The Town of La Grange, Illinois

The area of now called La Grange, Illinois was first settled around 1830 and was incorporated on June 11, 1879.  Franklin Dwight Cossitt, the great great grandson of Rene and Ruth Cossitt, is given credit as being the founder of the town of La Grange.  Franklin Dwight Cossitt was born on September 9, 1821 in Granby, Connecticut and raised in Tennessee.  In 1862 he moved to Chicago where he built a very successful wholesale grocery business. 

In 1870 he purchased several hundred acres of farmland in Cook County about 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop.  He then started building the ideal suburban village.  He laid out streets, planted trees, donated property for churches and schools, and built quality homes for sale. He also placed liquor restrictions in the land deeds to prevent the village from becoming a saloon town.

Initially, the area was served by a post office known as Kensington. When he discovered that there already was another community with that name in the state, he named his town in honor of La Grange, Tennessee, where he had been raised as a youth on an uncle's cotton farm.

After the Great Fire of 1871 destroyed much of Chicago, many of its residents sought new homes further from the city.  La Grange was there to accommodate them.

Franklin Dwight Cossitt died in La Grange on July 9, 1900.  Today the town has a Cossitt Street and a Cossitt School.  The 2010 census reports that La Grange was 2 ½ square miles in size and had 15,550 residents.