Last modified: 2021-05-08 by rick wyatt
Keywords: geneva | illinois | kane county |
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image by Masao Okazaki, 9 April 2021
based on photo located by Ivan Sache, 11 April 2012
The City of Geneva (26,652 inhabitants in 2010; 22.2 sq. km), a western suburbs of Chicago, is the seat of Kane County (515,269 inhabitants in 2010; 1,358 sq. km).
Extracts from the history of Geneva, city's website
"Daniel Shaw Haight, of Dutch origin, was the first settler in Geneva. He built a cabin near a spring by the Fox River in 1833, and the settlement was called Big Spring. Haight sold his claim in 1835 to James and Charity Herrington and moved his family further north. James and Charity Herrington were influential in the creation of the town of Geneva. The Herrington homestead served as the center of Geneva for many of the early years. Early names for the town were Herrington's Ford and La Fox. James and Charity's ninth child, Margaret, is considered to be the first child born in Geneva. Geneva was selected as the new county seat in 1836. The name that was originally selected for the town was "Campbell Ford," after two of the County Commissioners, James Campbell and Thomas Ford. The name "Geneva" was instead adopted, most likely at the suggestion of Dr. Charles Volney Dyer of Chicago, who was a noted abolitionist who had recently come from upstate New York, and was a friend of both Hamilton and Ford. Geneva was an upper New York State name.
Between 1840 and the Civil War, most of the local economy was tied to the mills. Geneva's industry served agriculture, and local factories produced packed meat, butter, cheese, milled grains, and later glucose and flax. One important development was the coming of the railroad in 1853. This put Geneva on a main passenger line, as well as providing freight lines. The railroad established a relationship between Geneva and Chicago. Well-to-do city people "discovered" Geneva as an idyllic place for outings and, eventually, for second or country homes. Many people in Geneva today commute to Chicago daily on the train."
Geneva was officially incorporated as a village in 1858 and as a city in 1887.
In 1905, George and Nelle Fabyan purchased 10 acres of a farm outside of Geneva and began what would grow to encompass 350 acres at its largest. The estate, known as Riverbank, comprised everything from a zoo, an 1864 Dutch windmill, greenhouses, stone sculptures, 18,000 chickens, a Japanese garden, a Roman-style swimming pool, a lighthouse, a boathouse, formal gardens, and an old farmhouse that was redesigned by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1907. Colonel Fabyan was also interested in science and research, and began in 1912 what would come to be known as Riverbank Laboratories. Many different activities occurred at Riverbank Laboratories, including decoding and deciphering enemy messages during World War I, deciphering alleged secret coded messages in the works of William Shakespeare, research in the field of architectural acoustics, groundbreaking research in the field of cryptology, fieldwork in the use of hand grenades and military trenches, research and development of tuning forks, and studies of human fitness and anatomy. The list is varied and fascinating. Teams of researchers lived and worked at Riverbank, devoting years of their lives to the furthering of science. Many scientists from around the nation and world have visited Riverbank. The United States' military successes in World War I and World War II have a direct relevance to Riverbank. And Riverbank can be considered to be a direct lineal descendent of the National Security Agency and Central Intelligence Agency. Riverbank Acoustical Laboratories, a testing laboratory for architectural acoustics, is still considered to be one of the best in the world.
The flag of Geneva, offered for sale at the City Hall, is horizontally divided blue-white-green. The upper, blue stripe forms a drop charged with the City's seal. The lower curvature of the drop is reproduced in the lower part of the white stripe.
The seal of Geneva shows a green tree and background landscape on a white disk bordered blue. A white outer ring, bordered yellow, is charged with the blue writing "CITY OF GENEVA" (top) / "ILLINOIS" (bottom), the two parts of the writing being separated by two blue dots placed on the horizontal median of the seal. The base of the tree is charged with "1835" in white.
The flag of Geneva is hoisted in front of the City Hall, together with the flags of Illinois and of the US.
www.mysuburbanlife.com/batavia/newsnow/x898663818/Geneva-flag-at-half-staff-in-honor-of-Mary-Bencini?photo=0 - Photo, "Geneva Republican", 10 April 2012
Ivan Sache, 11 April 2012
located by Paul Bassinson, 10 July 2019
Image obtained from
Paul Bassinson, 10 July 2019