The Naming of Lisbon

John Moore Park & Canal Street, Lisbon, Illinois, October 1999

Lisbon is located in section 25, Big Grove Township and section 30, Lisbon Township. In 1836, Horace Moore, Sr. built the first frame house on the prairie which, was to become the site of Lisbon. The town was laid out the same year by Lancelot Rood. A plat of the village was filed in Kendall County, May 17, 1859.

On September 17, 1836, the post office was moved from Holderman's Grove to the new village of Lisbon. Tradition has it that Levi Hills, John Moore, Sr. and another pioneer whose name has been lost in history, chose the name because it was easy to write, pronounce and remember. In 1896, J. R. (Joseph R.) Adams, editor of the Kendall County News took a buggy tour through a portion of Kendall County, visiting Fox, Helmar, Lisbon, Newark, and Millington. An article describing the trip and what he saw was published in the May 28, 1896 issue of the Kendall County News. Editor Adams repeated the historical tradition that John (H.) Moore had given Lisbon its name. He also mistakenly stated that it was Daniel Platt who had built the first log house in the village of Lisbon.

The following edited comments by Joseph Williams, editor of the Lisbon Comet, appeared in the June 4, 1896 issue of the Comet. "Brother Adams says in his Lisbon history that Daniel Platt built the first house there. That is a mistake, though we think it is true of Plattville. John Moore brought the first load of timber to where our town is, and his father (Horace Moore, Sr.) built the first house, a few logs of which still survive. John Moore did not name Lisbon. A number of pioneers met to give their first post office a name. Among many names suggested was Lisbon, which was voted upon and adopted. Mr. Moore could not remember, so many years after, who had suggested the name. We frequently asked him in regard to it with the above result, and his family also disclaimed the distinction."

In the July 2, 1896 issue of the Lisbon Comet, Austin Hills writing from Cabery, Ford County, Illinois supplied the following interesting comments. "The Comet's uncertainty as to who named Lisbon is accidentally solved. In looking over the record of the Hills family I find this bit of interesting history in a family record going back to 1632. Uncle Levi Hills moved from Vernon Center, NY to Illinois in 1833. He settled first at Holderman's Grove and five years later moved to Lisbon, which town he named. At that time Levi Hills kept the stage house or station or tavern, in the old log house on the west edge of the village which has subsequently gone to decay and ruin. At that time the stage station stood near where the store now stands. The rush of business forced him to build the stone house, the Sherrill house, now the Burry summer residence. The large black letters painted on the front, "Lisbon House," I am not sure but I think they were put on later by the then owner, Jefferson, from whom Squire Sherrill secured the property."

Editor Williams commented, "We think Austin's idea, as taken from the Hills record, as to which named Lisbon is correct. We think Uncle John Moore was always inclined to ascribe it to Levi Hills."

Last Modified on 2013-02-24 15:27:21-0600 CST by Elmer Dickson