Gridley was incorporated on April 1, 1869 under a special Charter. The first board consisted of President: H.E. Seiberns; Trustees: W.H. Boies, George Hewitt, David Sloan, and S.L. Martin; Treasurer: M.C. Prescott; Police Magistrate: J.T. Tarman; Constable: W.R. Ruckle.
G.W. Kent and Thomas Carlisle purchased the entire Section4 of Township 26 Range 3 and laid out the town in 1956. Our town was named after General Ashael Gridley. However it wasn't until 1869 that the local government was organized and incorporated.
The community relied much on their individual residents, businessmen and community groups to assist in helping the town grow. Drs. J.A. Adams, C.H, Ayling and Thomas Moate were instrumental in promoting the community. Charles Rowley began publishing the Gridley Advance in 1893. He was a great community booster.
It was reorganized as a Village under the state law of Illinois on October 2, 1905 in a special election in a vote of 86 for, and 51 against, being a majority of 35 for the reorganization the proposal passed and Gridley became a Village.
Board members in 1905 were: President, O.McNemar, clerk, C.S. Rowles; trustees, J.F. Ropp, Jasper Gilmore, H.H. Albers, H.F, Andrews, D.P. Roth, treas., Wm Niergarth; St. com, Sam Smith; Marshal, J.C, Bryant.
1906 Board was President, J.R. Siebrens; clerk, C.S. Rowley; trustees, Joohn Egolf, Chas. Hughes, H.H. Albers, Alex Helbling, H.D. Benedict, Wm. Bryant. Attorney, J.F. Bosworth,
Special Election held in 1906 This board first one elected under Village organization. Six trustees. Lynch, Albers, Helbling Egoff, Hughes, Benedict. President, J. R. Sieberns and Clerk, C.S. Rowley. Poundmaster was Samuel Smith.
One of the first Ordinances #20 had to do with the prohibition of smoking in public places. It was also illegal to sell or give away cigarettes within the town, or sell or give cigarette papers without having obtained a license. The fine could be as much as $25 at that time.
I think you can see the Patriotism shown our community during W.W. II, through an article printed in the Gridley News in June of 1942. The Gridley residents were urged by Mayor Froehlich to observe Flag week from June 8 -14 by displaying or flying the flag of the United States all week long. All business houses are also asked to show the colors during that period. He was quoted in his proclamation saying, I urge the people of the city of Gridley to display the Stars and Stripes at their homes and places of business and to hold patriotic ceremonies as a public expression of our love of country; in respect to those daring men and women who have fought and shed blood in order that our emblem may continue to fly at the highest places; unity and allegiance to our national emblem, the symbol of our civic faith, and the beacon of hope to liberty-loving people throughout the world.
1945 Board consisted of: W.E. Froelich, Pres. Austin King, H.S. Suter, Ezra Stoller, Clyde Mool, H.E. Diggle, O.M. Lyon. Village Clerk was W.H. Gibbs
Jan. 1950 Street lights were improved from 60 watts up to 400 watt and 14 street lights were to be installed from Rt 24 through main street. Street lights ini the residential distrit were replaced with 100 watt bulbs as well.
1949 Board consisted of W.E. Froelich, Pres., Clyde Mool, H.E. Diggle, O.M. Lyon, Harold Burke, Paul McKey, Orville Rathbun, and Village Clerk, Virgil Brown.Â
A letter was received by P. J. Keller requesting the change of a federal secondary route to go through main street instead of the road in front of John Hooblerâ€™s home.
T.P. & W may install flashing lights at two crossings and a third one would be at the towns expense.
An ordinance was passed wherby permits must be secured from the village clerk before erecting a building within the city limits. The permis must also include the location of the drain tile, septic tank and water connections. The Clerk will keep drawings of the information on file.
Lee Andrews was hired as a night watchman for the village for $75 per month. The mayor appointed the fire department chief, assistant chief and secretary-treasurer of the fire department.
William E. Froelich Sr. served as mayor of Gridley for 22 years. From 1935 to 1957. He was a member of the Board for several years preceding his term as mayor.
He decided to retire in January of 1953 as Mayor. He had served for 18 years since 1935. He had been the Superintendent of Water and carried many responsibilities for civil betterment and improvement. He began his tenure in 1935 and served first a 2-year term. The terms of mayor and aldermen were raised to four years by a vote of the state legislature during his first term. He was then elected to serve four 4 year terms. He was also designated by the board as the village health officer.
He said, upon his retirement, that he always has had the co-operation of a progressive and civil minded. Harold Burke and Paul Mckey's terms served at that time as well as Clyde Mool, H.E. Diggle and S.H. Ellenberger. They decided to dig a new well in 1953 as attempts had been made to restore the capacity of well No.1 drilled in 1923. , but it did not respond favorably to its rehabilitation. They said, It appears this well is no longer capable of providing satisfactory service.
Some of the accomplishments of the board under Mayor Froelich's tenure of office are: Mud streets changed to gravel, and then 51/2 miles of blacktop streets; curb and gutter the entire length of U.S. route 24 through town.(Gridley Advance Jan. 8, 1953) He brought Gov. Green to Gridley to dedicate the Soldiers Memorial in the Gridley Park and also Governor Stratton attended the 1956 Centennial. While he was Mayor, he traveled to Europe with his son-in-law Rush Holt. He chaired the 1956 Centennial Celebration as Mayor.
However, that did not happen, though he didn't run, people had a write in campaign and he was reelected for another 4 years retiring in Jan. of 1957.