American landscape and transformed American culture. The world that emerged is our own.” (Source: Amazon online book description accessed 3/2/2022). This work drives home the point that Chicago and its suburbs were dependent upon each other for their growth and economic well being.

About Schlick Daleiden Families - DuPage and Kane Counties of Illinois

Kevin Davis is a retired Public Library Director. He is a Board member of the Winfield (IL) Historical Society. Davis has over 35 years experience working in public libraries. He is deeply interested in local Chicagoland, Dupage, and Kane County History. Davis earned a BA in History and an MA in Library Science from Dominican University. He is a volunteer researcher for the St. James Farm Forest Preserve part of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County in Illinois. His work includes extensive writing and research on the McCormick family line who were former owners of St. James Farm. He is an avid family historian / genealogist and has done extensive research on the Schlicks and Daleidens of DuPage and Kane County Illinois.
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