Village of Richmond
Richmond, the Village of Yesteryear, was first settled in 1837 by William McConnell, who staked his claim to land just west of the present village on what is now Broadway Street. He spent his first night here under an oak tree which still stands today. Charles Noyes arrived later that year, building a log house half a mile to the east. Noyes named the new village Montelona, but later moved to Wisconsin, selling his claim to Theodore Purdy.
In 1844, Charles Cotting settled here and, along with Purdy, platted the village. The winner of a contest to climb to the top of the new grist mill the fastest would be given the honor of naming the new village. The winner: Isaac Reed, who named the village Richmond.
The Village was incorporated September 2, 1872 with Dr. Fillmore Bennett elected as its first president. Dr. Bennett authored numerous poems and hymns, including “The Sweet Bye and Bye.” He was also the first principal of Richmond’s grade school. In 2001, Bennett Park, one of Richmond’s four city parks, was dedicated in his honor.
In 1906, Memorial Hall was constructed with a $10,000 bequest from Charles DeWitt McConnell, the grandson of William McConnell. Over the years, the building has served as a library, auditorium and school gymnasium, as well as serving as Village Hall and Police Department until 1993. The building has received several upgrades in recent decades and today houses a local theatre company as well as hosting community and private events.
During the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, new entrepreneurs arrived in Richmond and began repurposing the vintage buildings in the downtown area for new uses, Richmond was one of the first communities to carry out a revitalization program entirely with private funds. We are also home to a number of light and medium manufacturing operations. Richmond administers a revolving loan fund and property tax abatements for new or expanding businesses.
Today, residents and visitors can enjoy shopping and dining opportunities in a wide variety of venues. Housing ranges from multifamily to new construction to stately Victorian homes from the late 1800’s. Richmond is home to four city parks, and is surrounded by nature and recreational opportunities through the county conservation district and nearby Chain O’Lakes State Park. Pedestrian trails connect hikers and cyclists with Wisconsin and communities to the south. In winter months, we are also connected to a regional network of snowmobile trails.
Richmond is home to highly-rated schools from K-12, which consistently excel both academically and athletically. The Nippersink Public Library serves Richmond and the surrounding area.
Richmond maintains a local police department and is served by a fully-staffed fire and EMS service. Our public works department maintains streets, parks and provides water and sewer service. Other utilities and services can be identified through our website www.richmond-il.com.
Village of Richmond Municipal Center
5600 Hunter Drive
Richmond, IL 60071
Hours: Mon.- Fri. 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Village President: Craig Kunz