On Wednesday, August 19, Village of Glen Ellyn Board members, Historic Preservation Commission members and staff held a dedication ceremony for the newly restored horse trough, now on display permanently in front of the Civic Center.
This cast-iron horse trough, previously located at the intersection of Crescent Boulevard and Main Street, was donated to the Village in 1907. After years of exposure to the elements and damage from vehicles, the structure received approval from the Village Board to be refurbished. In 2019, the original horse trough was removed from its location and delivered to Max-Cast, Inc. in Kalona, Iowa, a company that specializes in sculpture and foundry services. This began the year-long process of full refurbishment of the original horse trough. This week marked the installation of the newly refurbished horse trough in front of the Civic Center, along with a plaque detailing the history of this historic landmark. Residents can now view both structures on display in the downtown, as they provide a symbol of the community’s history and heritage.
Replica Horse Trough
In July, the Village’s new replica horse trough was installed as a centerpiece in the downtown at the intersection of Crescent Boulevard and Main Street. In 2019, the original horse trough was removed from its location and delivered to Max-Cast, Inc. in Kalona, Iowa, a company that specializes in sculpture and foundry services. This began the year-long process of full refurbishment of the original horse trough and the creation of the bronze replica.
History of the Historic Horse Trough
Long an icon of the Village of Glen Ellyn, the cast-iron horse trough was donated to the Village in 1907 by William C. Newton, a prominent businessman and a trustee on the Village’s first Board, which held its inaugural meeting on August 1, 1882. He was the son of Dr. Lewey Quitterfield Newton, one of Glen Ellyn’s earliest settlers and the town’s first doctor.
The original horse trough, designed to provide water for horses and dogs, was situated in the intersection of Crescent Avenue and Main Street. By 1911, just four years after Newton had donated the horse trough, traffic had become so heavy that it was hazardous for horses and dogs to drink from the fountain. It was moved east and placed on the south side of Crescent. At one point, the horse trough was situated on Duane Street east of Main Street, not far from the Glen Ellyn station on the Chicago, Aurora and Elgin electric line (now the Illinois Prairie Path). In the years after World War II, the horse trough was returned to its original place in the intersection of Crescent and Main, filled with flowers instead of water.
The horse trough was designated a Village Landmark in 2012.
(written history by Village Trustee Kelli Christiansen)