Wheatland Township, Will County, Illinois
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (August 2010)|
Location in Will County
|Established||November 6, 1849|
|• Total||35.82 sq mi (92.8 km2)|
|• Land||35.49 sq mi (91.9 km2)|
|• Water||0.33 sq mi (0.9 km2) 0.92%|
|• Density||2,295.9/sq mi (886.5/km2)|
|Time zone||CST (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
As of 2008, Wheatland Township had over 27,000 parcels located within its boundaries. It ranked third in Will County for land parcels and the highest in EAV (Equalized Assessed Value).
Most of Wheatland Township was still owned by a Native American tribe, the Potawatomi, until 1833. The Treaty of Chicago obtained this land and officially made it available for settlement. Growth was slow during the 1830s due to a lack of significant wooded lands. Farmers depended on wood for building and a source of fuel. They also believed if the land could not grow trees than it would not be beneficial for farming.
As adjacent townships grew, small settlements developed around rural crossroads, schools, churches and post offices. These centers offered goods and services and were determined by the distance the area farmers could complete a round trip in one-half day’s time. Normantown and Wolfs Crossing provided markets for farmers to weigh, sell and ship their produce. Tamarack offered hardware supplies and watch repair, other centers included East Wheatland Post Office,Hoddam, and Tokio Post Office.
Wheatland Presbyterian Church,became known locally as The Scotch Church, in recognition of the numerous Scottish families that had settled the area.Across from the Church and its parrish, was a one room schoolhouse. The school house originally served eight grades within a single room in preparation for transfer to high school at either Plainfield or Oswego Illinois. Numerous other churches provided community support for the Township representing Methodists, Baptist and Lutheran faiths. Throughout the early 20th century the churches created recreational leagues, among the churches, for various competitions including baseball and the annual plowing match. The plowing competition which began with horses and evolved into tractors, measured the quality and accuracy of tilling the soil on various Township farmlands. In later years, the winner of the competition was rewarded with a trip to Scotland, where he could compete with his former countrymen.
Farming was the primary industry of the township in the late 19th century and first half of the 20th century. The settlers in this area were predominately Scottish immigrants. Early farming families included the Stewarts, Muirs, McMickens, Gilmours, Browns, Boardmans, Boughtons, Clows, Frys, and Pattersons among others. Many of these families are buried in the Wheatland Presbyterian Church cemetery where their origin of birth can be seen on the historic tombstones. Nearby and bordering Townships were populated by German and Swedish families bonded by their respective cultural heritages. The once magnificently beautiful farmland consisting of thousands of acres within the Township, has been reduced to approximately six (6) family owned farms with over 80 acres (320,000 m2).
Some of the original farmhouses are still in existence today and can be seen throughout the township. For example, the Boughton family farmhouse is located on Plainfield-Naperville Road. The Clow farmhouse and barn have been preserved by the Forest Preserve District of Will County and is located near 111th Street and Book Road.
Wheatland township has grown from 1,098 population in 1880 to over 81,472 according to the 2010 census.
According to the 2010 census, the township has a total area of 35.82 square miles (92.8 km2), of which 35.49 square miles (91.9 km2) (or 99.08%) is land and 0.33 square miles (0.85 km2) (or 0.92%) is water.
- "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County -- County Subdivision and Place -- 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census. Retrieved 2013-05-28.