January 12, 2020

Farms dotted the terrain of Schaumburg Township from the late 1840s and well into the 1960s. Most of those farms centered around a herd of dairy cows that required milking twice a day. The farmers then had to deliver that milk to the local creamery. This was where the cream was separated from the whole milk, allowing for the production of butter and cheeses.

There were at least three creameries that operated in Schaumburg Township at various times: the Wilkening Creamery on east Schaumburg Road, the Buttery on Roselle Road that was just south of Schaumburg Road and the Nebel Creamery on the northwest corner of the intersection of Higgins and Roselle, where Walgreen’s is today. Pictured below is a plat of survey for what was left of the Fred Nebel property in 1938.

Fred married Mary Scharringhausen in November, 1889 at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Schaumburg.

Shortly after their marriage, young Fred Nebel began operating in a building on the corner of Higgins and Roselle Roads. It is unknown whether he built the house that eventually contained the creamery and a store, or whether he and Mary moved into an already existing building. In any case, it also acted as a residence for his expanding family. Fred and his wife Mary would eventually have eight children: Albert, Alma, George, Edwin, Fred Jr., Leonard, Raymond and Alvin. The building is pictured on moving blocks in this photo from 1938 when it was moved to the Fred Wille farm.

According to family members, the creamery was located in the basement of the building and was a profitable business. In an article from the July 8, 1938 issue of the DuPage County Register, “as much as 10,000 pounds of milk were received each morning by Mr. Nebel, whose butter achieved a reputation for quality.” In addition, Marilyn  Lind states in her book, Genesis Of A Township, that “several times a year he (Fred Nebel) would ship cases of cheese into Chicago from the Roselle rail office.”

If we track the Nebel family through the various censuses, Fred is listed in 1900 as a cheesemaker, along with Herman Scharringhausen who resided in the house with the Nebels. Herman was also listed as a servant and was, in fact, a brother to Mary Nebel. Their sister, Lydia, also resided with the Nebels and eventually married Herman Nebel.

In the 1910 census both Fred and his oldest son, Albert, are listed as buttermakers, and Mary is listed as a saleswoman in the grocery. This compliments the 1938 article that states “the farmer brought his milk to Nebel, and took home from the Nebel store the groceries that he needed. At the end of the month a balance would be struck and if Mr. Nebel owed the farmer any money, a check was forthcoming. If it was the other way, the farmer just kept bringing the milk to settle the account.” The photo below is from the cover of an account book in the library’s Local History collection that is the Daily Milk Delivery Log to Fred Nebel of Nebel’s Corners. It covers the time period of 1890-1892.

Interestingly, the 1920 census has Fred listed as a farmer on a dairy farm. In fact, the Nebel property’s 60 acres extended along the western edge of Roselle Road from Golf to Bode and the largest portion of it was farmed. There was obviously plenty of work to do on Nebel’s Corners as an article from the July 28, 1922 issue of the Cook County Herald states that George Nebel and his young wife, Alma Rodewald would “make their home with the groom’s parents on Nebel’s Corner at present.” Whether it was farming, running the dairy or managing the store, multiple people were needed for the operation, especially since Mary died a year later in 1923.

The following year, in 1924, it was announced in the Daily Herald that the Arlington Dairy “has purchased the route of the Des Plaines dairy, also the Nebel dairy business and is erecting the bottling plant at 111 No. State road.” This arrangement did not last long because the Nebels reopened the creamery in January 1926 under the Nebel name.

By the 1930 census, Fred Nebel is listed as a grocer in the grocery store and Alma, his daughter, is listed as a saleslady in the grocery store. Alma and her husband, William Heide, who worked for the state highway department, lived with both Fred and their daughters, Elvira and Evelyn, on Nebel’s Corners. Evelyn is the younger one with the necklace and Elvira stands next to her at the food stand that the Nebels operated.

A year later, on October 4, 1931, Mr. Nebel died in a car accident at the age of 64. On his death certificate, he is listed as a buttermaker at a creamery. According to the oral history of Wayne Nebel, Mr. Nebel’s grandson, it was after Fred Nebel’s death that the farmland portion of the property was sold and the creamery part of the business was halted.

The business continued to operate under the guidance of Alma and William Heide until 1938 when the State of Illinois’ Highway Department began the process of widening Route 72/Higgins Road. The plan was to create a “super highway 200 feet wide with two parallel highways, each 20 feet wide.” The grocery store/food stand at Nebel’s Corners was directly in the path of the new road, and the entire parcel–both north and south of Higgins Road–was subsequently purchased by the state.

Schaumburg Township was fortunate to have the Fred and Mary Nebel family manage their corner for over 40 years. They created both a necessary creamery that gave the local farmers a place to have their milk processed, and a small grocery store that provided local residents with a nearby spot to pick up basic food items for their dinner table. It was unique for this area because it wasn’t  just a dairy, but an early version of a convenience store too!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

Many thanks to Lori Freise, granddaughter of Elvira (Heide) Freise, for the photos of Nebel’s Corners and for providing so many details about the creamery.

Copies of the Wayne Nebel oral history are available in the library’s Local History collection and on the library’s Local History Digital Archive.



January 5, 2020

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

Four years ago we sadly learned of the closing of the Hoffman Lanes Bowling Alley.  It was built by F & S Construction, the developer who was building Hoffman Estates, to fill a need for entertainment in the new community.

Hoffman Lanes has some history that many may not know of.  I didn’t know about the interesting happenings at the bowling alley until I received a newspaper article from a friend who loves to investigate the past.

In just a year after Hoffman Lanes opened in 1961, a series of 22 “Top Star Bowling” network television programs were taped during an eight day recording session, beginning August 28. They were scheduled to be aired for Saturday night broadcasting throughout the country, starting that fall.  The previous year’s TV programs were called “Championship Bowling.”

Many of the “big name bowling champions, such as Don Carter, Carmen Salvino, Harry Smith, Ed Loubanski, Dick Hoover, Tom Hennessey, Ray Bluth and many others will be in Hoffman Estates for the filming” the Hoffman Herald’s August, 16, 1962 newspaper reported.

Hall of Fame bowler Joe Norris (shown above) represented the program sponsor, the Brunswick Corporation bowling division.  Lanes 29 and 30 were chosen to be the lanes that would be used in the filming.  They were kept in peak condition and used only for the competition. Local residents could receive complimentary tickets for the event until they were gone.

Another very special bowling tournament that came along years later was the Petersen Classic.

It was known as bowling’s grand event.  It began in Chicago in 1921 at the Archer & 35th Recreation building.  The top bowler would receive $1,000 compared to golf’s US Open that paid $500 for its first place prize.  Quite a bit of money in those days and entry fees were $28, a week’s wages back then.

Over the years it grew to include tournaments in other major cities.

It survived the Great Depression and in 1981 the tournament still drew more than 36,000 bowlers but finally, in 1993, the Petersen Classic died.  After 90 years in Chicago at Archer & 35th it finally died of old age.

It wasn’t long before private investors purchased the tournament and it moved to Hoffman Lanes in Hoffman Estates where it debuted in its new home at Higgins and Roselle Roads.  Hoffman Lanes proudly displayed “Home of the Petersen Classic” on its outdoor marquee (as seen on the sign above.)

I never knew what this was until I did research for my article.  They held the famous bowling tournament there for 20 years, from 1994 till 2014 when the tournament was moved to AMF Bolingbrook for just one year. It moved to Brunswick Zone in River Grove, IL in 2015 and is still drawing bowlers to its classic tournament.

Hoffman Lanes sits empty and quiet.  It had a wonderful run from 1961 until it’s closing in 2015. As I learned, it was a wonderful bowling alley, not just for our families but for the top bowlers in the U.S. and the historic Petersen Classic.

Pat Barch, Hoffman Estates Village Historian

Credit for the photo of Joe Norris is given to Dr. Jake’s Bowling History Blog.


December 29, 2019

This is the second in a series of items taken from select issues of The Record which was published every Wednesday at 5 Hoffman Plaza in Hoffman Estates. The newspaper covered all of Schaumburg Township. Copies were lent to me by Jack Netter whose mother wrote for the paper. Unique, interesting articles, ads and press releases will be shared below.

  • The Schaumburg Shindig raised $700 for equipment for the Jennings House youth center which was being remodeled by the Schaumburg Park District. The Shindig dance was held at Weathersfield Commons shopping center under the stars. It was co-sponsored by the Weathersfield Homeowners Association, the Schaumburg Jr. Woman’s Club, Schaumburg Lions Club and the Schaumburg Moose. Hot beef sandwiches were sold at the dance and were donated by Terry’s Frozen Foods of Schaumburg.
  • School District 54 announced that all children entering Grade 1 in the 1965 school year had to be 6 years old by December 31 of that year. Also, all students were required to present a certified birth certificate and not a baptism or hospital certificate. (How old were you when you entered first grade?)
  • The Hoffman Estates village board was taking the first step in rezoning for a “planned adult community district” that would encompass a new development called Leisure World. This was a 25,000 unit retirement community that was being planned by the Rossmoor Corporation of California.
  • Harland Hector, civil defense director for Schaumburg, called on local citizen band and ham radio operators to help establish a civil defense auxiliary police department in the village. Regular volunteers were also needed.
  • Conant High School Principal Martin Plate appealed to community residents to help find housing for new teachers who would be teaching in the one-year-old school.
  • More than $400 damage to windows at St. Hubert’s School was reported to police and was apparently done by a BB gun.
  • Grants restaurant, “The Skillet” at Golf Rose Shopping Center was offering a special of “Chicken In The Bucket” that included 13 pieces of chicken, one pound of french fries and one pint of cole slaw for $2.97. Their other special was the Friday Fish Bucket with the same sides and the same price. If you went into the store, their Wednesday and Thursday skillet special was 6 oz. ground round steak, apple pie and any .10 drink for .99. (Did your family eat at The Skillet?)
  • Schaumburg State Bank announced in an ad that they had $1 million in deposits and were available to provide new business enterprises with the credit and loans they needed to carry on their business.
  • The Skyview Restaurant at Roselle Airport announced that they were now under the management of Adele Heidt. Luncheons were available from .85 and dinners from 1.50.
  • Lions Park with its community swimming pool was dedicated August 8 in a ceremony that took place between thunder showers.
  • A list of community churches was issued in the paper. They were: Bethel Baptist Church, Calvary Baptist Church of Weathersfield, First Baptist Church of Hoffman Estates, St. Hubert Catholic Church, First Christian Church, Church of the Holy Innocents (Episcopal), Synagogue Beth Tikvah Congregation, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, St. Peter Lutheran Church, St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, Christ the King Lutheran Church, Our Redeemer’s Methodist Church, Our Savior Methodist Church and Church of the Cross United Presbyterian.
  • The Hoffman Estates Volunteer Fire Department was advertising their 6th annual Steak Dinner and Dance on Saturday, September 4 at “your Firehouse, 160 Flagstaff, Hoffman Estates.” A donation of $5 per couple for both the dinner and dance to any Volunteer Fireman. A steak dinner with all of the fixins’ would begin at 6 and dancing would begin at 9:00. The music would be provided by Freddie Mills and his 15 piece orchestra.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

Photos of the Weathersfield Commons shopping center and the Schaumburg State Bank are used courtesy of the former Profile Publications, Inc. of Crystal Lake, IL.


December 22, 2019

Last week the blog featured this ornament that Miss Anne Fox, herself, gave to Laura J. McMahon, one of her students at Blackhawk School in 1959.

The ornament inspired a request for others to send photos of ornaments or holiday decorations from their days at District 54. Two former students answered with the following lovely contributions.

This crafted ornament is from Randee (Galuszka) Pollock. She was in Mrs. Johnson’s first grade class at Campanelli School in 1985. She remembers her as a very nice teacher.

She also received this book from Ms. Fussell, her kindergarten teacher in 1984.  Randee said “She was very sweet, kind, and patient. Any time I saw her outside of school as I got older, I was amazed that she always remembered me.”

These two pink blush ornaments were sent by Kristin Antonio. They are plaster ornaments that were purchased from the Sears catalog by Mrs. Sampolinski for her second grade class at the formerly named J. Edgar Hoover School in 1974-75. (It is now Herbert Hoover School.)

These ornaments are obviously beloved and find their way onto their owners’ trees year in and year out. If you have anything to contribute, it’s not too late. I’d love to be able to add them to this blog post. ‘Tis the season!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


December 15, 2019

This past week a lovely comment appeared on the Anne Fox, Teacher Extraordinaire in District 54 blog post that was published this past June. It was from Laura J. McMahon who said that she had “just hung an ornament on my Christmas tree that Miss Fox gave me 60 years ago this month when I was in her first grade class at Blackhawk (December 1959). Blackhawk had just opened that summer for a quick and late kindergarten for those of us entering first grade in the fall.”

In response I asked her to send a photo of the ornament so that I could post it on the blog in some way. As you can see in the photo above, she obliged with a wonderful picture of the 60-year-old ornament. She also added: “I have very fond memories of her… Miss Fox taught me to be curious and instilled in me a love of learning.”

How many of you have an ornament or holiday decoration from your District 54 days that you still display at this time of the year? Maybe it was given to you or it was a craft that you did in art class or in your elementary school classroom?

If you have some type of District 54 holiday decoration that finds its way out of storage every year, send a photo to me at I’ll create a blog post of all of the items I receive as well as the story behind them. It’s bound to be a great variety!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


December 8, 2019

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

Can a house talk?  Would it talk about all the years that it sat at its address? Could it feel that its time was ending? I know of a house that I would love to listen to. But it’s gone now. I think, if it were possible, the Bergman house would have told us many stories. I could just sit on the lawn in the side yard and listen.

The men in the Bergman family built it with the skills that they had learned over the years. It was a big house, meant to shelter several families. The upstairs apartment had a kitchen, dining room, living room and two bedrooms with a bath. The main floor of the house had beautiful wood, trimming each of the doors and windows. The dining room china cabinet had the same beautiful wood and was tucked into the west wall.

It was a happy house when family members would gather around the table for special holiday meals. The house could feel the love and sometimes the anger of the Bergman family as the days came and went year after year.

The house looked out across Algonquin Road to see the families’ Highland Dairy Barn. It heard about the dairy herd and the crops growing in the fields. The conversation around the breakfast table was always about the success or failure of one or the other. When electricity came in the 1930s the house was fitted with new bulbs and a new life for the family who no longer had to live with the battery powered system that only gave light until shortly after dinner. The house could feel the increase in evening activities. The piano was used more often and the two front parlors saw more reading, crocheting and listening to the radio now that it had electricity. The beautiful pocket doors always gave privacy for visitors when they came.

The back porch stairs had the most activity. It seemed as though It was up and down all throughout  the day. But the house noticed that year by year that the people in the house dwindled to just a few. Finally there was only one of the children who had been born in the house many many years ago, who remained. He worried about the house. The beautiful white house went unpainted. It turned to a peeling gray, the roof was leaking and the house felt old and sad and only that old child still loved it.

Finally the old child moved away. It had been 101 years since he was born there. The house now had that feeling that its time was coming to an end, and it did.

The house was silent.  There were no more stories to tell. In August of 2019 the work of the Bergman men came down quickly. Modern methods took little time to tear it down not like the months of hammering, measuring and sweating over the building that would be their home.

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Historian


December 1, 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

  • 200 students were evacuated at Twinbrook School when a bomb threat was called into the school on December 18 as the students were getting ready for their holiday party. Once the volunteer fire department and county and state police checked out the school, teachers retrieved the Christmas grab bag gifts, distributed them to the students and sent them home.
  • Five men were assigned to the village’s new Zoning Commission. They were: Chairman Al Harkins, Henry Biedrzycki, Robert Quigley, Del Allison and Carl Hundrieser.
  • A special census of Hoffman Estates residents that was completed for the purpose of obtaining motor fuel tax funds came in at 7554.

50 Years Ago In 1969

  • It was announced that bids for the construction of the future Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins schools would be opened on January 6. Land for Armstrong School was donated by the Hoffman-Rosner Corporation. Aldrin School land was donated by Campanelli Brothers and Collins School land was donated by the Lancer Corporation.
  • Rite-Way was advertising their specials at Plaza Value Land in Hoffman Plaza. Great deals such as Alberto VO-5 for .59, Rayovac 9 volt batteries for .29, and Jiffy Plastic Food Wrap 2 for .29 were part of the advertisement.
  • Totes “Feather Light Stretch Books” that could be folded up and carried in your pocket were being sold at Cherry’s Shoes in Hoffman Estates for $5.95. You could even buy them in a handsome plaid waterproof travel kit for $6.95.

40 Years Ago In 1979

  • Santa was appearing at Barrington Square Mall every Saturday until Christmas. He would be moving through all of the stores in the mall: Associated Wallcoverings, Barrington Square Barber Shop, Burger King, Cherry Shoes, Citadel Realtors, Dairy Queen, Dominick’s Finer Foods, Edie Adams Cut & Curl, Eye Openers, Flipside Records, Garibaldi’s, Golden Bear Restaurant, JoAnn Fabrics, K-Mart, Magic Years Children Wear, Maloney’s Hallmark Shop, Peter Pan Cleaners, Tub N Towel, Walgreen’s Drugs.
  • Rick’s Kosher Style Deli in Hoffman Plaza was featuring Vienna pure beef products and Rosen’s rye bread that was available on their holiday trays. Marlene’s Gift Showplace offered “Hundreds of unique gifts for everyone on your shopping list.” (This is the first time I’ve seen those businesses mentioned.)

  • Hoffman trustees were asking the Zoning Board of Appeals to change the zoning of a 2.5 acre site at Volid Drive and Vista Lane into a historic district. This was meant to accomodate the Sunderlage house whose smokehouse had recently been nominated for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.

30 Years Ago In 1989

  • Funeral services for Paul Hassell, a Loop lawyer and gentleman farmer who once owned multiple parcels in what would, one day, be Hoffman Estates were held on December 7. He was 98 years old and a retired partner in the law firm of Eckhart, McSwain, Silliman & Sears. He sold his land in 1960 to F& S Construction.
  •  The Barrington Square 6 theater was showing The Little Mermaid and Paul Newman in Blaze.
  • The Madrigal Singers of Hoffman High School were set to perform at The Benchmark with 15th and 16th century vocal and instrumental music.

20 Years Ago In 1999

  • The Hoffman Estates Park District was scheduled to spend around $40,000 to update the High Point Park playground and gear it towards 2 to 7 year olds.  The playground, one of three in the 43-acre park, is located off Oakdale Road, east of Huntington Boulevard and north of Higgins Road. The park is located east of the Hilldale Golf Club.
  • After operating his furniture store in Elgin for three years, Sergio Tovar opened a new store at 1147 N. Roselle Road in Hoffman Plaza and named it Fashion Furniture. He was a one-man show, working as the store’s manager, salesman and stock boy.
  • A proposal to add on to the Blockbuster and Caribou Coffee on the SE corner of the intersection of Roselle and Golf Roads was tabled until a formal traffic and parking analysis could be completed.

10 Years Ago In 2009

  • At Village Hall a circular brick memorial, centered by five statues of children in action, included bricks that could be purchased for $75 each to commemorate the children of Hoffman Estates residents whose lived had been cut short.
  • At their Hoffman Estates, Arlington Heights and Villa Park stores only, Garibaldi’s was offering Select Subs for $4.99 and 14″ cheese pizzas and all new Wraps for $4.99 as well. In addition, a 20% off coupon for $50 worth of catering was available.
  • Even though a number of towns in the area had already addressed the issue of video gambling in licensed bars and restaurants, Hoffman Estates, like Schaumburg, Elk Grove Village and Streamwood, had not yet decided whether they would participate in the new venture or not.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

Photo credit of the Children’s Memorial at the Village of Hoffman Estates is given to the Daily Herald.


November 24, 2019

Shortly before Woodfield Mall opened on September 9, 1971, classified ads began appearing in the Daily Herald for the Orange Bowl. It was a small snack shop looking for people 17 and older to work at the new mall that was at the “Corner Rts. 53 and 58.” Anyone who wished to apply could do so at the Community Room in the NW side of J.C. Penney. This was the beginning of Orange Bowl’s tenure at Woodfield Mall.

Tucked in between the two main floors of Woodfield Mall on the J.C. Penney wing, is the mid-level that contains about seven stores. Orange Bowl could be found there, next to The Alley, offering pizza slices, hamburgers, hot dogs and chili dogs, soft drinks, fruit drinks, coffee, donuts, soft-serve ice cream and their most popular item, the O-Joy. That last refreshment was described in an ad in the January 5, 1982 issue of the Daily Herald, as a frothy ice cream/orange juice combo.

The Orange Bowl corporation was begun in 1965 in Florida by Leonard Turkel according to the 1986 edition of the Franchise Opportunities Handbook. His franchise obviously saw an opportunity for a new location when the large mall opened in Chicago’s northwest suburbs. Clearly they did not want to pass on such a prime location!

The snack bars were designed to be bright, colorful places with tables and chairs for the customers. Ordering was done at the counter and the food was served on plastic trays with paper plates.

Throughout their years at Woodfield, there were many ads in the Daily Herald, requesting all levels of help, from manager to assistant manager to counter help. An interesting one in particular was interested in “mothers wanted while children are in school. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. or 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.”

John Melackrinos recalled that his father, Murphy Melackrinos, was manager around 1973-74. He remembers going to the snack shop on Saturday mornings with his dad and finding the donuts, Danish and Mary Ann Baking company sandwich buns waiting for them outside the gate to the store.

He said that he “worked” for five hours, cleaning tables and doing odd jobs for his dad. Of course he also took breaks and played on the slide near the Orange Bowl that went from the first to the ground floor. It was “so much fun!”

The Daily Herald‘s last mention for the Orange Bowl was April 27, 1982. Is it safe to assume they closed around that time?

If you frequented the Orange Bowl, enjoyed any of their selections, worked there or have any more details to share about this snack shop, please put in a comment or send me an email. Better still, if you have a photo, send it my way. It would be fun to add your input to the blog post!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

Photo credit of the Orange Bowl menu is given to the Past Print blog



November 17, 2019

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

It’s hard to believe that since our incorporation on September 23, 1959, we’ve grown from the 8,000 residents in 1959 to over an estimated 53,000 people who reside in our wonderful village today.

When we began our community we were small, far from the motto Leslie Goetz would create in 1965 “Growing to Greatness.” It was just the beginning. The village consisted of a little more than 2 square miles. We’ve grown to 22.1 square mile in 2019–fantastic growth over the past 60 years. We’ve spread out to Elgin’s boundary in the west and Inverness’ boundary to the north.

We struggled and fought with surrounding villages and others who hoped to build their communities, fighting our way through court after court, even as high as the Illinois Supreme Court, to achieve our dream of becoming a village that would provide a great place to work, live and enjoy life.

Our early police force was housed in the second floor of the Hammerstein Farm House with just a few officers. Today we have the beautiful police headquarters at Higgins and Springmill Road that houses 93 police officers and staff.

In the beginning, our fire department was the Hoffman Estates Fire Protection District that had 38 volunteer firefighters. Now we have 4 fire stations located throughout the village with 93 firefighters to protect us.

From the first Hoffman Plaza shopping center on Roselle Road, to Huntington Plaza on Algonquin Road, to the Jewel Osco shopping center on Palatine Road and Poplar Creek Crossing at Higgins and Rt. 59, as well as many smaller ones throughout the village, we have shopping that’s convenient for everyone.

Since Thomas Engineering set up business on Central Road in 1960, business has been booming ever since. AT&T just down the road from Thomas Engineering will soon be another new world for our village. Prairie Stone Business Park, south of Higgins Road & west of Rt. 59 is home to Sears Headquarters, the Sears Arena and to corporation after corporation–too many for me to mention here.

Many thanks to all the Mayors and Trustees who have wisely guided us over the past 60 years. Leslie Goetz didn’t know how much the motto she created back in 1965’s “Growing to Greatness” would predict our development over the past 60 years and, hopefully, for the future of our village as well.

Happy 60th Birthday Hoffman Estates, you’re a great place to call home.

Pat Barch, Hoffman Estates Village Historian

Credit for the top photo of the Hoffman Estates Village Hall is to the Village of Hoffman Estates.

Credit for the photo of Thomas Engineering is to Wikimapia. 


November 10, 2019

Cholera is a nasty, awful infectious disease. Death is not only messy, with acute diarrhea and vomiting leading to massive dehydration, but it is also sudden. Many die within hours of contracting it.

It is caused by ingesting food or drinking water that has been contaminated by a person who is infected with a bacterium called Vibrio cholerae. According to WebMD, symptoms are often mild but can be serious. A person can develop symptoms within a few hours or can carry them as long as five days after infection.

In the 1800’s cholera was prevalent before modern water and sewage treatment systems cleared up contaminated water. A wave of cholera swept Chicago in 1852 and again in 1854. The Encyclopedia of Chicago says that 1424 young and old died in 1854. This was about five or six percent of the population.

Interestingly, Connie Knake and Elmer Pfingsten specifically mention in their book, Dear Cousin, a history of the Pfingsten family of Schaumburg Township, that “cholera raged in summer of 1854…claimed many lives.”

Intrigued by this mention in the book, it seemed that it might be interesting to check out the St. Peter Lutheran Church death records. Did it affect Schaumburg Township and, if so, how many local lives did the dreaded disease claim? Would there be a larger number of deaths in 1854 than the years before or after?

There were seven deaths recorded in 1854, which was just seven years after the church was founded in 1847 and four years after the township was officially formed in 1850. The population for the 1850 census in Schaumburg Township was 489.

It is important to note that the church’s death records do not always mention a cause of death. The pastor was obviously not a medical doctor but, surprisingly, in this instance the death records clearly state the cause of death in two of the lines as seen below.

It appears that there were two deaths from cholera. The lower line accounts for William Claus who died on September 8, 1854. It was difficult to discern the other death, though it looks like the last name is Vogeler and the first name might be Emma Bertha. She, too, died in September 1854.

Turning to the cemetery records of St. Peter’s that are on the library’s Local History Digital Archive, the last names of Claus and Vogeler were keyed in to see if there was any type of overlap. Claus did not yield any results but, lo and behold, there were listings for both an Emma Vogeler and a Bertha Vogeler.

Emma was born April 18, 1813 and died September 8, 1854 at the age of 41. Bertha was born August 13, 1818 and died September 8, 1854 at the age of 36. This can hardly be a coincidence that the only deaths in 1854 all happened on the same day.

We have to wonder then, who was the carrier? Was it one of them or someone else passing through? Where did the three of them live in Schaumburg Township? William is not buried in the St. Peter Cemetery. It was almost certain that the three knew each other or, at least, were in contact with each other.

Digging a bit more, none of them are listed in the 1850 Schaumburg Township census nor are there any family members with the same last names listed in the 1860 census. They don’t appear in Ancestry on any immigrant ship manifests.

But, thanks to a last suggestion from Tony Kierna, our staff genealogist, I found the Vogeler name and the Claus name in the 1855 census in Schaumburg Township. In that census, which only gives the surname and first initial of the head of the household, there is a J. Vogler (without the “e”) listed with five other residents in the house. And, two people above J. Vogler? An A. Clause with an “e.” There are eight residents in that house.

So, can we possibly assume the Vogelers lived near the Claus family? And there was a connection that caused one of them to be the carrier? Or that someone came to the area from out of town and infected these three people?

We do know that the Vogeler women, who were possibly sisters, were buried in a family plot purchased by Hermann Boeger. He owned and resided on the property where Spring Valley is today and must have purchased the plot in 1847 when Caroline Boeger, the three year old daughter of John and Sophia Boeger, died.

Mr. Boeger’s headstone was easy to find in a trip to St. Peter Cemetery. There are a few smaller stones around Mr. Boeger’s but they are so worn and faded that it is impossible to discern if one is for the Vogeler women. By the way they are designated in the cemetery records, they must have been buried together in the same casket since Bertha is buried in grave 7 and Emma is buried in grave 7A. (Every other grave listed is simply a whole number without a letter following it.)

All of the other burials in the Boeger family plot are family members. How were the Vogelers connected to the Boegers? They don’t appear to be neighbors to them on the 1855 census. Did Mr. Boeger generously donate grave sites in their family’s plot out of the kindness of his heart? That seems a strong possibility.

Where is Mr. Claus buried? St. Peter’s tracked his death, but he is not buried in their cemetery, nor in Bluff City cemetery in Elgin, nor in Hillside Cemetery in Palatine. Was he given a simple, quick burial locally on their property due to the horrid nature of the disease? It would not be surprising if that were the case. According to an article entitled “Disease and Sickness on the Wisconsin Frontier: Cholera” that appeared in the Spring 1960 issue of Wisconsin Magazine of History,”disposal of the bodies of cholera victims presented a real problem… where whole families sometimes succumbed to the disease, funerals were not possible.” If Mr. Claus was buried before his name was even entered into the church register, it would be completely understandable.

The township is fortunate cholera deaths in 1854 were limited to just these three. Frankly, our remote locale, in relation to the big city of Chicago, probably served it in good stead in keeping the disease at bay. Despite the escape from the possibility of many more deaths, the sad story of its victims, William, Emma and Bertha should not be forgotten.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library