May 22, 2016


Band photo 2

Kurt Cobain didn’t know it but there was Nirvana in Schaumburg Township long before his band came on the scene.  In August 1972, seven local guys began meeting in the houses and garages of their parents, jamming and kicking around various songs as well as a possible name for their new band.  With the early working name of Nirvana, they played for as long as each set of parents could take it before they moved on to the next house.

By September not only were they scheduled to perform at Schaumburg’s back-to-school dance, but they had also settled on a new name for the group.  Calling themselves Leviathan! after the large sea monster from the Old Testament, they fittingly told the press they were a “monster of a rock band.”  Roy, one of the band members said, “Back then we tried to make sure Leviathan always had an exclamation point in print –i.e. Leviathan!  But it didn’t always work so well, and it was often misspelled too.”

Flyer of band playing

The group of seven consisted of both current students and graduates of Conant, Schaumburg and Palatine High Schools.  They were:

Greg Pasek (Lead Guitar, Vocals)
Jim Polecastro (Lead Vocals, Guitar)
Steve Polecastro (Bass)
Irwin Rudolph (Tenor Sax, Flute, Vocals)
Hermann Schneider (Keyboards)
Roy Vombrack (Alto, Soprano, Tenor Sax)
Greg Walsh (Drums)

Jim and Steve, the two brothers, founded the group with Greg Pasek and Hermann Schneider.  Not long afterwards Irwin, Roy and Greg Walsh joined, bringing their prior experience and talent.

In the nature of a lot of bands, some members came with formal experience and some were self-taught.  Hermann, Irwin, Roy and Greg Walsh played in their high school bands while Steve, Jim and Greg Pasek had taken up the guitar after seeing The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Their sound, according to a local article, focused on “powerful saxophone arrangements and gut vocal.  The gentler side of the band create[d] flute duets and acoustic guitar work.”   Roy said, “We played mainly fairly progressive music… a huge range, from popular music by Loggins & Messina, Jethro Tull, and Stevie Wonder to lesser known performers like Johnny Winter, White Trash, Jack Bruce, and Gypsy.  We mixed in a few originals by several of the guys, too.”  Steve also noted that Roy did some rearrangements.

Band photo


Following the Schaumburg High School dance they were invited to perform at Schaumburg’s  annual Septemberfest (where they also played in the fall of 1973.)  Their next date was on October 14, 1972 at the Rally Dance for the Democratic team of George McGovern and Sargent Shriver in the St. Francis de Sales school gym in Lake Zurich.  “Dancers…worked up an appetite grooving to the hard rock sound…”   [The Frontier Enterprise; October 19, 1972]

Democratic Dance Flyer

After playing at a number of colleges, high schools and teen centers, they were written up in Carpentersville’s Cardunal Free Press.  On Saturday, February 3, 1973 they made their debut at “The New Expression” teen center in Carpentersville at a dance held from 8 to 11:30 p.m.  The band was described as having “eccentric vocal and instrumental talent” and playing music from Edgar White [Winter], Jethro Tull, Traffic and “hits like ‘Superstition’ and ‘Mama Don’t Dance and Daddy Don’t Rock n’ Roll.”  They also mentioned that Leviathan “is best known for their own arrangements of rock n’ roll hits.”

Leviathan followed this up with a mention in NIU’s Northern Star on April 27, 1973 detailing the fact that they would appear as part of the Student Association Concert Committee’s May Fete in front of Douglas Hall on April 29, 197 at 7 p.m.

They also had the opportunity to back up Styx at Jane Addams Junior High on August 1, 1973 and later at Papa Joes in Park Ridge.  Another date at Papa Joes found them backing up “Rufus,” a Chicago area funk band.

The band continued to perform for a few years, playing their own style and getting gigs.  They remain friends and sent me the articles that I used to write this posting.

When things were rockin’ in the 70’s, the sky was the limit in the music scene.  The seven band mates of Leviathan! took full advantage of that opportunity and turned it into something special.  As Hermann said, “[It was] a small but fun part of our past.”

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

[Roy Vombrack remains part of the local music scene with The Roy Vombrack Orchestra.  Everything came full circle when his orchestra performed–fittingly–at Schaumburg’s 50th Anniversary Gala in 2006.]

[Leviathan’s photographs were taken by Roy Vombrack’s father, Paul, who was a professional news cameraman for WLS and WGN as well as a movie cinematographer.]


May 15, 2016

During Schaumburg’s 60th anniversary year of 2016, we will take a look back at the Schaumburg  you’ve known for the last six decades.  Every month there will be a posting on 3 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 1956

  • The Roselle Garden Club donated a Hopa crab tree to Schaumburg School where it was quickly planted.  [I suspect it was this tree, given its location and age.  Maybe someone can tell me for sure?]Crabtree 2
  • The new Mobile Dial Exchange put in place by Illinois Bell required a new prefix for local users–TWinbrook 4 or TW4.  Direct dialing was only possible to the villages of Roselle and Bartlett.  All other calls went through the operators in Arlington Heights.  (Photo to the right shows the prefix being used.)Sunderlage
  • Thirteen boys and girls of Schaumburg Community School District graduated from eighth grade on May 29, 1956.  Diplomas were presented by Albert Straub, president of the School Board to Sheila Alsip, Mary Jane Becker, William Bowsher, Susan Garbrecht, Margaret Hamelin, Carol Kagel, Sharon Mahometa, Arnold Michaels, Penny Palumbo, Peggy Siedenburg, Spenser Troxell Dan Walsburg and John Dytko.

50 Years Ago in 1966

  • Blue lights for the cars of members of the new volunteer fire department were purchased at a cost of $180.  In addition, the Schaumburg Civil Defense unit approved an expenditure of up to $200 to outfit eight men with summer uniforms when working temporary police duty.
  • At a May 19 District 54 board meeting, a 6-1 vote approved the organization of two junior highs in one school.  Due to the lagging construction of Hellen Keller Junior High, it was necessary to double shift both Robert Frost students and Helen Keller students in the Robert Frost building.  Keller students would attend from 7-12:30 in the fall and Frost students would attend from 12:30-5.  [Can anyone remember this remarkable schedule?]
  • It was reported in the May 5 Herald that the Schaumburg Jaycees received their charter the prior Saturday at a dinner dance held at the Golden Acres Country Club on Roselle Road.  Louis Caple was made president and the board of directors were Richard McArthur, William Hannon, Denis Ledgerwood and Jack Larsen.

40 Years Ago in 1976

  • Schaumburg High School’s band boosters presented Maynard Ferguson, the trumpeter, and his band in concert on Tuesday, May 18 at 8:00 in the school gymnasium.Maynard Ferguson
  • It was announced that the long awaited opening of the Illinois Secretary of State’s driver testing station in the Woodfield Commons shopping center would be delayed until June or July.  It had been hoped the long awaited station would open in May.  The search for a northwest suburban location began in 1970 and this site was chosen because of “its central location and easy access from major roads and highways.”
  • The two Schaumburg Ponderosa’s–located at Irving Park and Wise Road, just east of the K-Mart, and on West Golf Road across from the Schaumburg State Bank–had a Memorial Day special of a $2.79 T-bone, a $1.99 Extra Cut Rib-eye and a Square Shooter (kids’ hamburger and fries) for .59.

30 Years Ago in 1986

  • A two-story, 1700 square-foot, landscaped, decorated and furnished home was built in the middle of Grand Court at Woodfield Mall by Pulte Master Builders.  Twenty two mall stores contributed to the decor and furnishings of the house.  The interior of the house was scheduled to be decorated in a traditional fashion through May 18 and then in a contemporary style through June 15 when the display ended.
  • It was announced by Service Merchandise that their five Mr. How home improvement stores would close in the Chicago area.  The Schaumburg store was called Mr. How Warehouse and was located at 905 E. Golf Road where Golfsmith and Bed, Bath & Beyond are located today.
  • St. Marcelline Catholic Church’s annual spring musical was a successful production of “Annie” with Becky Olichwier and Dannielle Kohl performing the lead role for seven alternating performances.  According to the Daily Herald, it was “directed by Gene Machinica and produced by Pat Stewart [and] the cast of 33 actors and singers turned in remarkably well-acted and sung performances.”  

20 Years Ago in 1996

  • Dominick’s Finer Foods opened a new grocery store in the Town Square Shopping Center at the northwest corner of Schaumburg and Roselle Roads.  It was the 80th store in the company’s chain.
  • The Schaumburg Zoning Board of Appeals unanimously approved the design of the new Schaumburg Township District Library to be built in Town Square.  The building will be 161,000 square feet and will be the second largest library in the state in terms of circulation.  
  • The Schaumburg Golf Club on Roselle Road served as a qualifying course for the U.S. Open.  Due to a heavy downpour on one of the days, a conflict occurred for a number of the players who were also enrolled in the Illinois PGA Championship.Schaumburg golf club

10 Years Ago in 2006

  • Wayne Schaible, the second superintendent of School District 54, passed away on May 21.  He began his tenure in 1958 as principal of Twinbrook School.  He was promoted to assistant superintendent and then superintendent in 1966.  He served in that position until 1983, overseeing the growth of the district from 7500 students to 16,000 and opening 19 new schools.  He was also a charter member of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Schaumburg as well as the Schaumburg Rotary Club.
  • The 19th annual Prairie Arts Festival was held on the rolling ground of the Schaumburg Municipal Center.  The event featured nearly 150 artists, three entertainment stages, a large food booth and a children’s arts and crafts area.   
  • An article was written about the Paul Schweikher home, located on Meacham Road and the only building in Schaumburg on the National Register of Historic Places.  The home was finished in 1938 and Schweikher lived there until 1953 when the house was purchased by Alexander and Martyl Langsdorf.  Schweikher was a locally renowned architect who left the area to become head of the Yale School of Architecture.  Alexander Langsdorf was a physicist with the Manhattan Project and his wife was an internationally known landscape artist who was most famous for designing the Doomsday Clock.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

The photo of the Schaumburg Golf Club is gratefully used, courtesy of the Schaumburg Convention Center website.


May 8, 2016

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the April 2016 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

The winter is over and many of us are looking forward to the grilling season but I can’t help thinking about how different life was in the winters of the 1960s.  With only one car to rely on, walking to the nearest grocery store was almost a daily routine.  A & P was a few block away on Higgins Rd. or a longer walk would take you to the National at Golf & Roselle.  Either way you had to plan for the walk home with the bags of groceries.  With three kids in tow, especially with snow on the ground, it wasn’t easy getting home.   But that was how many of us did it.

CleveportOur homes seemed so big, compared to the apartment living we left behind.  Storage wasn’t a problem; many of us put the things in the garage and for some, it is still there.  Shifting stuff in the garage was how you got the snow blower out, if you were lucky enough to have one.  Those in Parcel A didn’t even have a garage, only a covered carport.  Many homeowners closed it in shortly after they moved in.

Over the years, our homes got smaller as the family grew and new technology helped us get more stuff. The kitchen especially comes to mind.  F & S Construction thought they were building homes with a nice size kitchen.  But new gadgets were taking up room in all the cabinets.  Do you remember how a cutting board and a sharp knife did the work of chopping the veggies for dinner?  Now I have a food processor that doses all that and more.  Gone is the large cast iron frying pan for the oversized electric fry pan.  Steamers, rice cookers, pressure cookers and the k-cup coffee machine have filled my kitchen that once seemed just fine.  Cooking dinner means I have to search in the closet, crawl under the bed or hunt in the pantry for all those special appliances and gadgets that I thought I couldn’t live without.

My home was built in 1960 and F & S could’ve put in more electric outlets if they had only known what we would have to plug in in 2016.  Cell phones (all those little antennas on the old water tower keep us connected) Nocks, iPads, computers, printers, monitors not to mention the battery chargers that help us with what we don’t have to plug in.   The cords that go with the equipment can never be found when you really need them either.

Life was sure different back in the 60s.  Life was not so hectic or so connected.

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Village Historian


May 1, 2016

Happy Birthday Schaumburg!  You turned 60 this year on March 7, 2016 and we’re happy to celebrate with you!

In honor of your birthday year, we’re doing a monthly blog posting based on some of our favorite things about you.

Since spring has sprung, during the month of May, we’re asking the readers of this blog to share their favorite place to enjoy the outdoors in Schaumburg.  

Maybe it’s Spring Valley?Peony picture 2

Or a somewhat hidden park like Oak Hollow that not a lot of people are aware of?Oak Hollow 1

Possibly the Schaumburg Golf Club?Schaumburg Golf Club

The biking paths along many of the streets?

Or, maybe, it’s just your own backyard!

Whatever the case, send in your comments and votes for your favorite little spot of heaven.  It’s always nice to investigate something new!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


April 24, 2016

Schaum TorteI stumbled across this old cookbook from 1938 and discovered a recipe in it that made me look twice.

Schaum Torte

Whites of 6 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla

Beat the whites dry and stiff, adding the sugar a little at a time and then the vinegar and vanilla, beating constantly.

Use a spring form.  Grease and pour in about two-thirds of the mixture.  Form a circle of the remaining third around the edge of the tin.  Bake three-quarters to one hour in a slow oven.  

Serve filled with fresh berries covered with whipped cream; or with fruit ice cream, trimmed with whipped cream.

Basically a meringue dessert, filled with berries and whipped cream, I had to see if this had any relationship to Schaumburg, Germany, our sister city.

In this internet site, I discovered that the dish is popular in Wisconsin and was brought there by German immigrants during the period of 1839-1850.  There are arguments for it originating in both Germany and Austria but most people lean towards Germany.  It is also commonly called “schaumtorte” or “schaumtorten” and the loose translation of the recipe is “foam cake.”

Food was discussed in many of the oral histories that were done with the German descendants who settled here in Schaumburg Township and I do not recall any mention of this dessert.  Cakes? Yes.  Pies? Yes.  Cookies? Yes.  Schaum Torte?  No.

Given the basic ingredients, it would have been possible.  Eggs were a mainstay in the area because everyone had chickens on their farm, most everyone had a small orchard and, with the proliferation of dairy cows, heavy cream would have been available too.  Many made angel food cakes, given the heavy abundance of eggs, and the women beat all those egg whites by hand.  The same would have been necessary for the Schaum Torte.  Good arm muscles would have been key without a mixer or even an egg beater.

And look at the result–

Schaum Torte

Serendipitous occurrences are so much fun to pursue.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

The photo of the Schaum Torte was found on thebakerchick.com.  Thank you for your elegant photo!



April 17, 2016

During Schaumburg’s 60th anniversary year of 2016, we will take a look back at the Schaumburg  you’ve known for the last six decades.  Every month there will be a posting on 3 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 1956

  • Illinois Bell Telephone announced that in June their first ever mobile unit would be deployed to Schaumburg to handle 800 phone numbers in the rapidly growing area.  It would be housed in a steel trailer and have the same type of dial equipment housed in central offices.  Plans were for it to be in place for one year with all emergency calls being handled by the Arlington Heights central office.  A permanent station would be built during that time.  (Does anyone know where that was/is?)Illinois Bell
  • St. Peter Lutheran Church held Family Night on April 20.  Part of the festivities included a movie of their recent bell-raising.  Their old bell was cracked in a fire nearly 50 years before and was lowered in December 1955 and replaced with a bell given to the church by St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Park Ridge.  The old bell would be mounted as a memorial on the lawn.  
  • Walter Slingerland Jr. ran an ad in the April 12 issue of the Herald urging voters to cast their ballot for him for School Board member in the upcoming April 14 election.  [Slingerland and his wife, Helen, built the house that now serves as the village’s Division of Public Health and Nursing on Schaumburg Road in front of the Municipal Center.]Bell

50 Years Ago in 1966

  • Vinton Bacon, Superintendent of the Metropolitan Sanitary District, made a recommendation that the district purchase property on Meacham Road near Schaumburg Road as a future sewage treatment plant.  He also encouraged the board to begin calling the plants “water reclamation plants.”  [Obviously his wishes were followed as the plant’s current name is the Egan Water Reclamation Plant.]
  • The following Schaumburg businesses placed an ad congratulating the Schaumburg Herald on their beginning:  The Buggy Whip, Carmen’s Colonial Restaurant, Hill ‘N Dale, Larry’s Standard Service, Schaumburg School of Music, Schaumburg Transportation Company, Mike’s Barber Shop, Schaumburg State Bank, Jewel Foods, Timbercrest by Mor-Well Builders, Weathersfield Pharmacy, Weathersfield Pure Oil Service and State Farm Insurance.
  • An article in the April 14 issue of the Schaumburg Herald mentioned that the Weathersfield subdivision was named by Campanelli, the builder, after an exclusive village in England.  Campanelli called for all of its developments to be named “Wethersfield” but in Schaumburg “someone ‘corrected’ the legal papers for the Schaumburg development by adding the unwanted ‘a.”  This was according to Campanelli spokesman Joseph Sharkey.  Hill ‘N Dale and Timbercrest both got their names from the rolling, wooded terrain.  The Drumcastle subdivision was given it’s name because “it had a sturdy, masculine sound which implied permanency and security.”

40 Years Ago in 1976

  • An article on the “wealthy booming northern suburbs” in the April 12 Chicago Tribune quoted Richard Batchen of J. Emil Anderson & Son, a local developer, saying “There’s in excess of 3 million square feet of office space in Schaumburg and an estimated 82,000 office caliber people living within a 5-mile radius of the village.”  Batchen also said that without Woodfield Mall there probably wouldn’t have been the office development.
  • At their village board meeting Schaumburg officials gave the Schaumburg Jaycees permission to hold a car wash at Town Square and their annual carnival to be held at Town Square on June 17-20.  [Does anyone remember this carnival and what it entailed?]
  • The Schaumburg Park District sponsored a Park Name Contest to encourage residents to give them ideas for the following parks:  Hoover School park, Aldrin School park, Cedarcrest Sienna park, Albert Einstein park, 40-acre lake site near Walnut Lane, lake park site west of Salem Drive near the new Schaumburg Road police and safety building, the future Salk School park site, the Nerge School park site and the Collins School park site.  [The Park District was as busy naming parks as the School District was naming schools!]

Trickster gallery30 Years Ago in 1986

  • Women’s Workout World opened in the former Lake Cook Farm Supply building on Roselle Road adjacent to the Town Square Shopping Center.  [It would later become a branch of the Chicago Athenaeum and then the Trickster Gallery.]
  • A program featuring author John R. Powers who wrote Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?, was rescheduled from the Schaumburg Township Public Library to Schaumburg High School due to the potential crowds that the author attracted.
  • T.J. Cinnamons opened its first Chicago area store in Woodfield Mall.  The store had an open kitchen concept where customers could see staff roll the dough out onto a large baking sheet with about 60 pats of butter.  The dough was sprinkled with cinnamon, rolled into the size of a baseball bat and then cut into 4-inch rolls and baked.  The price for each roll was $1.50.  What a deal!

20 Years Ago in 1996

  • Redbook Magazine named Schaumburg High School one of America’s top schools.  The list included 144 schools across the country and were recognized for classroom innovation, parent/community involvement, extracurricular activities, special-needs programs, significant improvement and overall excellence.
  • The Olde Schaumburg Centre Commission approved the plans of Bolger Development of Elk Grove Village for the four buildings they proposed in the new Town Square Shopping Center going up at the intersection of Schaumburg and Roselle Roads.  Commission members asked Bolger to alter their plans slightly so as to match them more favorably with the buildings in Schoolhouse Square across the street.
  • The new Byerly’s grocery store announced they would open in May.  Byerly’s was part of an upscale supermarket chain out of Minnesota and it was to be located at the corner of Meacham and Higgins Road.  Their intent was to compete with Sunset Foods, Treasure Island, Fresh Fields and Whole Foods.


10 Years Ago in 2006

  • Harper College celebrated Indian-Pakistani Student Culture Night with dance performances, a wedding fashion show and food featuring samosas, kebab rolls, mango juice and Indian rice, provided by Gaylord Fine Indian Cuisine restaurant in Schaumburg
  • The new Hanover Park branch of the Schaumburg Township District Library opened its brand new building on Irving Park Road.  It opened just in time for the April 30 expiration of its lease in the outlot strip mall of the Tradewinds Shopping Center.HP Branch
  • A Chicago Tribune story on the huge boulder that stands about four feet tall and four feet wide at the District 54 Nature Center at Frost Junior High pondered the question of how the boulder got there.  “Bulldozers may have pushed it over to this property when they were building houses on the west side,” said Robert Todd, a nature center employee better known as “Prairie Bob.”

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


April 13, 2016

On Sunday, April 24, 2016 the Hoffman Estates Historical Sites Commission will conduct guided group tours of the Greve Cemetery on Abbey Wood Drive in Hoffman Estates.

Groups will be shown the interrelated Greve, Meyer, Ottman and Sunderlage pioneer families buried at the cemetery which is also known as Wildcat Grove Cemetery or Evangelical and Reformed Cemetery.

The event is free.  Tours will start at 1:00, weather permitting.  Call 847-781-2606  for reservations after Monday, April 18, 2016.

Tours are also available for small groups by appointment at other times.


April 10, 2016

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the March 2016 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

There were so many fun things to do for children growing up in Hoffman Estates in the early years of the village.

With so much construction going on in the neighborhoods, starting in 1955 and continuing into the 70’s, there were always those wonderful piles of dirt the seemed to draw the kids like magnets.  But our early town had so many fun places to go to.

During the cold days of winter everyone could go ice skating on their local pond.  Some had warming houses to help take the frost from their frozen feet.  If you had enough guys, you could get a hockey game going.  With enough snow on the ground, you could head over to Fleetwing Farm on Central Rd. and go tubing with your friends.

Hoffman LanesHoffman Lanes bowling alley was a busy place for both adults and children.  The adult bowling leagues were filled with moms & dads who enjoyed the competition & the opportunity to meet others.   Saturday afternoons found the kids really getting into their own bowling competitions.

When the Thunderbird Movie Theater opened in the Golf Rose Shopping Center in the early 60’s, the kids headed to the Sunday matinees and gave their parents a few hours of peace and quiet.  Snyder Drugs was right next door to the theater and a great place to buy your candy.

A favorite eating place that the kids really enjoyed was Ground Round on Golf Rd.  Where else could you eat all those peanuts and not get scolded for throwing the shells on the floor?  The burgers were awesome as I remember.  Lum’s Hot Dogs on Golf Rd. was another great place.  Everyone liked the idea that the dogs were steamed in beer.  They tasted great.

In the 70s the hang out that Hoffman High kids liked was Barrington Square.  You could see a dollar movie at the Barrington Square Movie Theater, stop in for a slice of pizza at Garabaldi’s Restaurant and check out the latest albums at Flip Side.  Lines would form outside Flip Side for tickets to the hottest concerts.  A great hang out for the Conant kids was Hippo’s Hot Dogs on Higgins and Plum Grove Roads. They had the best Chicago style hot dog around. Hippos

Fireside_ArenaFireside Roller Rink on Roselle & Higgins, the world’s largest indoor rink, was one of the most popular places in town.  The local schools always had skating parties throughout the year. You never missed one.  They were a blast.

As the kids grew older, they were treated to more great entertainment at the Poplar Creek Music Theater.  In the 80s the 20,000 seat open air theater offered great performances by the most popular entertainers of the day.  Located at Route 59 and the Tollway, the theater is fondly remembered by everyone who enjoyed the music under the stars.

It is all gone except Garabaldi’s Restaraunt.  It’s fun to remember those days.  What do you remember?

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Village Historian


April 3, 2016

Happy Birthday Schaumburg!  You turned 60 this year on March 7, 2016 and we’re happy to celebrate with you!

In honor of your birthday year, we’re doing a monthly blog posting based on some of our favorite things about you.

During the month of April we’re asking the readers of this blog to share their favorite piece of public art that has appeared in Schaumburg.  

Maybe it’s one of the pieces in the sculpture garden near the village hall?

Or, maybe you liked one of the big chrome pieces that was in Center Court at Woodfield?

How about the big Weber grill at the restaurant by the same name?

Possibly it was one of the heads that appeared outside of the Chicago Athenaeum on Roselle Road? Big HeadsOr maybe it’s this much loved gentleman that you can find in the foyer of the library.

Library sculpture

Maybe you remember one from the past that has slipped into obscurity or there was one in the school you attended day in and day out.  Whatever the case may be, please share with us!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


March 27, 2016

In December 2015 I wrote two blog postings about the beginning of School District 54 and the variety of names given to the schools within the district.  One of the schools is named for Adolph Link, who was active in the formation of the school district.  Papers on the naming of the school were recently passed on to me by Sandy Meo who is a long time volunteer with Spring Valley and the Volkening Heritage Farm.  They were given to her by Mary Lou Reynolds, the daughter of Adolph Link.3310

Mr. Link and his wife, Estelle, moved to Schaumburg Township in 1932 with their two children.  They lived on the southeast corner of Schaumburg and Plum Grove Roads, near the Redeker farm–all of which is now part of Spring Valley.  Both his children and grandchildren all attended schools in the township.






Following his retirement as a commercial artist, Mr. Link continued his artwork.  Not only did he like to paint but he was also did “chalk talks” in District 54 schools and became known for creating drawings of local churches that were comprised of the names of the parishoners.  Note St. Peter Lutheran Church as such an example.  Quite clever, isn’t it?1510





Mr. Link passed away in 1971 at the age of 86.  At the time of his death, his family had lived in Schaumburg Township for almost 40 years.

Two years later School District 54 honored him by giving his name to a new school on Biesterfield Road.

Link School


At the dedication, Maynard Thomas, the first principal of the school, served as master of ceremonies.  Posting of the colors was performed by Cub Scout Pack 395, Den 3 of Elk Grove Village.  The invocation was also conducted by an Elk Grove Village resident– Reverend James E. Shea of St. Julian Eymard Catholic Church.  The 5th and 6th grade chorus performed a medley from “Fiddler on the Roof” and the First Grade classes sang “Skip To My Lou.”

S. Guy Fishman, the architect then presented the building to  Donnie Rudd, President of the District 54 Board of Education and Wayne E. Schaible, Superintendent of Schools.

Robert Link, son of Adolph Link, was then honored to give the dedication response.  As part of his comments he read the following poem written by his father at the age of 83 in 1968.

It is titled “After Being Shut In All Winter

It really is a big treat
To sit in my wheelchair seat,
Out in our spacious lawn
To watch the goings on
Seeing the trees swing to and fro
As the gentle breezes blow,
And hearing the planes flying high,
Going here and there through the sky,
And watching the autos passing by
With an occasional rider shouting “Hi.”

The landscape is a beautiful green
As pretty as any I have seen.
All nature seems exuberant now
As I feel she should take a bow.
A cardinal alights on a limb
He looks at me and I look at him.
He was born a bird, his mission to fill
To flutter about and give me a thrill.

Glancing down Chicago way
Some twenty five miles away,
Seeing the Hancock building standing high
Into distant horizon’s clear blue sky
I wonder why they build so high
With so much vacant land nearby.

A transistor radio by my side,
Brings me the latest news from far and wide.
And the speeches by office seekers,
Who are eloquent public speakers,
Telling what they will do if they get in,
And admonishing us to help them to win.
While I am a crippled old resident,
I can still vote for a president.

And while I find it hard to walk
Thank God I can still think and talk.
Though I’m old and semi-retired,
Never more have I admired
The  way all nature takes a hand
Seemingly, to make living  grand
And my many, many loving friends
Upon who much of my joy depends.

Mr. Link wrote this from his home where he could see the Hancock building on a clear day, listen to a transistor radio and wave to people as they drove by.  It was the spring primary season of 1968 and even though he was wheelchair bound and semi-retired(!) at age 81, it was clear he appreciated his health and beautiful surroundings.  In a District 54 Board-O-Gram from February 9, 1972 it was fittingly stated “His spirit was an inspiration to all who knew him.”

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

My thanks to Sandy Meo for passing on the dedication program as well as a copy of the poem, typed by the Link and Reynolds families.  It is wonderful to share Mr. Link’s legacy.
The photo of Mr. Link is used courtesy of the Link and Reynolds families.
The photo of Link School is used courtesy of wikimapia.org.


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