About Us: History
What is now known as Frankfort Township was originally part of the Hickory Creek Precinct. Will County was originally divided into ten precincts. The county, in 1850, was changed to the township form of government. Frankfort Township was named by Frederick Cappel after his native city, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. In 1855 the Joliet and Northern Indiana Railroad built a line through an area linking Joliet, Illinois, with Lake Station, Indiana. The J&NI Railroad was leased to the Michigan Central Railroad, and service was implemented in July 1855. Nelson D. Elwood, an officer of the rail line, and Sherman Bowen, a Joliet attorney and real estate man, jointly platted a village of around 23 acres (9.3 ha) in March 1855 and named it Frankfort after the township. It was commonly referred to as "Frankfort Station" because of the railroad depot located there.
John McDonald became the first railroad agent in 1857.
In 1879, the village of Frankfort was incorporated, and elected John McDonald as the first Village President. Along with the establishment of the government, among the first undertakings of the newly formed administration was the institution of land use policies. Early plats that were recorded indicated a traditional grid pattern with residential uses surrounding the business district and railroad line and additional land provided for schools and public open spaces.
The Frankfort Area Historical Society incorporated in 1973 and has played an active role in preserving, protecting and promoting Frankfort's history since that time. The Museum, once a livery stable owned by Johnson Folkers (one of Frankfort's first residents), is open to the public four days a week and houses an extensive collection of records and memorabilia.
"The society's major function will be to discover and collect any material which may help to establish or illustrate the history of the area. It will collect and preserve printed material, manuscript material and other museum material. The society will disseminate historical information to the public."
132 W. Kansas Street
in historic downtown Frankfort.