Stockton History

Stockton History

History of Stockton, Illinois

Stockton Illinois is the youngest town in Jo Daviess County, but it is the second largest. As part of the Driftless Area, Stockton is home to rolling hills, scenic farmland, and vistas that stretch across Northwestern Illinois. Stockton is also home to various architectural treasures, as many of the downtown buildings are designed in the Queen Anne style of the late 19th century. The White Building, the current home of Stella’s Café and Catering, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Village of Stockton was incorporated in April of 1890. It was created thanks in part to the Chicago Great Western Railroad Company, which established a line through the northern portion of the Stockton Township. The name Stockton was chosen by the village’s first citizens.

In 1914, J.L. Kraft, the founder of the Kraft Cheese Company, arrived in Stockton looking for a place to establish a cheese factory and creamery. Kraft chose to settle in Stockton due in part to the abundance of dairy cows and milk in the area, but also because the railroad offered easy transportation for his exceptional goods. Kraft, Inc. owned the plant until 1998, when they sold it to Brewster Cheese. Brewster Cheese is the top producer of Swiss Cheese in the United States, which is still produced in Stockton.

The Village is home to a thriving downtown, an expansive public park, a museum, a multitude of service-oriented businesses, and more. Welcome to Stockton!