William Henke House

12939 Greenwood Avenue

Built in 1883


William Henke was an executive at the Blue Island Ice Co. and one of the founders of the Calumet State Bank, the first bank to have its beginnings in Blue Island. Henke served on Blue Island’s last Village Board and was the first Alderman for the fourth ward when Blue Island became a City.  Henke also served as Assessor, Clerk and Road Commissioner for the Township of Worth.


John Kauffman, who was the contractor who built the house for Henke, was at Ford’s Theater the night Abraham Lincoln was shot, and because of his resemblance to John Wilkes Booth was detained by police for a time. Kauffman was a prominent Blue Island builder and among those that incorporated the Blue Island Savings and Loan.


The home boasts uniquely detailed window moldings, while the ornamentation in the gabled roof peak is said to resemble an owl.



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