In 1952, the Cook County Highway Department issued a book of maps of the various townships. Schaumburg Township was included. This was a few years before our township’s suburban development began and that’s reflective in the maps below. The first map is the left side of the township and the second map is the right side. Fairly evident are the main roads that were in place at that time:
- Old Higgins
- Evanston-Elgin (Golf)
- Chicago Elgin (Irving Park)
- Plum Grove
Also evident are the many branches of Poplar Creek, Salt Creek and the DuPage River. In addition, you can see the small subdivision layout at the very southern part of the township that is today at Pratt and Roselle Roads. It straddles both maps and, according to local realtor, Larry Rowan, it is officially called the N.O. Shively and Company subdivision. Recently I discovered a reference to this area in the November 1999 issue of Schaumburg Township’s Town Crier. It is stated that this area was developed in 1927 and is referred to as the Shively Roselle Highlands. For many years, though, it was colloquially known as “Taylorville.”
Let’s take a closer look at the left half of the township…
Starting at the northern, upper part of the map, we can see that Old Higgins Road was in use. This is where the Steinmeyer farm and the Bierman welding and implement dealership were. This area was stilled called Buttermilk Corners at the time. In the middle of the map is Sunderlage School which was also called Meyer School and was officially the District 51 school. It was a one-room schoolhouse and closed in 1954 when the five township school districts were consolidated and students began attending the new four-room Schaumburg School on Schaumburg Road.
Further south you’ll notice that, even in 1952, Bode Road had its funny little jogs. Taking Springinsguth down and then making a left on Wise Road, you’ll run into Hartman School. This was the District 55 School and was also referred to as the Straub School. According to LaVonne Presley’s Schaumburg Of My Ancestors, this school “closed its doors in the late 1930s or early 1940s. It fell into disrepair with vandalism and an unkempt school yard”–which would have been very evident in 1952.
Directly down Rodenburg Road is the St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, school and cemetery. At this time all of their buildings were on the east side of Rodenburg. Today they are all on the west side. It is also possible to see Long Avenue and Fenz Road which are still there, although unattached today. Then, at the very southern edge of the township ran the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad which is now the Milwaukee Road West line of the Metra system.
Moving to the right side of the township and starting at the northern part, we first run into Maple Hill School or District 52 School. This school also had an alternative name–the Kublank School–so given because it sat close to the Kublank property. Of the five one-room public schoolhouses in Schaumburg Township, this one closed first, around the mid-1930s. It also “deteriorated from lack of maintence” and eventually burned down in 1962. (LaVonne Presly, Schaumburg Of My Ancestors)
We next run into the Roselle Golf Club which opened in 1927 and managed to stay in business through the Depression. Across Roselle Road is the beginnings of the layout for Pleasant Acres, a subdivision designed by Robert Bartlett. Because this was before the library was built, Library Lane was then called Walnut Avenue. Lincoln Street never came to fruition but persistently stayed on future maps for years to come.
The one-room Schaumburg Centre School is nestled in on the NW corner of Schaumburg and Roselle. This was the District 54 school or Schween’s School. Fortunately, this school still exists and has been moved to the grounds at St. Peter Lutheran Church and Schools. Their church, school and cemetery are also noted on the map, as is the Christian Day school on the far eastern side of the map. This school was St. Peter’s East District School which opened in 1886 and closed in 1949. You’ll also notice the Evangelical Church to the south, just north of Nerge Road. This church was erected in 1906/1907 as the congregation’s second Zion Evangelical Church. It was later moved to Itasca in 1924 but managed to stay on this map until 1952!
Just south of the intersection of Schaumburg and Roselle Roads are Quindel Avenue, Nerge Street and Illinois Avenue. A number of the houses on these streets are, today, significant parts of the Olde Schaumburg Centre District. Moving a bit east you can also see how Plum Grove Road was broken up and took a slight jog at Schaumburg Road. The same thing is evident a bit north at the intersection of Plum Grove and Higgins. It would be interesting to know why Plum Grove wasn’t laid out in a straight line to begin with. Maybe it was because of the farms that lay in its path?
The development of Hoffman Estates began in 1954, two years after this map was produced. The farms, small one-room schools and gently flowing streams were about to give way to massive changes that continue to this day. Maybe you were here early enough to recall this bucolic township before the development began?
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
My thanks go out to Linn Beyer, who graciously contributed the atlas that holds this map. It is the Township Maps of Cook County and City of Chicago that was published by the Cook County Highway Department. My thanks also to the Cook County Highway Department for allowing use of the maps on this blog.