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Thursday, March 23, 2023

The first DuPage County Clerk


Hiram Hitchcock Cody was born June 11, 1824, in Vernon Center, Oneida County, New York, the son of Hiram Cody and Huldah Calantha Hitchcock.

The younger Hiram Cody was partially educated at Hamilton College in New York and then came with his family to Lisbon, Kendall County, Illinois, in 1843 and to Bloomindale, DuPage County, IL in 1844.

He married Philomelia Eusebia Sedgwick on December 31, 1846, in DuPage County and from this union were born: Charles Carroll, Phila Maria, Rosalie May, Hiram Sedgwick, Sherman Parker, George Herbert, Arthur Buck, Huldah Caroline, Frances Adeline (Marshall Abram Sattley), Grace Ethelwyn (Edmund Parmalee) and Hope Reed.

Hiram and Philomela were married for almost 61 years. Hiram was a lawyer and a judge. He was elected the first DuPage County Clerk in1848 and served to 1852. During this time he read law and was admitted to the bar in 1851.

He served as Naperville Village Trustee in 1857, DuPage County Judge from 1861 to 1864 and as Naperville Village President in 1867.

Hiram served as a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1870 and was elected Judge of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit in 1874. He was a lecturer on commercial law at North-Western College (known today as North Central College) from 1873 to 1876. At the close of his term as Twelfth Circuit Judge in 1879, he returned to private law practice with the firm Gary, Cody, and Gary. In 1886, he formed a partnership with his sons, Arthur and Hope.

He retired from the practice of law in 1893.

Hiram lived across the street from the Court House and discovered the Wheaton residents in the process of removing the County Records. He rang the Naperville Congregational Church bell to alert the townspeople.

This episode in Naperville history became known as the “Rape of the Records.”

Hiram was an active member of the Congregational Church and served as the Superintendent of the Sunday school for 25 consecutive years.

He also was a Master Mason in Euclid Lodge and served as Master of the Lodge in 1856 and 1857.

Hiram Hitchcock Cody died December 16, 1907, at his home in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. He was buried in the Naperville Cemetery with a simple Masonic ceremony.

Tim Ory
Tim Ory
Tim Ory is a fifth-generation Naperville native, descended from Francois Sebastien Ory, who immigrated to America from Alsace Lorraine, France, in 1844. Signing off as "Tim Ory, Historian, Euclid Lodge No. 65 Ancient Free & Accepted Masons," Tim adds that he continues to research the History of the Masonic Lodge and Naperville every day. Contact him at tjory@sbcglobal.net.