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John Manning Wells Selected as 2022 Founder of the Year 

John Manning WellsJohn Manning Wells was selected as the 2022 Founder of the Year. As part of the Downers Grove Founders Day activities, his selection was celebrated at a ceremony at the Downers Grove Main Street Cemetery on Saturday morning May 7, 2022, at the site of his headstone.

To find out more about John Manning's life and his contributions to village government, the Maple Grove Forest Preserve, and the Girl Scouts, click here.


James Dohren is the 2022 Montrew Dunham Award Recipient

The Downers Grove Historical Society is pleased to announce James Dohren as 2022 Montrew Dunham Award recipient. The award was created in 2019 to honor those whose significant service and contributions to the Village of Downers Grove have earned them a place in its history, following in the footsteps of noted teacher, author, historian, and community volunteer, Montrew Dunham.

When finding someone to beJames Dohren honored as the Montrew Dunham award winner for 2022 you only have to look to Jim Dohren. Sadly, Jim passed away in 2020 but all he did will forever be remembered. Born on April 13, 1943 in Aurora, Illinois Jim spent 33 years in Downers Grove as a middle school teacher of history and government. His interest in history led him to be an active board member of the Downers Grove Historical Society. For many years he was in charge of the restoration of the Main Street Cemetery in Downers Grove. His concern for the cemetery included researching graves and ensuring that all buried there would have a proper marker. Often corresponding with families all over the country he helped mark their family graves here.  

The Downers Grove Historical Society honored James' memory in an award ceremony at the Downers Grove Museum on the Wandschneider Park campus on May 7, 2022. For more on James' contribution to Downers Grove, click here.

We are Dedicated to the History and Heritage of 
Downers Grove, Illinois

The Downers Grove Historical Society is an independent, non-profit volunteer organization that was incorporated in 1968. We are dedicated to keeping history alive for future generations by preserving and promoting the heritage of Downers Grove. We seek to foster an understanding, awareness, and appreciation of our town's history and architecture through education, community programs, publications, and acknowledgment of historic sites. We rely solely on public support to continue these efforts. 

We are dedicated to the history and heritage of Downers Grove, Illinois.

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Help make history matter. Become a member today!

When you become a member of the Downers Grove Historical Society, you join those who are supporting the efforts to preserve, protect and share our rich heritage. Your membership supports a vital cultural resource and preserves our town's history - now, and for future generations.