Mary Hatch Curtiss


Born: November 25, 1793
Died: February 23, 1883





AUDIO BIOGRAPHY



Biography

Mary Hatch was born and grew up in Windsor, Vermont. Her ancestors came to America and by the 1680s were among the founding fathers of Hartford, Connecticut. They fought on the patriots side in the American Revolution at the battles of Lexington and Bunker Hill. In 1836, along with her husband Samuel Curtiss, she helped move their family to Downers Grove when the land here was still a wild frontier. Mary lived here almost 50 years before she died in 1883.

Samuel and Mary Hatch Curtiss began their life together in 1813 in Royalton, Vermont. Samuel was born 1789, the year George Washington became our first President and Mary was born 4 years later. Sam volunteered during the War of 1812. By 1830 they had a family of 5 sons and like many others they wanted to provide a better future for them. So, with $1000 they came to Illinois in 1836 and purchased part of the Israel Blodgett claim in Downers Grove. Martha remembered the land here was a wild frontier and some Native Americans were still in the area. Having land in the center of the village Samuel established an tavern, stable, and early post office. Along with Israel Blodgett he improved the trail through town that is now Maple Avenue including planting many Maple trees along the roadway. As others here he opposed slavery and helped with the activities of the Underground Railroad. Some of the land he owned became the Main Street Cemetery on 1856 and another piece was sold to the Baptist Church. When former slave Isrel Blackburn came to town after the Civil War Samuel gave him land to farm. And by 1864 some of Samuel sold a portion of his land for the first subdivision here.

Mary saw two of their sons go off to California to join the great gold rush but return no richer. After returning from California son Charles became quite well known in the village serving as village trustee, president of the Farmers and Merchants bank and even serving in the Illinois General Assembly for a few years.


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