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VILLAGE OF SCHILLER PARK
9526 W. Irving Park Road
Schiller Park, IL 60176
(847) 678-2550

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Schiller Park Historical Commission

 
      In 1989, the Village of Schiller Park formed The Schiller Park Historical Commission. The Commission operates a research room, located at the Schiller Park Public Library. This room stores photographs, maps, newspaper articles, pamphlets, costumes and other items pertaining to Schiller Park. In 1991, the Historical  Commission  began  an educational program. This program  includes a  curriculum for second through fifth graders and a docent program for selected eighth graders. In 1999, in conjunction with the Village, the Historical Commission began maintaining records for the Military Service Wall of Honor at Clocktower Park.

      The Commission is always seeking volunteers to assist with research, writing, accessioning, and data entry. The Commission is also in need of certain types of research information, such as old phone books, aerial maps, photos, and WWI and WWII memorabilia. The Commission formally meets the 2nd Monday of the month at 11:00 AM, but the Commission's has regular office hours on Monday mornings from 9:00 AM to 12 Noon. In addition the Commission's Research Room is open to the public during the fall, winter, and spring on the 2nd Saturday of the month from 9:00 AM to 12:00 Noon. If you have a question, or are interested in volunteering for the Commission, please contact the Commission by phone at (847) 671-8513 or via email at
sphometownnews@yahoo.com.

 

 

Schiller Park Timeline 

   

Early 1800’s - Fields, trees, the Des Plaines River, and the Three Fires Nation. The Potawatomi, Ottawa, and Ojibwe Indian tribes inhabited the region around the River.

1810 - Battle of Fort Dearborn, Alexander Robinson, Chief of the Potawatomi tribe rescues military personnel taking them to safety at Mackinac Island.  

1820 - The Prairie de Chen Treaty deeds to Robinson 1,280 acres on both sides of the River, which would later comprise a large portion of Schiller Park.  

1830 - Robinson moves his family to the River. He leads a delegation of Chiefs to Washington D.C. to plead the cause of the tribes being pushed out of the lake region. Later he, along with Billy Caldwell and other Chiefs, would have the task of escorting the tribes westward.

1840 - John S. Everett buys 105 acres of Robinson land, in the general area of the present location of Irving Park Road and River Road. Ashley Gilbert buys land in what is now referred to as Fairview. 

1850 - Immigrants arrive, taking up land all around Robinson’s, most are German farmers coming to try their luck in the land of promise. 

1860 - Civil War years, Robinson’s son, David, serves in Union Army.

1870 - Robinson dies, 1872, the community grows, as more and more immigrants arrive, primarily Italian, Polish, and Spanish

1880 - William Kolze comes with family, buys land that Everett had bought from Robinson. Wisconsin-Central Railroad first run 1886.

1890 - Kolze builds his home, a large white house, which becomes a landmark. Railroad strikes rear their heads. A time of prosperity for some parts of the country, but life in the Kolze community is quiet and hardworking.

1900 - Statistics list nine homes, school, blacksmith shop, and two saloons. Also mud roads, backyard pumps, outhouses, gardens and various animals. 

1910 - Population now 258 (180 are children). Movie era, Tom Mix, Farnums and others made movie in town and along the Des Plaines River. 

Village of Schiller Park incorporated, 1914.

1920 - Prohibition, Stock Market Crash - onset of hard times. 

1930 - Depression, population about 700. Julia Marenga Kolze, daughter-in-law of William Kolze, becomes Mayor in 1932. She is the town’s first woman mayor and the first woman mayor in the State of Illinois. 

1940 - War years, several young men taken into service. Population about 800.

1950 - Post-war boom, by mid 50’s population reaches 5,000. New homes and businesses. 

1960 - Tollway, O’Hare Airport, annexation of Fairview, Frogtown, Indian Park sub-divisions. Population 8,600. 

1970 - Three public schools, two Catholic schools. Organizations such as Scouts, Sertoma, Legion, etc. flourish.

1980 - Continuing battle with O’Hare, population levels off at about 11,000.

1990 - Home rule for Village. Memorial Wall for veterans erected. Trees killed by Dutch Elm disease in 1960’s begin to be replaced with young plantings. Plans begin for Metra Station and Senior Housing projects.

2000 - Senior Housing project is completed and first residents move in. Metra Station constructed.

 

 

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