In early 1900′s Schaumburg Township there were only a few businesses clustered around the intersection of Schaumburg and Roselle Roads. Only one of those establishments served food or drink. When Charlie Krueger built his red brick building he called it Krueger’s Inn and Boarding House. You may know it as the Easy Street Pub.
As one of the oldest buildings in Schaumburg, the Inn was constructed in the early 1910′s as a tavern and boarding house for the men who worked to pave Roselle Road. It has been noted that Chas Krueger purchased a liquor license in the amount of $150 for a four-month period beginning in December, 1912. This purchase continued through 1916 when the recording of liquor licenses in Schaumburg Township ceased.
The business was eventually purchased by Frank Lengl sometime in the late 1910s and he renamed it Lengl’s Schaumburg Inn. This is confirmed in an article in the Daily Herald of January 19, 1967 that looked back 50 years to January 1917. “The milk producers had a special meeting at Lengl’s Hall Saturday.”
Lengl ran the Inn with the help of his nieces who he sponsored when they emigrated from Germany in the spring of 1929. Their names were Johanna Heine and Frieda Wiedmann (sp?). Both young ladies were offered a home and a job. Frieda eventually married Fred Springinsguth and moved to his farm. Johanna or “Hanna” as she was known, never married and ran the Inn with Frank until his death in 1965. She proceeded to run it by herself after that event.
The cousins and Mr. Lengl were assisted by a number of workers over the years, one of whom was Emil Becker who Richard Leonhardt mentioned in his oral history. Richard also mentioned that Mr. Lengl’s help occasionally lived in the rooms on the second floor. (Mr Leonhardt was a foster son of Frieda and Fred Springinsguth who lived much of his life in Schaumburg Township, eventually inheriting their farm.)
The business was also known as Lengl’s Hall, Lengl’s Inn or Lengl’s Wayside Inn. For many years, a sign on the side of his business read “Lengl’s Schaumburg Inn famous for Steaks, Chickens, Squabs and Ducks.” The village worked to have this sign repainted on the building and you can see most of it there today. According to Richard Leonhardt, the inn also served pheasant, venison and pork. He also said Mr. Lengl raised deer and peacocks in the open pasture to the east of the tavern. Obviously, the deer were put to good use. This practice of serving full meals for lunch and dinner endured for a number of years, eventually giving way to just sandwiches.
In an October 30, 1951 edition of the Chicago Tribune the following was said about Lengl’s: “Frank Lengl’s wayside Inn, whose barroom is spotless and whose German cuisine was superb until it was abandoned for a line of sandwiches a few years ago. The big back room, with a Lutheran hymnal atop the piano, sees dancing on Saturday nights, but as Lengl Hall, it also is the scene of the town meeting once a year… There are 25 calendars on the walls of the barroom bearing fine pictures of landscapes and lovely faces but little in the way of bathing beauties. Several of them are torn off to the current month; some of them date back as far as five years. There still is wall space for three mounted deer heads, one clock with a polished pendulum and one huge oil of a moose braying across the valley at a distant mountain top. The silent juke box, even if it did not bear a seemingly permanent ‘out of order’ sign, would betray the fact that it is not serviced by the big city big shots for it proffers not one current hit number. This is a place for the philosopher who likes pastoral calm with his glass of beer.”
If you listen to the oral histories on the library’s Local History Digital Archive, you won’t hear too many accountings of members of the German farm families frequenting Lengl’s. They certainly knew him but drinking or frequenting a restaurant would not have been an option they would have taken advantage of. On the other hand, there were a number of the gentleman farmers who lived in the area who stopped in for a meal or a liquid refreshment. For instance, musician Wayne King, who bought a farm further south on Roselle Road, was an occasional visitor when he was in the area. Others mentioned were the Otto Kerns and the Arthur Hammersteins. The Merkle family who had purchased a part of the Redeker property east of the intersection of Schaumburg and Plum Grove Roads also frequented the tavern. They came to their farm on weekends and William Merkle in his book, Frank and Leona, describes their visits to the tavern. You can read about it next week right here…