Nancy Cunningham, Founder of The Girl’s School
I’m an avid genealogist and local historian, and have very loosely modeled Oak Valley on some of the familiar small towns in northeast Illinois. Many of our families migrated west from New England to Naperville, Illinois in the early 1830s.
Sometimes, I borrow names from real people. The real Nancy Jane Cunningham was born in East Tennessee in 1837, the daughter of a Presbyterian minister who served in Tennessee, Indiana, and Illinois.
Nancy was one of the earliest teachers at Northwestern College (now North Central), in Naperville, Illinois. I am proud to honor this dedicated teacher with a new statue in front of the Oak Valley Girl’s School.