M.B. Castle opened the first bank in the Sandwich in 1856. It was only the second lending institution to receive a state charter. Castle operated a bank and lumberyard in Sandwich until his death in 1900.
In 1919, Castle Bank became The Sandwich State Bank. The shareholders later formed the bank holding company Sandwich Banco, Inc. with the 1984 acquisition of First National Bank in DeKalb.
In the next decade, Sandwich Banco acquired First State Bank of Harvard and The Bank of Yorkville. In 1999, Sandwich Banco’s four banks merged under the name Castle Bank.
Three years later, Castle Bank merged with First National of Nebraska, Inc. With over $17,000,000,000 in assets, this is the largest privately owned bank in the U.S.A. and one of the largest family-owned holding companies.
In 2010, Castle Bank became a division of First National Bank of Omaha, a subsidiary of First National Bank of Nebraska that can trace its foundation to brothers Herman and Augustus Kountze in 1857 and has been owned by the same family for six generations. Castle Bank is headquartered in DeKalb and has fourteen facilities in DeKalb, Boone, Kane, Kendall, and McHenry Counties with combined assets of over $1,200,000,000.
The Castle family has provided multiple patrons of N.I.U. John Castle, who was Chairman of Castle Bank, donated $200,000 towards the construction of Barsema Alumni and Visitors Center. His wife, Nancy Castle, Ph.D., earned three degrees from N.I.U.
William L. Dempster began publication of Sandwich’s first newspaper, The People’s Press, in 1857, but it failed within six months. A second newspaper, The Prairie Home, launched in 1859, only to fail as well. James Higbee was more fortunate with The Sandwich News, which started out as a bimonthly newspaper.
It soon became a weekly newspaper. James H. Furman, an early settler who became an affluent farmer, succeeded Higbee as publisher. Under the name The Gazette, it became the biggest newspaper in DeKalb County, a position now held by Shaw Media’s Daily Chronicle, which is published in DeKalb.
Reverend R.W. French started the first church as community in what became Sandwich Township long beforehand, in 1844, with a congregation of nineteen United Presbyterians. A Baptist congregation built the first church in town in 1853.
Methodists followed suit in 1854, Presbyterians in 1855, and Congregationalists in 1864. German Lutherans and German Methodists also built churches.
By 1860, the village had a population of 952 and was the fats-growing municipality in DeKalb County. Like a number of Chicago neighborhoods and suburbs, the history of Sandwich was shaped “Long” John Wentworth (1815-1888), a newspaper publisher, two-term mayor of Chicago, six-term congressman, and real estate investor.
It was Wentworth who named Sandwich, Illinois after his home town of Sandwich, New Hampshire (which is an even smaller town with a population of 1,326 as of the 2010 Census). It, in turn, was named after John Montagu (1718-1792), 4th Earl of Sandwich, who held a variety of high offices, including Postmaster General and First Lord of the Admiralty, but is best known now for having invented the sandwich.
The town of Sandwich provided enthusiastic volunteers for the Union cause during the American Civil War. Wearing homemade uniforms, a company of infantrymen were ready on Monday, April 22, 1861, to march to Cairo in the Little Egypt region of Southern Illinois.
They occupied the city and on Monday, April 29, 1861 they became Company C of the 10th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment. For the next three months, the men from Sandwich performed garrison duty in Cairo.
Initially, they were supposed to serve for just three months, under the command of Colonel B.M. Prentiss. However, on Monday, July 29, 1861 the Illinois 10th Infantry Regiment re-organized under the command of Colonel James D. Morgan with a term of service of three years.
The Illinois 10th Infantry would go on to fight in Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee. On Friday, January 1, 1864, the 394 surviving men re-enlisted as veterans under the command of Colonel John Tillson.
The Illinois 10th Infantry went on to fight in South Carolina and Georgia. The survivors received their discharge papers and final pay at Chicago on Tuesday, July 11, 1865.
The origins of the S.P.L.D. can be traced back to a volunteer-run library founded by the Sandwich Woman’s Club in 1898. Initially, it had a collection of 150 books.
Anna White donated the first book in the collection, Glimpses of Fifty Years. In 1913, the Sandwich Woman’s Club began to rent a cement block building on Eddy Street to house the library at a rate of $10 per month. This site is now occupied by the parking lot of Art’s Food Market, at 29 North Eddy Street.
According to the official History of the Sandwich Library, “The library was furnished with four long tables, two reading lamps, a circulation desk, an oil heater, two dozen chairs, and cork carpeting. The library was open three afternoons a week.”
The library lent a full shelf of books to each classroom in the Sandwich School, first through eighth grade. [Today, Sandwich Community Unit School District #430 operates six schools.] When the collection grew to 5,000 volumes, it had outgrown the first iteration of the library.
The Sandwich Manufacturing Company provided quarters at the corner of Green and Center Streets rent-free. In 1925, it became a tax-supported library when a referendum passed for it to become the Sandwich Township Public Library. Note this means it was never a municipal library.
 The most common version of the story is that Lord Sandwich regularly ordered his servants to bring him slices of meat between two slices of bread rather than leave the gambling table to eat. The British also called Hawaii the Sandwich Isles in his honor.
 That part of the state was heavily Democratic had enough Confederate sympathizers that might conceivably have seceded from Illinois and joined the Confederacy, which would have embarrassed Lincoln, much as West Virginia seceded from Virginia to rejoin the Union. Congressman John A. Logan (1826-1886) kept the region loyal to the Union, and accepted an army commission. He is commemorated with two equestrian statues: General John Logan Memorial in Chicago’s Grant Park and Major General John A. Logan by Franklin Simmons (1839-1913) in Washington, D.C.’s Logan Circle. The Logan Square neighborhood on the North Side of Chicago was also named in his honor. Although a quite a few men from Southern Illinois followed his lead, several dozen went south to join the 15th Tennessee Volunteer Infantry, as recounted by Ed Gleeson in Illinois Rebels – A Civil War Unit History of G Company, 15th Tennessee Regiment Volunteer Infantry.