August 18, 2019

Marching into Pennsylvania in 1863, the 8th Illinois Cavalry, was under the command of Brigadier General John Buford. They deployed west of Gettysburg on June 30, waiting for the Confederates to appear. On July 1, Lieutenant Marcellus E. Jones of Company E, borrowed a carbine and fired a shot at an unidentified soldier in the distance. It was the first shot fired at the three day long Battle of Gettysburg and Private George S. Sager of Schaumburg Township, also of Company E, was more than likely there that day.

Private Sager enlisted in the Union Army on the same day as Private John P. Sharp of Schaumburg Township who we met last week. Like Private Sharp, George Sager appeared in the 1860 Schaumburg Township census. Interestingly, Private Sager’s family was the last family listed in the census for Schaumburg Township.

In the census George Sager is listed as 17 years old, born in New York, and the oldest child of A.J. and Pemelia Sager. This put his birth year at 1843. His siblings were Sarah J. (13), Maria (11), Martha (9) and Frederick (2).

Because his father, A.J., is listed as a farmer, we should be able to find the Sharps on the 1861 Schaumburg Township plat map. This map of landowners has been indexed and is available on the library’s Local History Digital Archive. Unfortunately, though, there was no listing for a Sager family.

If we return to the census, it should be noted that census takers of the time traveled by horseback and would have gone farm to farm along a road, eventually covering the entire township. Consequently, it is possible to track neighbors who lived near each other even though no addresses are given in the census. Nearby listings can almost always be considered neighbors.

In tracking through the families that came before the Sagers in the census, listings for Glade, Bartels and Steger can be found. All of these families on the map can be found in the north central portion of the township, west of Roselle Road.  Since the Sagers are not on the map, we have to presume that they were not landowners and were possibly renting or leasing a farm in that area in the 1860s.

Like John Sharp, George Sager enlisted on September 5, 1861 as a private in the 8th Illinois US Cavalry. The only difference was that Private Sharp enlisted in Company D and Private Sager enlisted in Company E. Mr. Sager was 19 at the time, 5 foot 9 inches tall with brown hair, gray eyes and a light complexion. Both men were mustered in at St. Charles on September 18 of the same year and, most likely, took the same train to Washington D.C.

Private Sager served with the regiment until November 5, 1862 when it was noted in the History of the Eighth Cavalry Regiment that he was wounded at the Battle of Barber’s Crossroads in Virginia. He and the other wounded men were eventually moved to a vacant building that had been a hotel in Markham Station on the Manassas Gap Railroad that is delineated below in red.

Private Sager then vanished from the scene until January 1, 1864 when he reappeared in the Illinois Civil War Muster and Descriptive Rolls. He was mustered back in on that date as a veteran in Culpepper, VA where the regiment was located at the time. It is presumed he either spent the intervening years dealing with his injuries, possibly at home, or he soon recovered from his injuries and was able to serve out his original three-year stint. The latter is more likely. This would have put him at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. (The monument at the top of this blog post is on the Gettysburg battlefield and honors the soldiers of the 8th Illinois Cavalry. Note that it also mentions the first shot being fired by Lieutenant Jones.)

In the regimental history it states that on December 22 [1863] “The subject of re-enlisting, as veterans, had been agitated for some time. An order had been issued to the effect that if two-thirds of the regiment would re-enlist for three years, each veteran soldier should receive a bounty of three hundred dollars, a furlough of thirty days and free transportation to Illinois and return. That afternoon we called together as many as possible and discussed the matter from a pile of rails, as the men will doubtless recollect, and nearly enough to obtain the desired furlough, concluded to “veteranize.” It is unknown whether Private Sager was one of the veterans who were able to return to Illinois for the furlough or, like those who stayed, were incorporated into the command of an office of the Third Indiana Cavalry.

At the end of the war, Company B and E were sent to St. Louis. They reached East St. Louis on June 27, 1865, crossed the Mississippi River and went into the Benton Barracks, which was a Union Army encampment established during the Civil War on the present site of St. Louis Fairground Park. There he was part of the final muster-out on July 17.

On the following day, the men in the regiment started out for Chicago by train. It is unknown if Private Sager went with the regiment or not. He may very well have stayed in the St. Louis area or in southern Illinois, because it is noted in Illinois Marriages 1815-1935 on, that he married Louisa T. Compton in Clay County on August 26, 1867. Clay County is in the south central part of the state.

Unfortunately, Mr. Sager died at the young age of 35 on March 1, 1879, possibly as a result of lingering injuries. He is buried next to his wife at Keens Chapel Cemetery in Iola, Illinois in Clay County. Louisa died on May 3, 1910 at the age of 64. It is on George’s tombstone that we finally see his birth date of May 9, 1843. The marker details that he was a member of Co. E 8th Ill.

This earlier tombstone is also near the grave. Without knowing the details, we have to think that members of the family felt that, upon the death of Louisa, it would be fitting to provide the couple with a more dignified monument that honored them both and noted the service that George Sager gave to this country. We honor him here as well.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

Next week is the account of Christian Kublank who also served in the Union Army.

The map of the Manassas Gap Railroad is courtesy of Railroads of the Shenandoah Valley on

The gravestone photos are courtesy of




August 11, 2019

While walking through Hillside Cemetery in Palatine looking for the tombstones of the Johnson brothers covered in an earlier blog posting, I spotted the markers of the Trumbull brothers who were veterans of the Civil War. Two of them served in the 113th Illinois Infantry and one served in the 8th Illinois Cavalry. Was it possible there were some men from Schaumburg Township who served in the same regiments, given the close proximity?

In doing a search of the Illinois Civil War Muster and Descriptive Rolls on the Secretary of State’s website, I came across 40 men who registered with the residence of some variant spelling of Schaumburg. Since almost none of the names looked familiar, I decided to check them against the 1860 census, assuming that anyone who registered in 1861 or 1862 was most likely listed in that government roll as well.

Of the 40, only three gentlemen were also in the 1860 Schaumburg Township census: John P. Sharp, George S. Sager and Christian Kublank. As it turned out, Sharp and Sager, like one of the Trumbulls, also served in the 8th Illinois Cavalry and Christian Kublank served with the other two Trumbulls in the 113th Illinois Infantry. The regiments were recruited locally and, given the proximity of Palatine and Schaumburg Township, it is unsurprising that they all served together.

[What is surprising is that 37 additional men mustered with a residence of Schaumburg but didn’t actually live in Schaumburg. Were they hired substitutes for other Schaumburg Township residents? Did they hold an enlistment day in Schaumburg Township so that Schaumburg was subsequently given as the residence–even for those who came from outside of the township? It is puzzling.]

In the Muster Roll, John P. Sharp is listed as a private who served with Company D. He was 25 years old, 5′ 5 with brown hair and blue eyes. He was born in New York and worked in Schaumburg Township as a farmer. He joined on September 5, 1861 in St. Charles, Illinois.

According to the 1860 census, John was the son of John and Elizabeth Sharp. The census lists him as 21–three years younger than the Muster Rolls. Did he want his future officers to think he was older than he was? Or, was a mistake made in the record keeping?

John’s father was 60 in the census, putting him at 39 when John was born. His mother was 52 in the census and was 31 when John was born. Two other siblings lived on the farm in 1860–Jane who was 18 and Andrew who was 9.


In viewing the 1861 plat map of Schaumburg Township, we can see that the Sharps owned a 150 acre farm at the south end of the township. The farm bordered both Roselle and Wise (Wiese) Roads.

It is interesting to note that the library’s copy of History of the Eighth Cavalry Regiment Illinois Volunteers, During the Great Rebellion by Abner Hard, mentions that “the Eighth filled its ranks with the farm boys of the Illinois prairie and the workers from the industrial and commercial enterprises of the new metropolis, Chicago. The counties in which the various companies were raised form a virtual tier across the northern end of the state.” John P. Sharp certainly falls into this description.

The regiment made the trip to Washington, leaving St. Charles on October 14, traveling to Chicago on the same day and leaving that very night on the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago Rail Road. Their horses, which had been secured through a government contract by Mix & Sanger of Joliet, preceded them on the trip.

They reached Washington on October 18 and set up camp. Eventually they “were brigaded with the First Michigan and Fourth Pennsylvania Cavalry, forming the first brigade of cavalry in the U.S.A.” The regiment later moved to a camp about three miles west of Alexandria, Virginia. In between the drilling and “sham fights” men began to get sick of typhoid fever, and the first death occurred on December 24.

On the 26th “rain fell in torrents and the tents were wet and uncomfortable. Consequently sickness increased rapidly.” John P. Sharp may very well have been one of the sick because by February, it is noted in the Muster Rolls, he had died of disease in Alexandria.

He can also be found in the Billion Graves Index where his death date is listed as February 1, 1862. Having served less than six months, it is presumed he died in one of the 30 Union hospitals that were located in Alexandria over the course of the war. His burial site, according to Billion, is the Alexandria National Cemetery at 1450 Wilkes Street that was begun as a resting place for Union soldiers who died in the Alexandria hospitals. (By 1864 the cemetery was at capacity which necessitated the opening of Arlington National Cemetery.)

Private Sharp obviously never made it back to Schaumburg Township and, by 1870, his family had moved on too. There was no mention of his family in the 1870 census and the 1870 plat map shows that the farm had been broken up and sold.

There is an Elizabeth Sharp in the 1865 state census living in Bloomingdale Township with one male. Was this John Sharp’s mother and brother Andrew? Was the death of John too much for his 61 year old father? If it was, it must have been terribly difficult to watch your eldest son who was hale and hardy, leave on a train headed for Washington D.C. and, five months later, receive the news that he was gone, most likely from something as mundane as unsanitary conditions.

The Civil War was notorious for the large number of men who died of disease. Before the fighting even began, Schaumburg Township Private John Sharp had lost his life. We remember him here.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

Next week look for the story of Private George S. Sager.

Credit to for use of the photo of the tombstone of Private Sharp.


August 4, 2019

During Hoffman Estates’ 60th anniversary year of 2019, we will take a look back at the Hoffman Estates you’ve known for the last six decades. Every month there will be a posting on village happenings for each decade the village has been in existence. Maybe you remember some of the events and have something more to add to a few of the items? Send in your comments!

60 Years Ago In 1959

  • Turpin’s Fabrics of Fashion at Hoffman Plaza was advertising their “Back To School Fabrics” of easy care cottons, synthetics, corduroys and woolens. All To Dress Your Children BETTER FOR LESS!
  • The Hoffman Estates Women’s Club was selling tickets to their Hawaiian Dance at the Hoffman Plaza. The $3 a couple donation would cover dancing to Skip Youman’s band, leis, favors, door prizes and a floor show. Refreshments were available at a moderate cost. Proceeds were going towards the building of a community center.
  • Snyder Drug Store in Hoffman Plaza was advertising sale items ranging from a brazier revolving grill for $13.77 to assorted flavors of jello for $.05 to an aluminum chaise lounge for $7.77.

50 Years Ago In 1969

  • The Hoffman Estates Park District announced that they were in the stages of purchasing a two-story barn and large stone house located on the north side of the intersection of Higgins and Golf Road. The plans included renovating the barn into a Community Center and the house into administrative offices. (This eventually became known as the Vogelei house and barn, named for Ida Vogelei, who owned it for a number of years in the early to mid 1900s.)
  • Officials in Hoffman Estates were interviewing candidates for the Village Manager position that had been vacant for three years. The winning candidate would be the second manager in village history.
  • The new administration office for District 54 was set to open around September 15. In the meantime, the various departments were scattered throughout the district, with the main office located in a model home at 105 Audubon Place in Hoffman Estates which is located between Fairview and Conant Schools.

40 Years Ago In 1979

  • The Poplar Commons apartment complex on the south side of the intersection of Higgins and Golf Roads was being converted into condominiums. Plans also called for it being renamed Steeple Hill.
  • Designer skirt suits for $69, velour tops for $15 and corduroy pants for $13 were some of the deals for women at Off The Rax next to Service Merchandise in the Golf Rose Shopping Center.
  • Census takers were going out the week of August 5 to conduct a special census of Hoffman Estates residents. A special census that had been conducted in 1977 found 33,587 people in the village. It was hoped that the 1979 census would find an additional 3025 people.

30 Years Ago In 1989

  • Hank Williams Jr. and k.d. Lang were scheduled to appear at Poplar Creek on August 5, 1989. Tickets were $15-$20.
  • The Hoffman Estates Park District agreed to spend $4500 to build a concession stand for youth football games at Sycamore Park near Hillcrest Boulevard.
  • St. Hubert School was accepting registrations for school year 1989-90 for kindergarten and grades 1-8. They were offering bus service within the District 54 boundaries.

20 Years Ago In 1999

  • Hoffman Estates police officers served as crossing guards at the corner of Gannon and Higgins Road on Wednesday, August 25, the first day of school. It was the first time they had been asked to serve in that capacity.
  • Hoffman Estates High School opened on the 25th, having introduced the new block scheduling system.
  • Susan McCann, the first female principal of District 54 and at Fairview School, passed away August 22.

10 Years Ago In 2009

  • It was announced that a recycling event would be held for village residents on Saturday, August 15 from 9-3 at the Public Works Center. Items accepted were old electronics, latex paint, compact fluorescent lamps and lightbulbs, and prescription medication.
  • The Hoffman Estates Chamber of Commerce was celebrating the Fabulous Fifties at their Business Under The Big Top on Saturday, August 29 from 10-3 at Poplar Creek Crossing at Higgins and Route 59. Activities included a hula hoop contest, limbo contest, car hop races and a classic car show to name a few.
  • The second to last, free summer concert in the village’s Summer Sounds on the Green concert series was scheduled for August 13 at the Virginia Hayter Village Green. The Banjo Buddies, a Dixie-style band would perform jazz, swing and blues music.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


July 28, 2019

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the July 2019 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

More than 60 years ago when the new residents of Hoffman Estates began settling into their daily lives in a new rural home, many of them didn’t want to feel alone. The close neighbors and friends had been left behind. Many of the women had had city buses to take them shopping or to visit family. Here their new life left them without much of anything. Once their husbands left for work each morning, their day was filled with daily household chores and looking after the kids.

They wanted to do more so they formed the Hoffman Estates Women’s Club. It was just one of many that sprang up in the new village.

The earliest news I found about the Women’s Club was in the Palatine Enterprise Aug. 29, 1957. The Hoffman Estates Women’s Club would start their new season in Sept at their meeting at Twinbrook School.

There were many interest groups that formed from the membership. If you had a special talent, you could join the Garden group. Those that enjoyed Bridge formed their group. There seemed to be something for everyone.

One of the first outings that the Garden Club held was a visit to the Gilbert Klem Nursery. Klem’s was noted for their beautiful and varied peonies. Whether or not this is the same Hoffman Estates Garden club that exists today is unknown.

The goals of the Women’s Club were to benefit the other groups in the community. They had an annual dance that was held in the Homeowner’s Community Center which was in the large barn on what had been the Hammerstein Farm. In 1957 they raised enough money to purchase and donate patio furniture for the Kindergarten that was taught in the barn.

1957 was also the year that Sleep Time Gals formed one of the first babysitting groups. They met on Tuesday evenings. In a few years another group was started up in Parcel C. These ladies were kept very busy with all the requests for help with the kids while the moms would head off to Roselle, Palatine or Elgin to shop for food and other necessities. If you remember, and I’m sure many of you are too young to know about this, back then you couldn’t buy meat after 6 pm. Shopping was done in the morning or afternoon.

The Hoffman Estates Women’s Club also had a Child Development group which offered summer craft classes as well as craft classes during the school year. What didn’t they do? It seems as if they enjoyed themselves while helping the community with many opportunities for the women who needed more than just staying home with the kids.

So little history has been saved from the Hoffman Estates Women’s Club over the years. When they dissolved the organization is unknown. If you can help with the Club’s history, please contact me.

Pat Barch


July 21, 2019

The letter is addressed to “Doc” Bell, the cashier at the Stratford Hotel in Chicago. It is dated April 16, 1919 and it is from Corporal Harley Paris Ottman.

Before his service in the war, Harley was employed on Stratford Farms in Schaumburg Township which was located on the northwest corner of the intersection of Roselle and Wise (Wiese) Road. Stratford Farms was owned by Edwin F. Meyer and served as a source of fresh dairy, meat and produce for the Stratford Hotel in Chicago. (Read more about the farm here.)

When the United States entered World War I, Harley Ottman and Thomas Ford Hislop, another employee of the farm, were drafted to serve. Harley’s World War I draft registration card states that he was a farm laborer for E. F. Meyer in Schaumburg. He was born in 1893 to William and Estella Ottman in Wisconsin and would have been 24 years old at the time of his registration.

Thomas Ford Hislop is also listed as a farmer for E. F. Meyer on his draft registration card. He was born in 1888 in Manistee, Michigan to Thomas G. and Nettie Ford and would have been 29 at the time of his enlistment. It is stated in the December 14, 1917 issue of the Cook County Herald that “Tom F. Hislop and Harley Ottman from the Stratford Farms have enlisted in the U.S. aerial service.”

Mr. Hislop made his way to Jefferson Barracks, Missouri and was formally enlisted on December 15, 1917 as part of the 270th Aero Squadron. He was then sent for training to Gerstner Field at Lake Charles, Louisiana. Having gained the rank of sergeant, he departed for France on the Matsonia on August 14, 1918 from Hoboken, NJ. According to Wikipedia, the 270th Aero Squadron served at the Colombey-les-Belles Aerodrome in northeastern France.

On the other hand, Mr. Ottman, served as a private in the 55th Infantry and left for France from Hoboken, NJ on the Leviathan on August 3, 1918. While there, Harley wrote a letter to Dr. “Doc” Bell at the Stratford Hotel.

[It is from the Bell family’s archives that we are fortunate enough to share this letter. “Doc” Bell was James Austin Bell who served at the hotel as cashier prior to his relocation to Stratford Farms. It is thought by the Bell family that he was given the nickname “Doc” because of his skill with numbers in managing the hotel. He was eventually sent to the farm with his wife Florence and their young daughter, Florence Catherine, where he served as farm manager until 1934. It is Florence Catherine Bell Randall who, fortunately, saved all of these materials that we are able to share!]

Harley sent this letter via Captain Fred W. Charles, Q.M.R.C., who was clearly a mutual friend of Harley Ottman and James Austin Bell. We can make this assumption because, written on the envelope, is a notation that says, “Greetings ‘Doc,’ I’ll be sure to talk French when I get back. Have one on me–Remember me to all my friends! F.W. Charles.” Maybe it is because Fred was a Captain or because he served with the Quartermaster Reserve Corps that he could more easily move the letter along the postal chain for Harley.

Harley’s letter is written on Salvation Army stationery and is sent from France on April 19, 1919 after the war had ended. It is written thus:

Leiseberg and Allman,
Roselle, Ill. 


When drafted, May 3, 1918, I was sorry to have to leave behind a debt of $55 on the acct. of Tom Hislop and myself, which I had wished to assume. It was for accessories and labor on our Ford car.

Now, to save time will you please correspond with my mother about this–Mrs. Wm. B. Ottman, 5659 Maryland Ave, Care of Miss F. G. Knight, Chicago, Ill. Tell her whether all or part of this bill has been paid, and if this is not the case, state in your letter that the amount you mention will pay in full the account of Tom Hislop and myself. Also please send a receipt for any money she may send you.

I got thru the war in good shape, was up at the front South of Metz for one month. Am in the 7th Division, regular army, in a Trench Mortar platoon. Am now in French Lorraine. France may be all right, but I surely would never stay over here from choice.

By the way, I met Leroy Wertz over here–came over long before I did.

I’m raring to come home, and will probably be out to Roselle in 4 or 5 months.

As ever,

Harley Ottman

This debt of $55 was either weighing on Harley and, possibly Tom, or Harley knew he was soon coming back to the states and thought he may like to seek employment at the farm. It would have been a good idea to clear up any outstanding bills with a nearby garage where he did business. He had the name of the garage slightly wrong because it was known as the Leiseberg and Ohlman Garage. But his heart was certainly in the right place.

(According to the draft registration card for Leroy Wertz, he listed Roselle as his residence when he registered on June 5, 1917. Clearly, everyone knew everyone in the Roselle/Schaumburg area.)

It was less than a couple of months later that Harley departed from Brest, France on June 12 aboard the Imperator, bound for Hoboken, NJ. He had achieved the rank of corporal during his time in Europe.

Tom Hislop had preceded him and left on April 10, also from Brest, aboard the Charleston. He had achieved the rank of Sergeant First Class.

To my knowledge, neither Tom nor Harley returned to Stratford Farms for employment. In a check of the 1920 census, two other hired men were living on the farm–which is no surprise. It would have been impossible for James Austin Bell to hold the positions open through the war.

We do know, through a bit of genealogical research, that Tom eventually married and moved to Twin Falls, Idaho where he married Mildred Boone in 1927 and had a son. Tom lived there until he passed away in 1965. Harley married his wife, Carolyn, and died in Pinellas, Florida in 1956.

Both men dutifully served their country and Schaumburg Township. Despite their brief stay on Stratford Farms, they were included in the celebration that was held on Sunday, October 5, 1919 at the Schween Oak Grove on Schaumburg Road. They, along with 22 other men from Schaumburg Township, were hailed as “Our Heroes.”

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

My thanks, once again, to the family of Florence Catherine Bell Randall in sharing a part of Schaumburg Township history that would have gone missing without these local documents. In this day and age of downsizing, we are so fortunate that Florence and her family have chosen to contribute, what I like to think of as the Bell Family archives, with both the library and those interested in our history. Never underestimate what you might have to contribute!


July 14, 2019

The story of Beef N’ Barrel begins with Gus Lander, a young man who emigrated from Greece to Chicago in 1913. Mr. Lander entered the restaurant business in 1930 at 134 S. Wabash, around the corner from the Palmer House. He named his restaurant simply, Lander’s, and offered breakfast, lunch and dinner along with a selection of cocktails. Today, the location is now home to Miller’s Pub and can be found adjacent to the EL tracks.

In the photo above we see customers sitting at booths and tables as well as an extensive bar that are all reflected in the large mirror on the far right wall. The menu below showcases their breakfast items on the left, lunch in the middle and dinner on the right.

When his daughter, Denise, married Sam Boznos, Gus and Sam teamed up to begin  Beef N’ Barrel in Elk Grove Village. Like Denise, Sam was also the son of a first generation Greek immigrant. At the time of their marriage, the Boznos family was running Par King Skill Golf, a miniature golf course that Sam and his brothers had redesigned from the Boznos family’s original 4G Practice Fairways at Dempster and Waukegan in Morton Grove.

Gus Lander had expanded his small restaurant empire by opening Lander’s Chalet at the corner of Higgins Road and Route 83 in Elk Grove Village in late 1964/early 1965. It was a supper club that offered dinner and dancing and later, fashion shows. The restaurant had a number of different dining rooms, all with their own name: Knight Room, Camelot Room, Mural Room and Crescendo Room.

By 1967, Gus and Sam, his new son-in-law who had been brought into the business, were inspired to build a completely different restaurant with a bit of a western theme. It opened as Beef N’ Barrel and featured the Belt Buster 1/2 lb. hamburger, barbecue sandwich, and the Spiked Shrimp. The most popular feature, though, was the free-flowing peanuts that were literally free and bottomless.

They later expanded this brand to Lincolnshire and Schaumburg. According to Sam’s son, Dean, his father drew up the plans for the Schaumburg restaurant in their basement. It opened three years later in 1970.

The Schaumburg restaurant featured the same menu and the same Western theme. Additional details provided by Dean include the red and white checked tablecloths, the red baskets that held the sandwiches, the fringed miniskirts worn by the waitresses and the cowboy boots and hats worn by both the waitresses and the bartenders.

This is the building today–with that same iconic, pyramid roof on top. Clearly, it’s been added onto.


Around 1975 or 1976, Sam Boznos closed the Beef N’ Barrel on Algonquin Road and reopened it as Hedon Place, complete with cobble stoned walkways that wound threw ficus trees.

According to Dean, “the four sections of the pyramidal structure of the building featured a different type of setting.” The east room had semi-silk tablecloths with “sleek white votives” on the table. The central section became a dance floor where the sounds of disco filled the air in the evening. The upstairs loft became a romantic, dimly lit night club bar, lined with couches. The western section retained that theme and was called the Comstock Lode, complete with thick acrylic tables that contained chunks of fool’s gold and Gold Rush items. The southwest area was cordoned off so that somehow “art deco [met] late seventies decor.”

Hedon Place closed in 1980 when it was purchased by the owners of The Snuggery. According to Dean, the other two Beef N’ Barrel restaurants lasted a bit longer until Gus Lander passed away in 1984.

We are so fortunate that Mr. Boznos contributed the various photos and details of these restaurants. He came across the other postings on this blog devoted to the Beef N’ Barrel, contacted me and kindly passed them on.

The Lander/Boznos family were quite the entrepreneurs, unafraid to launch unique, thematic restaurants designed to entice their customers into trying something new and coming back for more. What a wonderful bonanza!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

You can read more about the Par King Skill Golf course here.


July 7, 2019

During Hoffman Estates’ 60th anniversary year of 2019, we will take a look back at the Hoffman Estates you’ve known for the last six decades. Every month there will be a posting on village happenings for each decade the village has been in existence. Maybe you remember some of the events and have something more to add to a few of the items? Send in your comments!

60 Years Ago In 1959

  • Jack Hoffman of F & S Construction approached the Cook County Zoning Board of Appeals about changing the zoning of the farm that was on the southeast corner of Higgins and Roselle (Parcel B) from farming to one quarter acre residential lots. The parcel was 54 acres with a potential of 137 homes. In addition, he planned to donate a 40-acre portion of it to the Palatine High School district with the intent of building a future high school on the property.
  • Holy Innocents Episcopal Church held their first service on July 5, 1959. Their pastor was Rev. Theodore Garcia who also served as the pastor of St. Nicholas in Elk Grove Village, which celebrated its first service on the same day.
  • Seven groups of young mothers banded together to form babysitting co-ops to both, give themselves a night out, and to minimize costs in going out. According to the president of one club, “There was a dance recently that attracted more than 200 couples and the co-ops provided 200 babysitters.”

50 Years Ago In 1969

  • The Kassuba Development Corporation opened its first phase of a new apartment complex called Hermitage Trace on Heritage Drive in Hoffman Estates south of the intersection of Higgins and Golf. One, two and three bedroom apartments were being rented from $170 to $245 monthly.
  • Countryside Cab Company that served Hoffman Estates and Schaumburg advertised that they were available 24 hours a day for local runs to the grocery store and trips to O’Hare and Midway.
  • Camelot Corporation planned to develop 8 apartment buildings next to the Schaumburg Township District Library on Pleasant Lane. It was reported that the residents of Pleasant Acres subdivision took legal action to prevent the development.

40 Years Ago In 1979

  • The Land of Lincoln bank at the corner of Higgins Road and Gannon Drive added two large display cases devoted to the early U.S. presidents. This was in addition to a large, white Italian marble bust of Abraham Lincoln that could be found in the lobby of the bank. When the bank opened in 1975 they also offered their meeting rooms to the clubs, church groups and local organizations of Hoffman Estates. (The bank is pictured to the right.)
  • Poplar Creek Music Theater, which was to have opened this year, postponed its opening until 1980 due to construction delays.
  • The K-Mart Beauty Salon at Barrington Square was advertising a July Permanent sale of 30% off. You could opt for a “Cold Wave,” “Foam Texture Permanent” or “Protein Perm.”

30 Years Ago In 1989

  • Construction began July 26 on the new 237-acre Ameritech corporate campus on Central Road, north of the Tollway. At the time Ameritech was the parent company of Illinois Bell and the Bell companies of Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio.
  • Highland Superstores, on Roselle between Higgins and Golf, was advertising a Nokia 3-watt transportable cellular phone for $279 and a Panasonic clock radio for $16.
  • The Hoffman Estates Park District was ready to dedicate its $70,000 handicapped playground at Birch Park, next to the former Twinbrook School on Ash Street in Parcel A. It had been in the works for two years.

20 Years Ago In 1999

  • Discussions were being held by the Hoffman Estates Park District regarding the future of the Vogelei farmhouse at the intersection of Golf and Higgins. It was in need of repair and “either there is a historical significance to that house or it should be torn down,” said former parks Commissioner Robert Steinberg. “I think the board needs to decide if it cares about this house.”


  • The Village of Hoffman Estates had sent letters to 514 outside vendors it does business with to inquire if they were Y2K compliant in preparation for the millennium . The village had received 414 responses as of July 14.
  • The Illinois Regional Bartender Championships were held at TGI Friday’s on Barrington Road.

10 Years Ago in 2009

  • The village of Hoffman Estates announced it was in talks to take over the operations of the Sears Centre.
  • The Hoffman Estates Community Bank was advertising a 36-month Bump Up CD at a rate of 2.75% APY.
  • Hoffman Estates was sponsoring its second Fitness For America Sports Festival. The main draw was the Chicagoland Inline Marathon featuring inline skating. They also featured cycling and foot races. Organizers expected 800 people to participate over the final weekend in July.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

The factual items for this blog posting were taken from stories that appeared in the Daily Herald and the Chicago Tribune.

The photo of the Vogelei House is used, courtesy of Pat Barch, Hoffman Estates Historian.


June 30, 2019

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the May 2019 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

Forty-one years ago ordinance #1017-1978 dated June 19, 1978 was signed by then-Mayor Virginia Hayter. It would alter the lives of every resident and business in the Village.

As early as 1955 and through June 1978, we all knew were we lived in the village of Hoffman Estates. I was at 209 on my street but for all of us, our address would change–not just the number, but some  street names as well.

This ordinance was called the “Uniform Safety Code Plan (Grid System).” It would update all addresses in town to new addresses to follow a new grid for Hoffman Estates.

The community was rapidly growing. As each developer built new neighborhoods to add to the Village, they named and numbered their own streets. Confusion was the order of the day as delivery trucks, and especially fire and police departments, coped with the situation.

There were 99 streets that either had their name changed completely or had changes such as circles, coves and courts, altered. Others had a direction added. “Circles” completely disappeared, but kept their original names with “Road” added. “Coves” became “Drives.” Most “Courts” were removed, but seven were not only added, but they also had a name change. An example would be Chippendale Drive–it became Cobble Hill Court. A few other examples: Bonita Drive became East Berkley Lane, Auburn Street became Ash Road, Willow Drive became Washington Boulevard and Freeman Boulevard became Westbury Drive.

You can see how inconvenient this would be for our residents. After receiving my Christmas cards that year, I remember relatives asking if I had moved. Many others must have had the same questions.

The changes weren’t a surprise to the community. I talked with retired Mayor Hayter about why and how the changes came about. Of course it was about safety, she said. Fire stations were being built four-and-a-half minute circles, a plan that would allow emergency services to arrive in that amount of time before severe brain damage could occur. Locating your home quickly would be much easier than with the old numbering system. Throughout the spring of 1978, there were committee meetings each month for the residents to discuss and learn about the changes to come, she told me.

It was only six weeks between the signing of the new ordinance on June 19, 1978 and the August 1, 1978 enforcement date. We should have been prepared to put up that new number and get used to our new street name, but there was so much more to do. Hardware stores and stationery stores, printers and bankers were very busy with people purchasing new numbers, ordering new return labels, business stationery and asking questions about changes to check books.

The village notified all the utility companies about the changes and the banks would let us use up our old checks. It wasn’t the easiest transition but it needed to be done for our everyone’s safety.

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Village Historian


June 23, 2019

On the cover of this homemade scrapbook, created in 1965, a young Diane Levy is standing in front of a sign alerting drivers that they have just driven into the city limits of Hoffman Estates.

Diane’s father, Charles Levy, was proud of the young town where they lived. He wanted her to realize that it was being built from the ground up and was something special. So, in the summer of 1965, he and his daughter drove around the area, taking photos of various Hoffman Estates landmarks.

If we take a closer look at the photo above, we can see that Diane is standing near the two-lane Higgins Road, looking east towards the Hoffman Lanes bowling alley that opened in 1961. The first Jewel of the area is in the middle background and the Pure Oil gas station is on the far right in the small, white building.

Hoffman Estates began in 1954 when Sam and Jack Hoffman bought their first farm and started development in “Parcel A” just east of Roselle Road. Three years later, in 1957, Diane’s parents, Charles and Ruth, moved into Parcel C on Westview Street. The caption in the scrapbook says, “This is my house.” If you look closely, you can see Diane’s bicycle sitting on the sidewalk. Notice how few trees there are!

We aren’t often treated to a photo that depicts the back yard of a house but, clearly, Diane and her father thought it was an important angle to capture. This is where the neighbors and relatives gathered to socialize. The caption says, “A visit from the neighbors.”

The patio allowed for a collection of lawn furniture and was shaded by the house to some degree. Notice that none of the windows are double hung–and that they are all open. Central air had not yet been installed in these early Hoffman homes!

Unlike a number of young families of Hoffman Estates, the Levy family was a two-car family. Mr. Levy drove his car to the Roselle train station and, from there, jumped on the train that took him into Chicago where he worked. The Volkswagen in the carport was the first of a few models that her father owned. As Diane said, “It was his car.”

Her mother drove the Rambler station wagon that made transporting friends and groceries much easier. (Maybe some of you readers can identify the exact year of these models?)

Diane’s parents were part of the congregation that formed Beth Tikvah Congregation on Hillcrest Boulevard. Diane noted that services were first begun in Twinbrook School. (Virtually all of the religious denominations who established presences in Schaumburg Township used the various schools to hold services in their early days.)

Services later moved to the Arlington Park Jockey Club Chapel for a time and, finally, into the Beth Tikvah temple when it opened in 1963. Her caption reads, “I go to Sunday School at our temple—Beth Tikvah.”

Because Diane lived in Parcel C, she attended Lakeview School in the same subdivision. Lakeview opened in 1959–the year Hoffman Estates was incorporated. The caption states, “This is my school, Lakeview” and the photo indicates that it is clearly before the school was added onto.

Diane noted in our conversation that her mother, Ruth Levy, served as librarian at the school from 1965 to 1978.

In addition to the school in her neighborhood, we also find the Community Pool that was on Grand Canyon Boulevard.

As the caption states, this is “Our Village Hall and Police Station.” This building on Illinois Boulevard was originally the Gieseke farmhouse and later, the residence of Arthur and Dorothy (Dalton) Hammerstein. It served as the Hoffman Estates Village Hall from 1959 to 1972. Today it is used by the Children’s Advocacy Center.

The entrance of Village Hall is to the left and the entrance to the Police Station is to the right. Note the telephone booth outside of the police department. And, you have to love the round Illinois Bell sign.

The caption of this photo reads, “Again!” It is a more encompassing, distant shot of the Village Hall.

Also in the neighborhood was the “Fire Station.” This was Hoffman Estates Fire Station #1 on Flagstaff Lane. It is still in use today. Note the electric poles off to the right.

Diane and her father even took a few shots of some of the crucial businesses in young Hoffman Estates. This photo looks east across Roselle Road. The tall water tower is in the center with the shorter, squatter water tank sitting below it. Robert Hall Clothes is the building to the left. The caption below the photo says, “The water tower, first thing I see when returning home.”

And, lastly, we see Hoffman Plaza and the all important grocery store that served the area. The caption says, “This is part of our Shopping Center.” The photo was clearly taken after Osco joined Jewel in the Hoffman Plaza space in 1964. You can tell because the fonts of the store signs are different.

We can thank Diane’s father, Charles Levy, for this 1965 tour of Hoffman Estates. He had the foresight to realize these images of the young village would some day be of importance in tracking our history.

The apple, though, did not fall far from the tree. We can also thank Diane for understanding what she had in her possession and allowing her history to be shared  with all of us. Much gratitude to Diane!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


June 16, 2019

Colfax Township is located in Champaign County, south and west of the Champaign-Urbana metro area. It is rural, filled with farm fields and, today, home to about 250 people. It is where Anne Fox was born and where she is buried.

She came into the world on September 10, 1904, the third of seven children of Daniel and Margaret (Junkersfeld) Fox. Anne was sandwiched between the two oldest, Edward and Marie, and the four youngest, Earl, John, Helen and Ruth .

In 1926, at the age of 22, after teaching in Champaign County, she followed her sister, Marie, to Schaumburg Township and accepted a job teaching at a one room school in Schaumburg Township. Anne noted in later documents that the sisters took inspiration from two of their aunts who were also teachers.

For the next seven years, until 1931, Anne taught at two different schools. She began at the District 51 School on Higgins Road (seen above) that was alternatively called the Meyer School or the Sunderlage School.

According to a Herald article from March 19, 1967, she then spent four years at the District 52 School (seen above) on Plum Grove Road that was alternatively called Maple Hill School or the Kublank School. The article said that “the social aspect is reported to have been almost as important as the salary since she was invited out two or three times a week.”

An April 1967, District 54 newsletter, the Reporter, shares a few of her details of teaching in these schools. Miss Fox recalled, “I wanted a piano for our school, so we sponsored a dance in old Schaumburg Center to raise the money…. Some of the winters were hard in those days too. I can remember being driven to school in a farmer’s sleigh. They were kind to me and heated bricks for me to put my feet on in order to keep them warm.”

Young, single teachers of this time period often lived as boarders at the homes of nearby families. Anne was no different. In the 1930 census she is reported living with the Louis and Emma Kastning family on Plum Grove Road, just north of Higgins Road. Maybe they were the family who took her to school in a sleigh?

Her older sister Marie taught 3rd through 5th grades in the 1920s and 1930s at the one-room Schaumburg Center School on the northwest corner of Schaumburg and Roselle Roads that is seen above. In fact, a Cook County Herald article from March 1, 1927 states that “Misses Marie and Anne Fox spent Friday evening at the home of John Homeyer.” According to another Herald article from March 19, 1967, the two sisters were known as “Miss Marie” and “Miss Anne.”

In a Herald article from April 28, 1967 Anne said of her one-room school years, “In those days, the school was the center of community life, so naturally I grew to know my students’ parents well. Perhaps this was one reason why my past students were always anxious to finish their daily work.”

In 1931 Anne moved to the District 41 Lindbergh School (seen above) on Shoe Factory Road. For the next 17 years she was the sole teacher of grades one through eight in the school. According to her obituary, it was also, in this same year, that she moved to Villa Street in Elgin, living with her parents who moved to the area from Champaign County.

When the school district consolidated in 1948 with the Bartlett schools, she returned to Schaumburg Township and took up her duties at Schaumburg Center School where the enrollment was 18. The article from the March 19, 1967 paper says that she taught first and second grades until the one-room schools were consolidated in 1954.

From 1954 to 1957 she also taught first and second grades at the newly built, Paul Schweikher-designed, Schaumburg School on Schaumburg Road. She was then assigned to Fairview School where she served one year as a teacher-principal.

According to the April 1967 District 54 Reporter, “the next year, when administration would have become a full-time job, Miss Fox decided in favor of the classroom. ‘I want to be with the children.” For the remainder of her career she taught first grade at Blackhawk School on Illinois Boulevard.

During this time School District 54 honored Miss Fox for her many years of dedication and excellence in teaching by naming their new school in the Hanover Highlands as the Anne Fox Elementary School. The school opened on September 5, 1967 and was the first school in the district to be named for a living person.

Wayne Schaible, superintendent of District 54 said, “There are few people in Schaumburg Township who are so important a bridge between the past and the present, and through all these years Miss Fox has maintained a high standard of educational excellence. This gracious lady is worthy of being recognized by the community which she has served so faithfully.”

Miss Fox continued with the district for three more years, retiring in 1970 after a 46-year career. In her last few years she served as a demonstration teacher, guiding new teachers in the district through the successful methods she incorporated in her teaching style. As Mr. Schaible said in the Herald’s March 19, 1967 article, “The only problem I have had with her…is that of deciding who would be privileged to be in her class and consoling parents whose children were not so fortunate.”

Miss Fox retired at the age of 65 and intended “to enjoy my home” and do some traveling. Unfortunately, in six short years she passed away on April 19, 1976. While services were held at St. Mary Church in Elgin, she was buried at St. Boniface Cemetery in Colfax Township in Champaign County. She is surrounded by her parents, brother Earl and infant sister.

Though Anne Fox began and ended her life in Champaign County, her great impact on the children and schools of Schaumburg Township was immeasurable and lives on in the school named for her in Hanover Park.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

The top photo of Miss Fox is used courtesy of the Schaumburg School District 54 Reporter.

The photo of Anne Fox Elementary School is used courtesy of Wikimapia.