The Korthauer Family
The Korthauers were one of Bensenville’s founding families, and played a key part in the building and organizing of the town. Henry Korthauer immigrated from Germany to America with his family in 1840 where they arrived in New York. Henry relocated to Bensenville the following year where he and his wife Mary raised three children.
The Korthauers played an important role in the construction of Bensenville. In 1902 Henry helped in constructing the mill at Mt. Emblem Cemetery, and with the help of his son Herman, assisted in the building Freiden’s Evangelical Church.
The Korthauers were also involved in civic matters, with Henry’s sons Herman and William elected Chief and Treasurer of the newly organizes Bensenville Fire Department in 1894. Herman was also a School District 2 Board member, twice elected Village President, Fireman, and Justice of the Peace. The Fire Station at 500 South York Road is dedicated as a memorial to honor the community service provided by the Korthauer family.
The Korthauer Log House was built in Bensenville in 1844. Korthauer descendants expanded the house, encasing the original structure in drywall and siding. In 1989 the owners of the house decided to tear it down and discovered the log structure. They offered the structure to the Bensenville Historical Society with the terms that it would be moved to another site. The Bensenville Library offered a site on library property.
Volunteers carefully labeled the logs, removed them, and properly reconstructed the pieces on the library property. The house was reconstructed completely using construction techniques from the house’s original build period.
The Korthauer Log House is a house rather than a cabin, due to its unique features including the hip roof, timberframe section, and handmade bricks. The house also possesses a wooden floor and contains many period home furnishing pieces.
All restoration work on the Korthauer House was and continues to be done by volunteers. The relocation and restoration project was awarded an Illinois Hometown Award for volunteerism.
Visiting the Log House
The Korthauer Log House is owned and operated by the Bensenville Library as a Living History Museum.
The Korthauer Log House is open to the public the second Sunday of every month with programs and themes focused around the lifestyles of the Korthauers and other families living in the Bensenville area in the 1840s and 1850s. Stop by the unique log house at 900 West Wood Street and learn the history of this living history museum, selected for an Illinois Home Town Award in 1995, and enjoy the activities organized by library staff and Historical Society volunteers.
For more information, please contact the Library at (630) 766-4642.