Richmond, the Village of Yesteryear, was first settled in 1837 by William A. McConnell who staked his claim for land just west of the present village on what is now Broadway Street. He spent his first night under an oak tree that still stands today. Charles A. Noyes arrived later that year and built his log house one-half mile to the east within the present Village limits. Noyes named the new village Montelona, but decided to settle in Wisconsin and sold his Montelona claim to Theodore Purdy.
In 1844, Charles Cotting settled here and along with Purdy, platted the Village. They proposed that the person who climbed to the top of the new grist mill the fastest would be given the privilege of naming the Village. Isaac Reed won and named the village Richmond.
On September 2,1872, the Village of Richmond was incorporated and Dr. Fillmore Bennett was elected the first President. Dr. Bennett was an author of many poems and religious hymns, the most famous being, "The Sweet Bye and Bye." He was aslo the first principal of Richmond's first grade school, In 2001, Dr. Fillmore Bennett Park, located just south of the Richmond Grade School, was dedicated in his honor.
In 1906 Memorial Hall was constructed after the Village received a bequest of $10,000 from Charles DeWitt McConnell, the grandson of William A. McConnell. Over the years the building has been used as a library, auditorium, and school gym, as well as serving as the Village Hall and Police Department until 1993. During the past five years, Memorial Hall has been beautifully restored and now plays host to community events such as the Presidential Ball, live performances, and numerous recreation programs.
During the late 1960's and 1970's, new entrepreneurs arrived in Richmond and began recycling the old building in the downtown area for new uses. Richmond was one of the first communities to carry out a revitalization program entirely with private funds. The Village also obtained over one million dollars in state grants for economic develpment.
Today you can discover treasures in our antique stores and shop for unique gifts, home decor items, textiles, candy, and more in our speciality shops all centrally located in the downtown business area. There are annual festivals such as Richmond Days, Christmas of Yesteryear, and weekly events including Classic Car Cruise Nights held throughout the summer months. Plan a relaxed afternoon or stay the night in one of the Village's lodging that include two hotel/motels and a Bed and Breakfast, a completely restored Victorian home built in 1893.
Village of Richmond Municipal Center
5600 Hunter Drive
Richmond, IL 60071
Hours: Mon.- Fri. 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Village President: Pete Koenig