In 1833, John Kinzie partnered with Gurdon Hubbard to purchase land from Indigenous American, Claude LaFramboise. Hubbard was a well-known fur trader and became aware of the property while trading with the local Indigenous American population. On several trips throughout Illinois, Hubbard became the adopted son of Chief Waba of the Kickapoo and married Watseka, niece of Chief Tamin of the Kankakee Potawatomi.
In 1836 Kinzie and Hubbard developed the land to form what is today the Village of Thornton, the oldest township in Cook County, IL.
Later in 1836, the property became home to Don Carlos Berry, a brewer that opened a well-known tavern in Thornton. He utilized the limestone-filtered Artesian well water to brew “Berry’s Beer” in a log cabin on the site of Thornton Distilling Company (west side of the Thorn Creek at Margaret St).