Village History:
Set in a rich history of undeniable
fortitude and determination, the
residents of Elkhart have a proud
heritage. From the Native Americans of
the 1700's to the residents that now
call Elkhart their home, legend and
local historians have kept a record of
the transition of the "Hill" and the
fertile prairie beside it. All who passed
this way, the Indian, the explorers,
the pioneers, the settlers, were sure
to be struck by the unique landscape -
a tree covered mound that arose to
777 feet above sea level and the flat
prairie land immediately below.

The history of Elk Heart Hill began with
the marriage and ensuing family of
White Blossom and her husband of the
Illini branch of the Kickapoo Indiana
Nation. When James Latham, the first
white settler arrived in 1819, the "Hill"
and surrounding area became known
as Elk Heart Grove. Elk Heart Grove
was still just a settlement in 1848
when John Shockey, a farmer and
cattleman from Quincy, Pennsylvania,
made the journey here to buy cattle.
Taken with the richness of the area
Elkhart Hill as it appears today. The
fertile soil, the timber - he returned to
Pennsylvania , sold his land and
holdings, loaded up his wife and
children and their belongings, and left
for Elk Heart Grove. He and his family
home steaded on the hill overlooking
what is now the Village. Along with his
adventurous and pioneer spirit,
however, came also a man of vision. It
was with this vision, that on April 11,
1855, he took 22.47 acres on the west
edge of the hill and had it platted and
surveyed and made the cluster of
residents a town - Elkhart City.
corner of Latham and Governor
John Shockey died unexpectedly in
November of 1859 leaving land for
churches, businesses and more homes
to be built. As the town grew, the
railroad came and the decision to
incorporate was made. On February
22, 1861,Elkhart City was incorporated
and James Rigney became its first
board president.

Elkhart City was the official name until
1979 when the State of Illinois notified
the Village that they were by record
still legally known as just that.
Residents held a special public
meeting on June 26, 1979, to change
the Village name to Elkhart. Effective
on November 14, 1979, the Village's
name changed from Elkhart City to
Elkhart.
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All Rights Reserved.