Cary’s founder was William Dennison Cary, who purchased 82 acres of land in 1841 for $1.25 an acre in what would become Cary Station. Mr. Cary continued to purchase land and built a house for his family on part of his property located at 9 West Main Street. Shortly after Mr. Cary’s land was officially recorded on February 23, 1859, the railroad purchased a strip of his property and built a single track railroad. The train station would also be built on this property and Cary Station became the first name for the community.
A Vote for a Village
In 1893, Cary Station had 300 residents and they voted to incorporate as a village. At that time, approximately one-third of Illinois’ 3.8 million residents were farmers and Cary was no exception. Cary’s earliest families can be traced to the farms they owned. With a rail line running through the community, Cary’s farmers were able to diversify, utilizing their produce for a lucrative pickle business that brought buyers from Chicago and St. Louis. This business enterprise was the beginning of Cary’s evolution from an agriculturally-based community to the suburban community it is today.
Source: U.S. Census data
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