Bensenville is more than just an immediate neighbor of O'Hare International Airport. Taking its name from the German town of Bensen, it was established by a group of devout Lutherans. When it was incorporated in 1884, Bensenville was already a vibrant community of hardworking dairy farmers. Settlers first arrived in the mid-1830s; the growth of the dairy industry was a response to demand for dairy products at Chicago markets. The railroad brought these products into the city but also brought a demand for more laborers, which introduced a more diverse population, including many Mexican families. O'Hare dramatically impacted the village, wiping part of it off the map, but Bensenville is coming back. Since 1960, the Bensenville Park District has afforded locals with recreational opportunities ranging from a golf course to a water park. The Bensenville Park District is also in charge of the preservation of Fischer Farm, a museum on the site of one of the area's oldest remaining homesteads that hosts educational programming, reenactments, and festivals.
Jonathan W. Sebastian, a local resident, works as curator at Fischer Farm. Sebastian gathered material for this work while researching the collection at the Bensenville Community Public Library and exchanging stories with longtime residents.