Andrew Jackson Hammel is granted 230 acres of land. The patents are signed by President Zachary Taylor. AJ, as he was known by his family and friends, bought the patents from two men who served in the military with his brother Nelson.
Frederick Wolf builds his general store at Hamel’s Corner. It is located at what is now the south east side of the intersection of IL Routes 157 and 140. Wolf later sold the two-story brick building to his brothers Ernst and William.
After a Sheriff’s Sale against A.J. Hamel—who now spells his name with one “m”—for unpaid debts in November of 1872, he leaves the area and never returns. Hamel probably headed west to acquire and develop more land. It is not known where Hamel relocated.
An electrical substation is built for the St. Louis and Northeastern Railway. The brick structure is designed to be two stories tall to access the electric lines that power the trains. Today, this building is the Route 66 Creamery.
The original Hamel Grain Elevator is built for William L. Wolf, the nephew of Frederick Wolf, who had built Wolf’s General Store. Known today as the Hamel Co Op, the location remains unchanged and the business continues.
A total of 150 residential and commercial lots are sold, creating what would become Wolf’s Subdivision. The heavily promoted event included a band concert, airplane flights and a drawing for “$500 in Gold.”
The original two-lane alignment of Route 66 officially opens after six years of construction. Paved in brick with a cement base, Route 66 drastically changes Hamel as new business open to take advantage of the increased traffic.
After holding a contest to name his new restaurant, George Cassens opens the Tourist Haven. Cassens sees the potential in serving travelers on Route 66 and needs a place for the drivers of his auto transport business to have lunch.
The Hamel Businessmen’s Association forms as 18 merchants and business owners come together to fund street lights on Route 66 and IL Route 140 and purchase the first Fire Truck in Hamel. They would go on to create the Hamel Park.
By just a two-vote margin, voters in Hamel approve incorporation, and the Village of Hamel is created. The vote, 87 in favor and 85 opposed, takes place on January 19th. In April the first local elections are held.