Des Plaines Windmill
Oakton St and River Rd
Des Plaines, IL 60016
Destroyed by owner.
Luther Jefferson (1841 - ?)
Chicago Fact Book Consortium. Local Community Factbook: Chicago Metropolitan Area. Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 1985
History of the Mill
Only known history is that one of the founders of Des Plaines, Luther Jefferson, operated a farm along the Des Plaines River south of Oakton Street, and in 1841 he began operating a windmill, which was “soon replaced” by a large water mill. At present, not much is known about Jefferson’s windmill. Nearly all of the descriptions and evidence of a windmill ever being present near Des Plaines is mistaken for the Brockman Windmill in Schiller Park (with its unmistakable tail fan in the cap). Some sources say that Jefferson’s was converted from a grain mill to a saw mill to aid railroad construction; other sources state just the opposite.
In 1992, a commemorative jar with what was supposedly Jefferson’s windmill depicted on it was actually Brockman’s windmill from an old 1900s postcard.