Following are some historical facts about the Village of Bellflower and the surrounding area.

  • For thousands of years, our area was inhabited by various indigenous cultures. 
  • Illinois was incorporated into the U.S. as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. 
  • Illinois became a state on December 3, 1818.
  • McLean County was established on December 25, 1830.  
  • On November 3, 1857, McLean County adopted a township form of government and various townships, including Prairie Township, were established. 
  • Prairie Township was renamed as Bellflower Township on May 15, 1858.
  • A plat map for the Village of Bellflower was filed on September 16, 1871.  At the time, the spelling of the township was “Bell‑Flower” and the village spelling was “Belle-Flower.”  When the first train depot was built in 1871, the spelling painted on the side of the building was Belleflower.  The name changed to Bell Flower when the Post Office was established on January 22, 1872.  However, on June 20, 1892, the Post Office changed the name to Bellflower and that spelling has remained unchanged.
  • The first Post Office opened in 1872.
  • By 1874, just 3 years after the Village of Bellflower was laid out, a railroad ran through town in the same location where the tracks run today. The village also had its first addition, Vasey’s Addition, named after Mr. Arthur Vasey, a well digger by trade.  He owned the west half of the village and was instrumental in having it made into lots.
  • The Village of Bellflower was incorporated on March 1, 1890 as the result of an election.
  • The first meeting of the village trustees was held on April 22, 1890.
  • The Western Addition was approved by the Village Board on January 23, 1893.
  • On August 2, 1905 Miller’s Addition was established.
  • Phone service became available in the village in 1907.
  • On July 2, 1907 the Township High School Addition was created.  Another set of lots, called Vasey’s Subdivision, was added to Vasey’s Addition on the west side of the village. 
  • By 1914, the Village of Bellflower had expanded to the size it is today.
  • Electricity was made available in the village in 1916 from the town’s own electric plant.
  • Water began to flow through the village in 1952 after the construction of the water tower and installation of water mains.
  • Natural gas was introduced in 1961.
  • Village residents first had access to cable beginning in 1981.
  • Wind turbines were erected around the township in 2022.

James Eyestone built the first business building in Bellflower in 1870 as a grocery store. It was located on the northeast corner of Melvin and Latcha. It later became a furniture and undertaking business before being sold to Gooch Brothers when it became a hardware store.  In 1873, with a population of approximately 200, Bellflower businesses included 2 grocery stores, general merchandise store, hardware store, 3 grain dealers, depot, lumber yard, 2 carpenters, and 2 druggists.

Schools and education have always been important to Bellflower.  In the early years, country schools were located throughout the township with one elementary school situated in the village on the site where the Community Center is now located.  Eventually the country schools were consolidated into the village school.  Bellflower Township High School (BTHS) was established in the early 1900s.  A new brick high school was built in 1905 at the corner of W Melvin and N Prairie Streets, where the Don Harden Field pavilion is now located.  In 1985, the Bellflower schools were merged with Farmer City-Mansfield to become the Blue Ridge school district.  The original grade school was demolished, leaving the section of the building now used as the Community Center.  The high school was also demolished and a BTHS memorial now marks the high school’s former location.