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Thursday, April 25, 2024

Take back the county seat on June 4


Considering all the new projects and happenings at Naper Settlement from the interpretation of the Murray House as a law office to the re-imagination of Fort Payne into a playscape complete with splash pad, inquiring minds may wonder why the folks at Positively Naperville want to revisit 1868 and “Take Back the County Seat.”


For starters, Naperville is the original home to the DuPage County Seat and Courthouse.

To celebrate local legend and lore, Positively Naperville will host the inaugural “Take back the County Seat.” The social gathering with sumptuous food and libations will begin at 5:30PM on Wed., June 4, in the Tavern of the Pre-Emption House at Naper Settlement. The aim is to distinguish fact from fiction as the city’s rich history is revealed for residents who might not be familiar with all of its twists and turns since 1831.

A little history

Naper_Settlement_and_Lowes_PartnerIn 1868, nearly a 100 Civil War Veterans invaded Naperville from the north with wagons, banding together in a “midnight raid” of the Naperville Courthouse, then located in Central Park. They stole county records and proclaimed Wheaton as the DuPage County Seat.

Following the raid, many Napervillians assembled at the original Pre-Emption House to take back the records – but after rounds of libations, they were convinced otherwise.

County and territorial disputes were quite common in the 19th Century. Citizens residing north of Naperville wanted a more centralized Courthouse and County Seat.

Positively Naperville is having a party to celebrate Naperville’s history

During the evening’s festivities, Naper Settlement Curator of Research, Bryan Ogg, will present a history of the Raid and offer explanations of fact and fiction.  Several “Pitch-Fork Awards” will be presented to unsuspecting guests.


The requisition to reclaim the records (not really) begins at 5:30PM Wed., June 4, 2014.

The evening will include food by Chef Terrell Cole of Dark Horse Pastries and libations. Festivities will conclude around 9PM.  Proceeds from the event will benefit the Naperville Heritage Society.

The cost is $68 per ticket, all inclusive, and may be purchased online at www.positivelynaperville.com/take-back-county-seat, by phone at (630) 369-8447 or email ideas@positivelynaperville.com.

The Pre-Emption House, a reconstruction started in 1991 of the original building that stood at the northeast corner of Main and Water streets until 1946, is located on the grounds of Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St. at Aurora Ave.

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PN Ombudsman
PN Ombudsman
An ombudsman is Scandinavian in origin dating back to Viking times; and refers to a community representative; usually acting independently on behalf of an organization, body of elected officials, or civic group. Thanks Scandinavia for inventing ombudsman.


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