Born in St. Thomas Parish, Quebec on February 28, 1833, George R. Letourneau left home at the age of fifteen, traveling to Chicago. He worked for a while as a clerk there and came to Bourbonnais in 1849.
Struck by gold fever in 1850, Letourneau headed for California to seek his fortune. It was not to be found in California, and he soon returned to Bourbonnais Grove. Letourneau proposed to Elodie Langlois upon his return and they were married on July 13, 1852. Elodie bore him 5 sons and 6 daughters, which they raised in their Bourbonnais Grove home along with a grandson. She died in 1887.
A successful businessman, Letourneau owned lumber, grain and wholesale grocery businesses. With Francis Seguin and Noel LeVasseur, George Letourneau organized the Republican party in Kankakee County. In 1860 Letourneau ran for county coroner and won, his name appearing on the Republican ticket with Abraham Lincoln.
Letourneau served the township, county and state in the following capacities:
An historian in his own right, Letourneau wrote the Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Kankakee County, Volume II in 1906 with William Kanaga.
George R. Letourneau, entrepreneur and politician, served as Bourbonnais mayor 1875-76.