The Village of Hinckley has a memorable history. In the 1830s, a Mr. Hollenbeck (who lived near Ottawa) was traveling the then-unsettled territory. He found a fine grove of trees west of the present-day Hinckley, and named the grove after the Native American women who were tending camp.
Back in Ottawa, word spread of the undeveloped land, and in the spring of 1835, John Sebree built a log house. The next year saw more families come to the area and soon a small town was started at the west edge of what is now Hinckley. The town's name was Squaw Grove.
Hinckley was conceived in the 1870s as the brainchild of Francis Hinckley, president of the Chicago and Iowa Railroad. The rail line was placed one-half mile east of the Village of Squaw Grove, which was then named Hinckley.
From this early birth, much change and innovation would come to Hinckley. Some key dates follow: Methodist Church (1835), first store (1872), Hinckley has 20 businesses (1876), St. Paul's Church (1885), volunteer fire brigade organized (1886), tornado destroys most of village (1889).
On January 7, 1927, the Harlem Globetrotters played their first road game in Hinckley before a crowd of 300.