|Politically, the territory known as Wheeling Precinct, encompassed
a part of Maine and Northfield Townships as well as the
area now known as Wheeling Township. Prior to 1850,
when any voting was necessary it was done at Wilcox's Tavern, which
was located at the junction of Milwaukee Avenue and the Des
Wheeling Township was organized on April 2, 1850, at a
meeting held in the hotel owned by James Parker. S. M.
Salisbury was elected as the first Supervisor and during the
years from 1851 to 1883, was superceded by other men,
many of whose names are very familiar in the area. Some of
these early Supervisors were Joseph Filkins, William Scoville,
George Strong, William H. Dutton, Frederick Tesh and
Three of these men, S. M. Salisbury, George Strong and
Joseph Filkins also served the area on the Court of Appeals
prior to the formation of the township. The ultimate decisions
in cases of claim-jumping was one of the responsibilities of
One addition of note to Wheeling's growth, was the
building of a brewery by Napolean Periolat in 1850. This
business was operated by him, and later by his Sons, Henry
and Robert, until 1905, at which time it was sold to new
owners from Chicago. The building was demolished in 1910.
||Wheeling's first industry was this brewery built by Napolean Periolat in 1850. After more than half a century of operation, it was razed in 1910.
|At the turn of the half-century, Wheeling was beginning to
assume the characteristics of the typical American small town.
With its brewery, blacksmith shops, restaurants, general
stores, hotels and schools, more and more people were
attracted to the immediate area, built their homes, and
helped Wheeling to develope and air of permanence.
One of the traits of the Homo sapiens is their need for
the companionship of their own kind. As soon as the immediate
needs for the sustainment of life are settled, man's first thoughts
seem to be that of finding the means and the opportunity to meet together;
Some primarily for the worship of God, and secondly, just for the sake
of meeting together in friendship.
The oldest fraternal organization in Wheeling, is Vitruvius Lodge
No. 81, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. Formation of the Lodge dates
back to October 4, 1849, when W. C. Hobbs, the Grand Master of the state of Illinois, granted
to brethren of Oriental and La Fayette Lodges a dispensation to form a Lodge at Dutchman's Point.
On October 10, 1850, the Charter was granted, and in 1851, dispensation was given to move the Lodge to Wheeling.
Vitruvius was known as a "Moon Lodge" because meeting were held on the Saturday before the full moon.
This was done so that the members could have moon light to guide their way to the meetings.
||Building constructed in 1914 with blocks from the Utpadel plant which was located on Wolf Road, North of Dundee Road. This building is now a tavern and
is located on the East side of Milwaukee Avenue, across the street from the old Village Hall.