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Presentation at Oak Brook Library 5/19/24 Regarding Fullersburg's Historical Transition

Don Fuller and Sue Devick from Fullersburg Historic Foundation and Elizabeth Arts from Oak Brook Historical Society will be discussing the rapid changes that occurred between 1832-1862 as the Potawatomi village of Sauganakka became the busy settlement of Fullersburg.  Join us at 2:00 at Oak Brook Library on Sunday, 5/19/24;
sign up at  The library is located at 600 Oak Brook Rd. (31st St.), Oak Brook, east of Route 83.


    FHF Attends Annual Harvest Pow Wow at DuPage Fairgrounds on 10/15/23

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Don McLesster, Oneida               Eagle staff                                 U.S. Native American veterans                   3 Fires Confederacy

The Foundation Shows Patriotism on the 4th of July

Fullersburg Historic Foundation was very well represented at the Hinsdale 4th of July Parade by members of the Fuller Family, who showed their patriotism in red, white and blue. Benjamin Fuller, the founder of Fullersburg, first arrived in this area in 1834 after riding his horse from New York (about 700 miles) in a three-week journey to find more land for his family. (See "Ben Fuller" section in this website.)

Memorial Day Tribute at Historic Fullersburg Cemetery

The Flag Changing Ceremony at Historic Fullersburg Cemetery on Memorial Day (5/29/23) was well attended, as over 70 guests paid their respects to the veterans who are laid to rest at this peaceful, wooded site, including a lone Confederate Civil War soldier, Corp. John Andre. Fullersburg Historic Foundation President Don Fuller read the names of these patriots as the American flag was changed, and he also reviewed the early Settlement Era of Fullersburg, founded by Don's great, great, grandfather, Benjamin Fuller. The history of the local Potawatomi Native Americans who lived in this area was outlined by Director Sue Devick, whose notes are available by clicking on icon, right.  


Fullersburg Historic Foundation

President Don Fuller and Director Kathy Fuller (photo, far left) hosted the traditional flag changing ceremony on Memorial Day, honoring the local veterans who are laid to rest at this serene cemetery. FHF Director Susan Yochim and Scott Yochim (photo, left) and Director Kathleen Sievertsen and Dr. Grant Sievertsen (photo, right) were in attendance, as well as Directors Lynnette Ruiz and Marci Hanzlik.


Oak Brook Students visit Historic       Benjamin Fuller Farmhouse

Fullersburg Historic Foundation President Don Fuller and Director Kathy Fuller shared information about the Ben Fuller Farmhouse with 4th grade students from Brook Forest School in Oak Brook, including those in the classroom of Adam Nicholson (see photo, right). This unique early example of balloon-frame construction is one of the oldest in the U.S.; it was built by Ben Fuller in 1840 and stands today on the east side of York Rd. at the intersection of Spring Rd., north of Ogden Ave. in Hinsdale. Also assisting on the field trip was historian Sue Devick, also with FHF. Learn more about the Ben Fuller House and other historic structures on the "Fullersburg" page on this website. 

Fullersburg Field Trip on May 9, 2023

     Adam Nicholson, Don Fuller and Kathy Fuller


Black Hawk War Presentation
Clarendon Hills Historical Society hosted a presentation about the Black Hawk War on 3/11/23 and five dramatic events of this conflict that impacted local history forever. Sue Devick of Fullersburg Historic Foundation was honored to speak at this event.

Historian Sue Devick and Executive Director of Graue Mill Elissa Fink hosted a presentation about Potawatomi Chief Shabbona on 9/11/22 at the Frederick Graue House. After observing a moment of silence for the victims of 9/11/01, a capacity crowd discussed the fascinating history surrounding the compassionate chief who warned the early settlers of this area about Black Hawk's plans for war upon the white settlers in May of 1832. There is much to this episode of nineteenth century history and the removal of the Native Americans from this area. Below left, Sue Devick and Elissa Fink at Graue House; below right, Sue by Graue Mill sign.

Liz Heinecke, author of Radiant, visits Hinsdale Library 

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Liz Heinecke presented Don Fuller with a signed copy of her highly acclaimed book Radiant, which examines the real-life friendship between world-famous dancer Loie Fuller and Nobel Prize Winning Scientist Mme. Marie Curie. Ms. Heinecke led a well-attended discussion at Hinsdale Library on 6/28/22 about her book, which can be purchased online. 

Hinsdale Magazine examines the Fuller Family Legacy


The legacy of Benjamin Fuller, the founder of Fullersburg (and great, great grandfather of Don Fuller) is detailed by Larry Atseff in the June/July 2022 edition of Hinsdale Magazine. The multi-generational success story of this entrepreneurial family reflects the innovative qualities that enabled the Fullers to survive and thrive as pioneers of this area. The civic-minded Fullers have always contributed to the well-being of their community; as pointed out by a family friend, "Yes, the solid family has always been there keeping Hinsdale... Hinsdale." 

Fullersburg Historic Foundation
     Shows Patriotism--7/4/22 

Fuller family members represent Fullersburg Historic Foundation in
the Hinsdale 4th of July Parade, 2022.

  Traditional Memorial Day Ceremony at Historic Fullersburg Cemetery, 5/30/22

The traditional Memorial Day Ceremony at Historic Fullersburg Cemetery was led by Fullersburg Historic Foundation President Don Fuller on 5/30/22, who read the names of the veterans whose final resting place is at this serene location as sons Michael and Tyler changed the flag. (See video, right.) Don is the great, great grandson of Benjamin Fuller, founder of Fullersburg, who is also buried at this historic site. Also buried here is Morell Fuller, brother of Benjamin, who served as a Union Soldier in the Civil War. The foundation was proud to recognize Paul Hanzlik, (in photo, below left), a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, who was a Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Army Artillery and Missile School and awarded the Army Commendation Medial for Meritorious Service on 12/2/1970. Marci Hanzlik (also in photo, below left) is a FHF Director. 


Don Fuller reads the names of the local veterans who are buried at this historic site while sons Michael and Tyler
change the American flag.

Mr. and Mrs. Paul Hanzlik

Morell Fuller, Union Soldier

Fullersburg Historic Foundation Presentation at Oak Brook Library


On May 14, 2022, Don Fuller and Sue Devick spoke to a capacity audience at Oak Brook Library about the Native Americans and the early settlers of Fullersburg. Topics included the Potawatomi village of Sauganakka, the Black Hawk War, the arrival of Ben Fuller and the growth of Fullersburg during the Settlement Era. Click icon for presentation outline. 


Brook Forest School visits the Ben Fuller Farmhouse

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On April 5, 2022, fourth grade students from Brook Forest School in Oak Brook visited the Ben Fuller House as part of a historic tour of the area, including Graue Mill in Fullersburg. Don Fuller taught the students about the innovative balloon-frame construction of the house, possibly the oldest surviving example in the country. Also assisting, Directors Kathy Fuller and Kathy Sievertsen (photo, right)) and Sue Devick.

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Fullersburg Historic Foundation organized a food pantry drive for HCS in Hinsdale that resulted in the donation of almost 650 lbs. of supplies for area families in need. A special thank you to Girl Scout Troop 55501 from Brook Forest Elementary School in Oak Brook--especially Elena and mom Sharon for delivering the troop's generous gifts! Foundation board members Kathy and Don Fuller, Richard Allison, Sue Devick and HCS's Patrick Schlomas unloaded food, paper products, diapers, and personal products brought by area residents, including lots of Fuller family members. You can leave your donations in the red bins by Maple Circle at Hinsdale Library at any time. Thank you!


        Kathy, Don, Richard, Elena, and Sharon


   Don, Kathy, Richard, Patrick

    Kathy, Don, son Tyler and kids       Missy with parents Kathy and Don

George Ruchty's Artifact Collection

On 9/8/21, Don and Kathy Fuller, Patrice Macken, Kathy Sievertsen and Sue Devick of the Fullersburg Historic Foundation examined the artifact collection created and donated by George Ruchty of the Fuller family. Below, Don and Kathy display a nineteenth-century bicycle and rifle. Beaded Potawatomi moccasins reveal the strong Native American presence in the Fullersburg area prior to the Settlement Era. A painted decoy and ice skates originally owned by Civil War veteran Morell Fuller indicate that hunting and ice skating were activities pursued by the local settlers, held in photo by Directors Kathy Fuller and Kathy Sievertsen. Other items in the collection include a horse weight, a weaving reel, rustic chairs, a wagon, and books, all of which provide insight into daily life in Old Fullersburg.


Historical Journal Recovered 

Memorial Day 2021

The Fullersburg Historic Foundation received a surprising email message in late June, 2020 from a collector of old "stuff" in Texas who came across the journal of the Brush Hill Debate Club in a storage unit. This worn, leather-bound book contains the records of the club's meetings from its organization in 1857 to 1860, right before the Civil War. With a leap of faith and a bit of negotiation, Foundation President Don Fuller secured the purchase and the special delivery return of the journal to the Hinsdale area. (Brush Hill became Fullersburg, named after Benjamin Fuller, Don's great, great grandfather.) The journal proved to be authentic, with candle wax dripping marks on its gilded pages as well as handwritten script produced by fountain pens dipped into black ink. The journal's contents also reveal the high regard for education among the members as well as their deep concern for their fellow man. 

"This Debate Club Journal from the past brings this community's thinking into an incredible perspective," observes Don Fuller. The highly diverse topics that were chosen by the members for their weekly debates range from deciding if "works of nature are to be admired more than works of art" to the abstract determination of whether or not "love is a stronger incentive to action than hate." Many contemporary issues also were debated, such as the building of a Pacific Rail Road and women's suffrage. At one meeting, the plight of both Native Americans (who had been relocated) and African American (who had been forced into slavery) was discussed. Several citizens of Fullersburg who participated in the debate club were also local "conductors" with the Underground Railroad  at a time when those assisting fugitive slaves were subject to prosecution; the actions of the settlers also demonstrated the sincerity of their words and their personal resolve.


You can read more about the journal in our blog section; this interesting primary source topic will be highlighted in our future posts, as well.

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Join us on May 31, 2021, when Don Fuller (great, great grandson of Fullersburg founder Benjamin Fuller) will honor the veterans and noted area citizens who are buried at historic Fullersburg Cemetery. Long time Hinsdale resident Charlie Hartley (World War 11 veteran) will be among those assisting Don at the flag changing ceremony and Pledge of Allegiance, which will occur at 11:30 a.m. Don then will lead a tour of this beautiful wooded site, which is the final resting place of thirteen Civil War Union soldiers and one Confederate soldier. The cemetery is located at the north end of Garfield Street between Fuller Rd. and Maumell Street in Hinsdale. 

    Foundation Sponsors Food Pantry Benefit

Foundation Gives Back


   Ben Fuller Farmhouse

The Fullersburg Historic Foundation supports the restoration of 

the Ben Fuller Farmhouse, originally built around 1840 and possibly the oldest example of a balloon frame structure in existence. Ben Fuller lived in this house until his death in 1868. You can help to preserve a unique aspect of the settlement era of Fullersburg through your donation, which will be greatly appreciated; we are a 501 (c) (3) organization.  Contact us at  Find out more about the Ben Fuller Farmhouse at:






On Monday, May 25, 2020 we paid a special tribute to our veterans by opening Historic Fullersburg Cemetery for quiet reflection. We are deeply grateful to all of our dedicated servicemen and women, past and present. The cemetery is the final resting place for many of our area's Civil War soldiers. The words of Abraham Lincoln in a letter to Mrs. Bixby of Boston, MA (who lost five sons in Civil War battles) is an appropriate message to anyone who has suffered loss on behalf of our country:

"The solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom."  The Board of Directors of the Fullersburg Historic Foundation and the Fuller family wish you a peaceful and meaningful Memorial Day and a safe summer.

Memorial Day 2020

Rotary Club Presentation

On 1/22/21, Fullersburg Historic Foundation President Don Fuller and Director Sue Devick were honored to speak at a Hinsdale Rotary Club meeting (by Zoom) about the history of the Settlement Era in Fullersburg. Rotary Club International is an impressive organization that advocates positive change and service above self; its members observe a four-way test of the things that they think, say, or do, asking: "Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?" The civic-minded pioneers who participated in the Brush Hill Debate Club would have approved of the visionary Rotarians, who set an example through their leadership. (See "Debate Journal," above.)



The Fullersburg Historic Foundation held a ceremony for dedication

of gravestones for many soldiers who fought in the Civil War. This

service was conducted with the cooperation of the Philip H. Sheridan Camp #2 of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, and a starting point for a joint project of locating headstones for unnamed soldiers as well as to clean and maintain historic headstones.  (7/23/2016)

Among those who received new grave markers was John J. Andre, a Marylander whose sympathies were with the Confederacy. He served with the 1st Maryland Infantry, 12th Virginia Cavalry and the 2nd Maryland Cavalry. Harvey A. Cooper, a New Yorker who served in the 85th New York Infantry and the 4th United States Artillery, also received a new headstone. Finally, Illinois native Malchom J. Palmer, who served in the 156th Illinois Infantry, was also honored with a new headstone. 

During the ceremony, Don Fuller spoke of some of the experiences of those who fought in the Civil War and some specific stories of those buried. Pastor Jay Klein of Zion Lutheran Church provided the invocation and an inspirational message. A rifle salute was conducted by the Hinsdale American Legion Post #250. The Cemetery is located at the north end of Garfield Street, between Fuller Road and Maumell Street in Hinsdale. (Below, the grave of Confederate soldier of John A. Andre.)

Gravestone Ceremony


                         Don and Kathy Fuller


On December 19, 2020, Fullersburg Historic Foundation sponsored a benefit to collect donations for the food pantry managed by HCS Family Services in Hinsdale. Don and Kathy Fuller, Sue Devick, and Erlo Roth unloaded almost 1,000 lbs. of food and paper items donated by FHF directors and members, friends, and generous neighbors. As stated by Don and Kathy (above), "Fullersburg Historic Foundation is grateful for the opportunity to assist the food pantry in their efforts--thank you."  Donation can be made at the red bins by the Maple Circle side of the Memorial Bldg. in Hinsdale any day of the week.



        4th of July, 2020--Save the Dam!

On the 4th of July, 2020, the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War were our guests at historic Fullersburg Cemetery. The honor guard performed a rifle salute to pay tribute to our country's birthday while remembering the veterans who fought for our freedom. Don Fuller also spoke of his great, great grandfather, Benjamin Fuller, who first came to this area on horseback in 1834 and convinced his large family in New York to join him in settling here the following year.  The family's first cabin was about 25' by 15', and during winter blizzards, snow blew through the openings in the logs. Ben taught the local native American Pottawatomies how to shoe horses, and in turn, they gave Ben's son John a pony named Ninoldi. Ben was a creative inventor as well as a thoughtful planner for the community, setting aside land for a school and a cemetery.

Frederick Graue, another enterprising pioneer of Fullersburg, took over the dam at its current location in 1850 and joined Ben in a leadership role in Fullersburg.  Pottawatomies who remained in the area lived east of current York Road and visited the mill when maple syrup was made, and the Graue family always gave them biscuits with syrup. The mill also was a stop on the Underground Railroad; several Civil War local veterans are buried at historic Fullersburg Cemetery. 

Don Fuller warned the visitors that plans are being made to demolish the Graue Mill Dam.  The Officers and Board of Directors of the Fullersburg Historic Foundation feel strongly that this would have a very negative impact on the historic nature of beautiful Fullersburg. We encourage you to contact the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County with your questions and your reservations or sign a petition to keep the dam at  See Don's 4th of July address below. 

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Fullersburg Historical Light Show


A colorful and entertaining light show about the history of Fullersburg was projected on to the Ben Fuller house on August 16, 2019. This creative production was compiled by Matt Stockmal of Hinsdale.

 Memorial Day Traditions at Historic Fullersburg Cemetery


On Memorial Day, families have traditionally gathered at the historic Fullersburg Cemetery to remember their relatives who were buried there. The cemetery is the final resting place of many of the founders of Fullersburg and Hinsdale.  As the population grew it became a private cemetery and was enclosed by a fence in order to protect the fragile headstones. Many of the area’s WWI and Civil War soldiers are buried there along with a Confederate soldier in an unmarked grave. The Grand Army of the Republic held Memorial Day services at this cemetery from 1882 to 1920. Fifty to one hundred Veterans would gather to recall events of that great American Civil War. Today, the cemetery’s flag is replaced in a simple ceremony each Memorial Day. (In consideration of our first responders, we will postpone the ceremony in 2020, but the cemetery will be open for quiet reflection.)


A walk through the cemetery takes one back to the early days of settlement of the area. The large group of Fuller family graves includes that of Jacob Fuller and his wife Candace, whose stone marks the oldest grave. Their son, Ben, who donated the land for the cemetery in 1851, lays nearby, along with Morell Fuller, a drummer in the Civil War. John Coe, a conductor on the Underground Railroad, and his son Samuel, another Civil War veteran, are buried there. The graves of Barto Van Velzer, the first toll road keeper, and his wife Mary (Fuller), the first schoolteacher can be found there.  Other names that evoke the past are Fox, Franke, Ruchty, Walker, and Wegener. 


Through the efforts of the Fuller family and the Fullersburg Historic Foundation, the cemetery will be opened to the public each Memorial Day from 11 approximately 11 am to 2 pm.  The cemetery is located at the North end of Garfield Street, between Fuller Road and Maumell Street in Hinsdale.

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