The Potawatomie Native Americans were among the first permanent residents in the area now known as Lincolnshire. Potawatomie artifacts, such as the "Council Tree," were still evident throughout the community as recently as 1956. The Council Tree was actually a group of three trees located on the river bank near what is now Lincolnshire Drive. The first settler, Captain Daniel Wright, arrived in Lake County in 1834 and settled on the west side of the Des Plaines River.

The area later became known as “Half Day.” Contrary to popular belief, Half Day was not named because it was a half-day’s journey from Chicago. The town's true name was “Halfda” in honor of Chief Aptakisic of the Potawatomie tribe. Aptakisic translated to "sun at its meridian" or half of the day. An early cartographer spelled it Half Day, and so it remained.

Laura B. Sprague established the first school in her home in 1836. The one-room school house taught kids of varying ages and was supported by parents. The area quickly grew in population, and by 1855 Half Day became a thriving community. Half Day contained all things necessary for life at that time: a blacksmith shop, saw mill, country store, and a church.

After the advent of the automobile, Half Day became a popular recreational area. An amusement park was built, as well as a race track, bowling alley, dance hall, and taverns.

Farmers began to buy property in Vernon Township after World War I. Edward Ryerson purchased 400 acres of the original Daniel Wright property. Others who purchased land in the surrounding area were Adlai Stevenson, Samuel Insull, and Louise Leverone.

In 1955, Ladd Enterprises purchased 280 acres, and on August 5th of that year, a subdivision called Lincolnshire was recorded in Waukegan, the county seat for Lake County. It marked the beginning of the Village of Lincolnshire. The first residents moved into their homes in 1956. They had dirt roads, septic systems, propane gas tanks, party-line telephones, and were dependent on police protection from Waukegan.

These early problems led to the formation of a homeowners' group called the Cambridge Forest Association because Cambridge Lane was the only developed street at that time. This organization later became known as the Lincolnshire Community Association and was the social network for the community. The Lincolnshire Community Association started and sponsored many of the community festivals and events held throughout the year; including Lincolnshire’s annual Fourth of July celebration at Spring Lake Park.

Lincolnshire was incorporated as a Village on August 5, 1957 under the sponsorship of the Cambridge Forest Association. 76 of 91 votes cast were cast in favor of incorporation with fifteen votes opposed. The Village adopted a Council-Manager form of government by ordinance in 1976. Under this plan, the Mayor and six Trustees are elected at-large to set policy, approve agreements and expenditures for the Village, and appoint a Village Manager who is responsible for day-to-day operations. Lincolnshire is also a home-rule municipality.

Lincolnshire's original incorporated land area was approximately 0.4 miles. This is the area bounded by Riverwoods Road to the east, the homes on Cambridge Lane to the south, the Des Plaines River to the west, and Route 22 (with the exception of Stonegate Circle and Deerfield Woods) to the north. In 1970, Lincolnshire covered 2.1 square miles, and over time, its land area grew to its 4.6 square miles which includes 40 miles of streets.

At the time of incorporation, the Village's population was 237 and grew to 2,531 by 1970. The latest (2010) Decennial Census indicated the Village population increased to 7,275.

Lincolnshire Today

Lincolnshire is located along I-94 in Lake County, Illinois, part of metropolitan Chicago. The residential character is largely one-half acre lots and larger; although there are several planned unit developments of greater density. Most of the residential development is east of the Des Plaines River which travels through Lincolnshire. The residential population west of the river is complemented by a growing commercial and corporate office tax base. This commercial area includes six hotels, more than 30 restaurants, a multi-screen theater, retail areas, and a corporate center which is home to several Fortune 500 companies and global headquarters. Marriott Lincolnshire Resort features a championship golf course, live theater, and meeting rooms that attract business and training opportunities. Additionally, award-winning Adlai E. Stevenson High School, with a current enrollment of 4,300 students, is located on the west side of the Village.

Community Profile