Hanover - Location & History

Hanover, Illinois is located in Jo Daviess County in the northwest corner of Illinois, within five miles of the Mississippi River. State Highway 84, part of the scenic Great River Road, runs through the center of town. The Apple River, a tributary to the Mississippi, winds through and around Hanover.

The present site of Hanover was a Sac and Fox Indian village when white settlers came to farm the area in 1828. A natural drop in the Apple River made the location ideal as a dam and mill site, the first which was built in 1829 by James Craig. The settlement was initially known as "Craigsville", but in 1838 Craig laid out and platted the streets in the Village and renamed the community Wapello after the Chief of the Indian village. In 1849 the name was changed again, this time to Hanover. The Village became incorporated in 1877.

In 1863 the Hanover Woolen mill was started, and in 1929 the organization built the large building now standing beside Crescent Falls Dam. The woolen mill operated until 1949. In 1965 the building was reopened as the Valves and Control Plant Number Two, by the Dole Valve Company, Eaton Corporation, now Hanover's largest employer. In 1917, about 13,000 acres of land outside Hanover were bought for the development of the Savanna Proving Grounds, now the Savanna Army Depot, another major employer for Hanover. The Depot is scheduled for closure in the year 2000. Hanover is known as the Mallard Capitol of the World: Whistling Wings, the world's largest mallard duck hatchery, annually supplies hundreds of thousands of ducks to restaurants, wildlife refuges and research facilities all over the world.

The Village of Hanover has several development issues to address. Focused efforts by community leaders have led to the development of the Office & Industrial Center which is rapidly filling with a blend of light manufacturing, retail and service businesses. The closing of the Savanna Army Depot has resulted in a funneling of resources and expertise into the area to replace the jobs lost and the resulting development at the depot will directly impact the future of Hanover. The area's recreational capacity is relatively untapped commercially, and given the growing number of visitors to the region, has tremendous potential for development component. Jo Daviess Development, Inc. (JDDI) has documented a housing shortage throughout Jo Daviess County, particularly for affordable housing ($80,000 - $100,000). Hanover must address this shortage and look ahead to the needs of residents in order to provide a strong labor supply to support commercial development desired by the Village. These factors combine to support the need and benefit of a Comprehensive Planning effort at this time.

More on Hanover:
Current Profile
Natural Resources
Parks and Recreation

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Most towns in the northern Illinois area have been mailed a form to fill out. However, only a few towns returned a completed form. Hanover was the first to respond. Our hats off to Hanover!!!

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