As Will County's Oldest Community, Plainfield's history is rich in anecdotes.
History tells us that Reuben and Betsey Flagg were two of the oldest settlers in area. Their daughter was the first settler child born in the county in 1830. Just as many families are doing now, the Flaggs decided that Plainfield or Walker's Grove, as it was named until its incorporation in 1834, was more suitable for living than Chicago.
However, the problems that plague Chicago residents today, urban congestion and traffic, were not the problems plaguing the Flaggs. In 1830, swamps covered the City of Chicago and it appeared to be a very undesirable habitat for large populations. Therefore, the Flaggs ventured onwards to Walker's Grove.
This did not stop Reuben Flagg from capitalizing on the Chicago population. Flagg is attributed with delivering the city's first pork shipment, in 1831, to a group of Methodists. The first frame home in Chicago was possible due because Flagg hauled the walnut timbers to build it.
Plainfield is also claimed to be the home of the very first ice cream sundae. Story says that a Plainfield druggist created the novelty after the urgings of patrons to serve something different. Topping some ice cream with syrup, he named it the "sonntag" after his surname. Sonntag means Sunday in German, thus the ice cream sundae was born.
Plainfield's heritage has provided the community with a variety of nicknames:
"Will County's Oldest Community"
"The Mother of Chicago" - Chicago depended upon the Plainfield settlement for mail and supplies.
"Cradle of Methodism" - Fort Beggs cabin
Updated: 19th May, 2019 3:55 PM.
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Updated: 19th May, 2019 5:27 PM.