Monday, May 10, 2021


Marker Details

Historical Marker:

Dwyer Settlement In Lake County, Illinois, The

Image Courtesy of Karen Kruse
The marker is located near the northwest corner of Washington Avenue and Green Bay Road on Lake Bluff School District #65 property.
Dedication Date:
Dedication By:
Vliet Center for Lake Bluff History and The Illinois State Historical Society

Marker Description:
In 1837, William Dwyer, his wife Mary, and Mary's brother, Dr. Richard Murphy, a physician, established a claim to the property on this site and created what was known as the Dwyer settlement. The Dwyer's Homestead included a tavern and one of the five stage stops along the Green Bay Trail in Lake County. It became known as the center of social activity: nurturing political, intellectual, and religious ties in the newly settled area. The Dwyer Settlement was the site of St. Ann's Church and Cemetery (1844), the first Catholic Parish in the area.

William Dwyer served as the first road supervisor for this portion of Green Bay Road and served as a tax collector. Dr. Murphy was appointed first magistrate for the area and, as deputy to the federal marshal, recorded the Lake County Census for 1840. Murphy served for six years (1839-'45) in the Illinois State Legislature, drafting the first Illinois Public School Law, and acting as chair of the State Finance Committee. Dwyer and Dr. Murphy were instrumental in the 1839 formation of Lake County through the division of McHenry County, also in moving the county seat from Libertyville to Waukegan. The Dwyer's Tavern was the first polling place in the area and the site of the first shield township meeting on April 2, 1952. The Dwyer Settlement gave a permanent character to this area and from it grew the community now known as Lake Bluff.

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