Henpeck Park chosen as new name for Hampshire park
From a list of more than two dozen resident submissions, Hampshire officials have decided on a new name for the former Hampshire Memorial Park.
The 1.2-acre parcel on the southeast corner of Getzelman Road and Route 72 has been renamed Henpeck Park to reflect the history of Hampshire, Village President Jeff Magnussen said. The village was originally called Henpeck when its first settler founded the village in 1836 until Hampshire Township was organized in 1845, according to its website.
In a contest seeking suggestions for renaming the park, the village received 27 entries, such as Hampshire Coon Creek Park after the annual four-day summer festival; Chief Thompson Park after the current police chief; and Zenas Allen Park after the village's first settler.
"They're all fun, and a lot of them tried to go back in history," Magnussen said. "It was great to get input from the residents."
After narrowing the list to three finalists, he said, the village board chose the winning name, submitted by resident Katie Mucci. In addition to the existing gazebo, flags and benches, a plaque will be installed detailing the village's history and the meaning of the name "Henpeck Park."
Village officials hoped renaming the park would set it apart from others in Hampshire, Magnussen said, such as Ralph Seyller and Bruce Ream memorial parks.
Additionally, he said, officials didn't want the former Hampshire Memorial Park to be confused with a new veterans memorial park proposed for a site along North State Street. That park is expected to take up two of 15 acres, on which officials also hope to eventually build a new village hall, Magnussen said.
Though still in the early planning stages, former Hampshire VFW Post 8043 Commander Lowell "Whitey" Reiser said the veterans memorial park is expected to honor all branches of the military. The cost and timeline for the park's completion were not immediately available, but Reiser said fundraising would begin soon.