Ada Harmon was born in Champaign, Illinois on August 16, 1860 and moved to Glen Ellyn with two of her sisters in 1892. Much has been written about Miss Harmon. We know, for example, that she graduated from the University of Illinois and the Art Institute of Chicago. She was a painter, a student of Native American culture and the flora of this area, a philanthropist, and author of Glen Ellyn’s first definitive history: The Story of an Old Town–Glen Ellyn.
She was one of the driving forces in the organization of the first public library in the village and a charter member of the Anan Harmon Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She used her skills as an artist to create a pictorial catalogue of local flora in the form of 175 watercolor paintings later donated to the Morton Arboretum. She died in her home at 577 N. Park Boulevard in 1943 at the age of 82.
Miss Harmon’s Glen Ellyn home still stands at the northeast corner of Park and Glen Ellyn Place. It has received historic status from the Glen Ellyn Historical Society and the Village of Glen Ellyn. In 1892, this area was a new subdivision just one block from the recently created Lake Ellyn.