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, Herman, Caroline, and William.
The Korthauers played an important role in the construction of Bensenville. In the mid 1840s, Henry helped in constructing the mill at Mt. Emblem Cemetery, and Herman assisted in building the Freiden’s Evangelical Church in 1902.
The Korthauers were also involved in civic matters, with Henry’s sons Herman and William elected Chief and Treasurer of the newly organized 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, timber frame 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.
The Korthauer Log House is owned and operated by the Bensenville Community Public Library as a Living History Museum.
For more information, please contact the Library at (630) 766-4642.