contentsManteno IL Chamberads



In 1844, a man by the name of Ansel Stevens, along with his son Zenas, arrived at a six-mile area of natural prairie land, which at that time was inhabited by the Potawatomie Indians. The most significant factor in the growth and development of current-day Manteno Township was the advent of the Illinois Central Railroad, a prosperous railroad system still in business today. With the railroad came more people and commerce.

Adopting American Indian names was prominent in the naming of towns here. In fact, Manteno’s name was derived from the Indian Princess Manteneau, the daughter of Francois Bourbonnais Jr. and his American Indian wife, Catish.

Manteno was successfully incorporated as a village in 1869, and by 1870 the postal service arrived. A telephone system was put into place in 1883, followed by the construction of the Village Hall and a water works building in 1895.


By the 1900s, Manteno had become a leading agricultural and railroad town with a population of 932 residents — a number which reached approximately 1,200 residents by 1920. During this time, Manteno continued to grow, with new associations, such as a Businessmen’s Association; the paving of Main Street; and the establishment of the new Manteno State Hospital.

The Village endured the hardships of such major events as the Great Depression and several significant wars, but persevered on to become the prosperous community it is today.

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