On this 1851 map, just above the “G” of “Schaumberg,” you can see a listing for Johnson’s Tavern, along Higgins Road. Starting a tavern in the mid-19th century on the lonely road that ran between Chicago and Dundee was certainly a good idea for those traversing that empty stretch. But, who was Johnson?

Taking a look at the 1850 census, we can see that it was most likely Daniel or Lyman, as they are the only Johnsons listed. Also, we know through the land office records of the Bureau of Land Management, that Daniel owned land in Section 12 that can be found at the top of the map. We know from Schaumburg Township Land Patents, a listing prepared by Bonnie Cernosek and compiled by Valentine, that an Emeline Johnson purchased property in Sections 12 and 13.

According to both the Palatine Centennial Book and Hillside Cemetery, Daniel Johnson traveled from New York with his brother, Morgan Johnson.They were both born in Vermont and moved to New York where they married sisters.

There is no mention of Lyman in either book so, we have to ask, was he their brother? They almost certainly were because Hillside Cemetery states that Morgan and Daniel were children of Lyman and Dorcas Johnson of Sandgate, Vermont. The 1850 census also states that Lyman, Morgan and Daniel were all born in Vermont. It’s almost too much of a coincidence that they share a history of the name Lyman, that they were born in the same state AND lived so close to one another in Schaumburg Township. The only other possibility is that they were cousins.

The two books also state that the families of Morgan and Daniel left New York in 1844 and traveled to Illinois. The Bureau of Land Management database says that Daniel signed off on 80 acres from the government on September 1, 1845 in Section 12 of the township. He added to it on March 1, 1850 by purchasing another 160 acres in the same section.

Schaumburg Township Land Patents tells us that Emeline Johnson purchased her property in Sections 12 and 13 on September 5, 1845–right around the time Daniel was buying his tracts.

Does the 1850 census say then, as shown above, that the occupation of Daniel or Lyman was saloon keeper or tavern owner? No, as noted above and below, it says they were farmers. What Johnson, then, was the tavern owner?

In Genesis of a Township, the author Marilyn Lind, states “Emilene Johnson, wife of Lyman Johnson from Vermont, was listed as the owner of property in Sections 12 and 13. According to a map dated 1850, the Johnsons operated a tavern on the property in section 13. They were more than likely related to Daniel H. Johnson, also from Vermont, who also purchased property in section 12.” While she doesn’t make it clear in what document Emilene is listed as the owner of property, we have to assume it is the original land patent and that Ms. Lind is clearly drawing the same conclusions about the two Johnsons.

The year 1850 was a big one for Daniel, Lyman and Schaumburg Township. Not only was the township formally established and named on April 2, Daniel was also given the esteemed title of first Supervisor of the Township. Lyman was made Overseer of the Poor and a Justice of the Peace. Daniel served in his position for one year and Lyman for two years.  By the 1860 census, both Johnson families had clearly moved on from Schaumburg Township because they are not listed.

What fortunes did they and their brother Morgan pursue and where did they go? The next couple of weeks we will pursue the story of Daniel, Morgan and Lyman Johnson.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

Sources used:

Palatine Centennial Book; Updated and published by the Palatine Quasquicentennial Committee of 1991.
Hillside Cemetery; by Constance Rawa of the Palatine Historical Society; 1997.
Schaumburg Township Land Patents; prepared by Bonnie Cernosek and compiled by Valentine.
Genesis of a Township; by Marilyn Lind.
Land Office Records of the Bureau of Land Management.




  1. Natasha Says:

    Hi Jane,

    I was wondering where the “G” (Johnson’s tavern) would have stood on our modern map. I see it’s off of 72 but I wonder if it’s west of Meacham or Roselle Road?


    • jrozek Says:

      Hello Natasha,

      On the map shown above the “G” is in the upper portion of Section 24. Today, that area would be a bit south of the SE corner of the intersection of Meacham and Higgins.

      I hope this helps!

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

      • Natasha Says:

        Thanks, Jane! That’s interesting because it became the property of the Kern Mansion, right? Or at least the northwest corner of the former horse ranch?

      • jrozek Says:

        Looking closely at the map, it appears to me that the tavern was on the north side of Higgins Road–right across from the future Kern mansion. I know the Kerns also owned property that stretched across Higgins Road so, it is a fair assumption that they may have owned the site of the Johnson tavern. Wouldn’t it have been fascinating to do an archaeological dig at some point?

        Interesting connection!

        Jane Rozek
        Local History Librarian
        Schaumburg Township District Library

      • Natasha Says:

        Oh I would love to Indiana Jones much of this town! 🙂

  2. David Olson Says:

    I love this look back at the very early roots of Schaumburg Township, and look forward to Part 2.

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