Grace Episcopal Church
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Founded in 1875
1906 1951 1974
A Brief History...
In 1872, when Hinsdale was a new village with just 400 residents the invitation below appeared:
That “Society”, first envisioned after a service in the old Unitarian Church the previous May, went on to organize a Sunday School and hold occasional services in a local home and become the foundation of Hinsdale’s Episcopal congregation.
The parish was officially organized as Grace Episcopal Church on March 31st, 1873, at a meeting in the home of D. J. Crocker, where Mr. J. F. Stuart was chosen Sunday School Superintendent and Alfred Payne and Robert Slocum were elected as Wardens and John Ohls, William B. Marydwell, and J. F. Stuart were chosen as the first Vestry.
Grace Church was admitted as a parish in the Diocese of Chicago on May 28, 1878, and was blessed with a number of clergy who served her in a variety of locations such as the Unitarian Church, the Old Baptist Church basement, and a commercial building on the southeast corner of Washington and Hinsdale Avenue.
In October 1883, having collected the princely sum of $2,000 from sixteen pledgers, the congregation began to plan Grace’s first building on a site donated for that purpose by William Robbins, the first settler and developer of Hinsdale. Progress was slow, by 1884 only the foundation had been dug, but on June 13th, 1886, Whitsunday, the first service was held in a portion of the building we know as Grace Church.
The first Rector of Grace Church was the Rev. Arthur Livermore who came to Hinsdale from Kemper Hall, a girls’ school in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The Altar and Rerodos in the church are in memory of his father, the Rev. Edward Livermore, and Kemper Hall gave the Cross usually used on the Altar, in his memory.
Since those early days, Grace Church has been served by twelve rectors and numerous curates, assistants, and associates. She has used several buildings for church school and fellowship activities and has held seven successful building campaigns to enlarge and refurbish the fabric of her buildings.
Today Grace is blessed with a comfortable campus with the church, parish house, educational building and parking in the center and a large, historic Rectory on one side and wonderful newly designed and built Rectory (2009) on the other.