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Originally known as Henpeck, the Village of Hampshire began when Zenas Allen of Vermont became its first settler in 1836. From 1837 to 1845 Henpeck existed along the Chicago – Galena Stagecoach Trail at Old State (Route 20), Big Timber, and Brier Hill Roads. Hampshire Township was organized in 1845, and the village’s name was changed to Hampshire. In 1876, the village relocated so that it could be along the Chicago-Pacific Railroad line. Hampshire was officially incorporated that same year with Samuel Rowell as its first village president. In 1893, the farming community grew to become the second largest milk producing and shipping station in Illinois. Residents have served in the civil war, and during World War II, Hampshire was chosen for a prisoner of war camp for 250 German soldiers who worked at the Inderrieden Canning Company.

Click this link for the Local Digital History - Courtesy of the Ella Johnson Memorial Library