Lucinda Warne Glidden
Lucinda Warne was born November 29, 1826, in Mount Pleasant, New Jersey. She was one of the nine children of Henry Warne and Charity Stires, six of whom survived to adulthood. The Warne family came west to the Elburn, Illinois, area in 1837, where Henry operated a tavern in the log cabin he built northeast of town. It was called the Half Way House, as it was located halfway between Chicago and Oregon, Illinois.
Henry was the first postmaster in Elburn, so the Half Way House was also the post office. Joseph Glidden had the contract to carry mail from Elburn to Grand Detour. It is to be assumed that he met and courted Lucinda on his many stops at the Half Way House on his mail route.
Joseph and Lucinda married in Kane County on October 6, 1850, and started their married life in DeKalb in a simple log cabin. Joseph’s first wife, Clarissa Foster, had died in 1844, and their two sons and daughter had all died in childhood. Joseph and Lucinda’s only child, a daughter, Elva Frances, was born in 1851.
In 1853 when the Galena & Chicago Union Railroad came to DeKalb, Joseph gave the rail line right-of-way through the south end of his property. The crew of the first train was invited into the Glidden’s humble cabin, where Lucinda, as gracious hostess, served them breakfast. The cabin was located in front of the barn that still stands on the property.
When Lucinda complained to her husband about her flower beds being ruined by roaming cows, Joseph looked for a solution. It was Lucinda’s wire hairpins that Joseph used to create a prototype for his new fencing made of barbed wire.
In 1876 Joseph built the Glidden House Hotel, a three-story hotel located at the northeast corner of Lincoln Highway and Second Street. In 1878 Joseph and Lucinda left the farm homestead and moved permanently to the hotel.
Joseph and Lucinda were generous benefactors, and shared their wealth with the community. When the Congregational Church was building a new church in 1885 and went over budget, the Gliddens and the Isaac Ellwoods came forward with the necessary funds to complete the church. Perhaps the Gliddens’ greatest gift was that of the 64 acres they donated for the Northern Illinois State Normal School in 1895, today’s Northern Illinois University.
Lucinda died on October 28, 1895, in Chicago, at the home of her daughter, Elva Glidden Bush. At her funeral at the Glidden House Hotel, friends remembered her as a kindhearted woman, especially in her care of the sick. Lucinda was known for her needlework, which she bestowed as gifts to her friends. Her name is perpetuated in Lucinda Avenue.