Cornelia Lunt Park
Lunt Park in Evanston IL, is dedicated to the city’s “First lady” Cornelia Lunt (1843-1934). Lunt was the daughter of Northwestern University founder Orrington Lunt. She came to Evanston in 1871 after graduating from Dearborn Seminary. Widely known as the leading lady of Evanston, Lunt served on the Northwestern University Board of Trustees and was active in the University Guild, serving as its first President. Her father’s home “Anchorfast,” which became her home after his death, was the center of Evanston’s social life for many years. She was the founder of the Fort Dearborn Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, serving as its first Regent and later honorary Regent for many years.
Backstory and Context
Cornelia Lunt, “First Lady of Evanston,” was the daughter of Orrington Lunt and niece of John Evans. The Lunt family moved to Evanston after the Chicago Fire, though Orrington had helped to found Northwestern University before the move. Cornelia traveled widely during and after her schooling, both throughout the United States and even made an annual trip to England. She brought together many noted artists and was instrumental in several groups. She helped to found the University Guild and was its first president. She also helped to found the Fort Dearborn chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and was regent for the first two years. Later she was honored with permanent election as honorary regent. Lunt also served on Northwestern’s Board of Trustees from 1899 until 1920. On top of this, Lunt was the founder of the Chicago branch of the Colonial Dames of America and was a charter member of the Fortnightly Club of Chicago.
Archives and Collections: "Evanston Women Pre-1950." Subject Files. Evanston History Center. Newspapers: "Evanston's Younger Women." Daily News Index 3/1937. "3 Abundant Lives" Evanston Review 1935. "Something for the Girls: Evanston Women in the Women Movement, 1954 [sic]-1920"; Lunt's memoir - Sketches of Childhood and Girlhood - at archive.org