Bunker Hill Historical Society
Bunker Hill, IL  62014
Early Bunker Hill Businesses


Early Bunker Hill Businesses

The following was extracted from pages 359-366 of the 1911 Edition of History of Macoupin County.

  The city of Bunker Hill lies in the eastern part of Bunker Hill Township which is one of the southern tier of the townships.  In March 1836, Messrs. True and Tilden employed Luke Knowlton to lay out and plat the town.  This was only seven years after the first settlement was made in the Township.  Mr. True set out the first tree, a Locust, in the town, and he, with Mr. Tilden at once commenced the erection of a hotel, which later became a part of the Richards block.  In the summer of 1837 Mr. True enlarged his hotel and in the succeeding fall Josiah Richards, who had come here from Boston, purchased the goods in the store that had been opened by Mr. True.  In 1838 Mr. True retired from the hotel business and N. H. Flanagan, from New Jersey, became proprietor. 

Dr. Ebenezer Howell settled in the town in the spring of 1837 and for many years was the only practicing physician here.  His son George was the first child born in the town.

In the spring of 1839 J. W. Cummings, G. Parmenter, Charles Burnham, R. Califf, Nathaniel Burnham, D. E. Pettingill, and Joseph and Edward Burton settled in the town and vicinity.  John A. Pettingill arrived in April 1839, and conducted the first nursery in the Township.  He also became one of the early school teachers in this district. Charles Johnson came here in May 1839 from Medford, Massachusetts.  S. H. Davis, A. B. Davis, R. Ridgeley, James Hamilton, I. Southworth, and Charles Cavender were early settlers here.  Frances N. Burnham settled northeast of the town and taught the first school in the town of Bunker Hill.  His marriage to Miss Harriett Phillips was the first consumated in Bunker Hill.

In 1840, Judge P. C. Huggins moved here from Woodburn where he had conducted a mercantile establishment and purchased the store here from Josiah Richards.  For many years, he was the only merchant in the town.  In November 1847, John A. Pettingill opened the second store.

The nearest sawmill to Bunker Hill was on the Cahokia, north of Edwardsville.  The first flour used in the new hotel came from Carlinville.  The first sermon preached at Bunker Hill was by elder Kimball from Upper Alton.