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The Rugen Family

Herman Rugen, Sr. (1816-1896)

Herman Rugen arrived in New York City on July 18, 1853. Herman was accompanied by his father, Harm Rugen; his second wife, Catharina Elisabeth (Schwinge) Rugen; and two sons. The family continued on to Chicago and settled in Northfield Township. He became a naturalized citizen on November 1, 1858.

Over the years Herman acquired around 500 acres of land that included farms, timber, and pasture. He played an active role in the development of Northfield Township and he was known to be a successful farmer and businessman.

In 1869, Herman purchased a country store from an English settler named Adams. A US Post office, known as the South Northfield office, was also located in the store and Herman Rugen was appointed postmaster.

In the late 1870s Herman closed the store, sold the stock and planned to concentrate on farming. He changed his mind because he built a new store in 1880 with a cheese “factory” attached to it. The cheese facility was to provide an outlet for the milk from the surrounding farms.

Herman helped to found the Lutheran Church in Glenview. In 1865 it was named the New Evangelical Lutheran Church and Herman became one of the Trustees. Now it is know as St. Peter’s United Church of Christ.

Herman participated actively in establishing a school in the settlement. A school was finally built almost directly across the road from his house. It was named the Rugen School. As Glenview grew a new modern building was built about a mile South. Later with decline in child population, the building was converted into a community center, still retaining the Rugen name.

Herman would marry three sisters from the Schwinge family: Henrietta who died in Germany, Catharina who died shortly after their arrival in Illinois, and Anna.
He had compassionate concern for his family and their welfare, as well as for his friends and neighbors. Within his family, he established the fair practice of assisting any of his children to the extent of $500 if they wished to purchase farmland. When his sons married they were given $1,000 in cash to carry on their careers.

He had 14 Children in all. One daughter died in infancy, but 10 sons & three daughters grew to adulthood.

Incorporation: 1899

With the problems confronting the increasing population and the desire of the people to form a governing body in the town, a need to organize and incorporate became apparent. In 1898, an election was held to vote for incorporation. The issue was defeated. A year later, in 1899, the question was again placed before the people and this time carried by 8 votes. A charter was issued on June 20, 1899, and Glenview was incorporated as a Village with 325 adults.  

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Welcome to the Glenview History Center

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