History of Pingree Grove

From a Genealogical History Written by Dr. Daniel Pingree, 1880

Donated by Joyce Wessel, a descendant of Israel Straw Pingree

Buying Land

The Pingree’s bought land from the Federal Government in 1838. Andrew Jr., Israel Straw and Daniel Pingree made the journey “West” in the spring of 1838. Each of the brothers bought land for the purpose of farming. They arrived to be met by “a wolf howling wilderness”, to quote Dr. Daniel Pingree. In October of 1838 the rest of the family, father Andrew Pingree Sr., his wife, the girls, and younger son came west to Illinois.


The family’s roots are in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Andrew Pingree Jr.
Andrew Pingree Jr. is probably the best known of the family. Reverend Pingree was a Universalist minister who in 1846 preached and taught school in St. Charles, IL. He was also a surveyor who surveyed a good portion of Kane County and helped plat the town of Gilberts. Mr. Pingree was also a member of the County Board of Supervisors, a Probate Court Commissioner, and the Postmaster of Pingree Grove. He and his wife Hannah adopted Emma Gilberts Pingree.

Israel Straw Pingree
Israel Straw Pingree was a farmer. He and his wife Harriet had eight children. Their children married and some of their descendants are living in the area.

Francis Pingree
Francis Pingree was the adventurer of the family. On November 26, 1831, Francis went to sea on the whaler “Averic” of New Bedford, Mass. He remained a merchant seaman until 1837. To quote Dr. Daniel Pingree, “Francis went to sea the elephant”. Francis married Lydia Patchin of Hampshire in 1843 and had five children.
Andrew Pingree Jr
Daniel Pingree MD
Dr. Daniel Pingree
Dr. Daniel Pingree began his study of medicine in 1846 at the Indiana Medical College and graduated in 1849. He practiced medicine in Memphis, Tennessee. for one year and then went to California, settling in Placerville for one year. It seems the Dr. Daniel went to “see the elephant” in his own way. 1849 was the beginning of the California Gold Rush. Not being content he returned to Illinois and in 1852 he, his brother William with wife, and sister Betsy with husband made the trip across the continent to California. They drove a herd of horses and cattle to the town of La Grange in Stanislaus County, California. In 1859 Dr. Daniel, Betsy and her daughter returned to Pingree Grove. Dr. Daniel married Jane Havenhill in 1859. They had three children.
William Pingree
William Pingree did not own land in Kane County, being a child when the family moved west to Illinois. He remained in California.

Pingree Family

The Pingree family as a whole was well educated and took community service seriously. They were teachers, constables, postmasters, surveyors, and Andrew Jr. was a Universalist Minister. After the Civil War, Andrew Jr. and his son-in-law Leverett Kelly were responsible for the railroad coming through the Village.

Diving Land

After the death of her husband, Hannah Pingree began to subdivide the farm that was in Rutland Township. Dr. Daniel subdivided his land in Plato Township somewhat later. Dorans addition came later.

In 1843 Israel Straw Pingree and Francis Pingree sold land to the School District, specifically the Northeast ¼ and the Southeast ¼ of the South East ¼ Section of Section 33, for the amounts of $80 and $100. In common terms, this is the area that the “Old Village Hall” and part of the Fire Station now occupy.

The Park and the Fire Station are now on land originally owned by the Pingree family.

Becoming a Village

On December 12, 1906 a petition was filed to incorporate the Village of Pingree Grove. An election was held on December 29, 1906. When the votes were counted they were in favor of Pingree Grove becoming an official Village. On February 14, 1907, Frank G. Plain, a Kane County Judge, signed the document making the Village of Pingree Grove official.

Today, none of the Pingree’s live in the village that bears their name. They have left a heritage of hard work and service to God and the community.

Courtesy of the Rutland Township Historical Society

A Letter from Daniel Pingree to Samuel Rowell

In 1840, Daniel Pingree drafted a letter to Samuel Rowell of Kentucky. Amazingly, at that time, 160 acres of farm land cost only $200. That letter contains several great insights into the rich, historical background of our Village. As Daniel Pingree wrote, “I also rejoice to hear that you and your Relatives think of coming to Illinois, for in my opinion you could not find a better County in all the world for farming…I will in the first place attempt to describe the Land. There are 3 kinds of Prairie, high rolling, medium, and wet. …The Timbered land is generally Oak-Barrens, called by some Oak Openings. It may be divided into 2 classes; High rolling, and Medium…By taking a farm in the openings a person will generally have timber enough to fence his farm and to build etc., and have enough left for the use of the farm besides…I think that you and your folks would be highly pleased with the Country in all respect.”

About the Village

Pingree Grove, founded in the 1880s, formerly known as Deerfield Precinct, celebrated its 100th year of incorporation on February 14, 2007.

The village has enjoyed a rich history since Andrew and Daniel Pingree arrived in 1838. That year the village acquired its name “Pingree Grove”. In 1838, the Deerfield Post Office opened two miles west of Pingree Grove. As Pingree Grove began to grow, the Pingree Grove Post Office was established in 1848. In 1882, Pingree Grove was laid out and platted by Daniel and Hannah Pingree. By 1908, the Village had a population of 600.

Today, we have successfully blended our Heritage and Quality of Life with new residential neighborhoods which make Pingree Grove "A Place to Grow."