October 20, 2019

This is the first in a series of items taken from select issues of The Record which was published every Wednesday at 5 Hoffman Plaza in Hoffman Estates. 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.

  • Tentative plans were confirmed by F & S Construction for a motel to be built along Higgins Road at the corner of Grand Canyon Boulevard. It was slated to be near “the bowling arena to be constructed by the Bowling Proprietors Association of America.” The motel “would be used to house the persons who will come to Hoffman Estates to participate in the national bowling tournaments that are expected…”
  • It was reported to the Hoffman police that a bird was intimidating a woman’s 6 year old child. The police followed the bird to a local house and determined it was a pet. The owner said the bird was harmless except that it had a penchant for eating buttons off of children’s shirts.
  • During a winter ice storm a couple of weeks prior, many homes in Hoffman Estates went without power. An editorial states that “many residents of Schaumburg…opened their houses to Hoffman Estates families who were without heat and light, and…volunteered their services to the Hoffman Estates village board in notifying residents of the emergency measures the board had taken.”
  • In an article announcing a slate of Village Board candidates, Mayor Atcher of Schaumburg discussed Frank C. Wiley’s candidacy. “He credited Wiley’s friendship with Northern Illinois Gas Co. as starting the industrial development and subsequently Wiley has been the man who brought Schmidt Iron Works, Terry’s Frozen Foods and Reliance Insurance Co. into the village.” (Can anyone tell me where Terry’s Frozen Foods was?)
  • Mary’s Music School in the Golf Rose Shopping Center offered lessons on the guitar, drums, clarinet, sax and accordion (!) as well as sales on guitars and drums.
  • Jupiter Cleaners at 3 Hoffman Plaza was offering a 20% discount for February only on household goods cleaning including draperies, slipcovers, bedspreads and blankets. Their ad says CALL US or Bring Your Items to Either Location. (Does this mean they did a pick up and drop off service?)
  • Kelley Paints (which was located in the old Schaumburg Bank building at Roselle and Schaumburg Roads) was offering a one cent sail. A gallon of their very best latex paint was $6.98 and .01 for the second gallon.
  • The Help Wanted classified ads were separated into Male and Female ads. Male ads were for service route man, salesman, welders, tool designer, accounting trainees while female ads were for secretaries, department manger in the fabric & yarn department at Zayre, beauty operators, office girls, bookkeepers and “girl friday.” One ad, in particular, caught my eye. “Library Clerk: Part time, 3 evenings and Saturday weekly, some college preferred. Call Schaumburg Public Library, 529-3373 after 1 p.m. for an interview appointment.”
  • A brief editorial was written on who the new schools should be named for. The District 54 School Board put out a request from the community for suggestions. The Hoffman School principal suggested Paul Engler, a deceased former school board member. Jim Anderson, the columnist suggested the following political names:  John F. Kennedy, Eisenhower, Roosevelt, Truman, Hoover, [Adlai] Stevenson, [Wendell] Wilkie, [Richard] Nixon, [Alfred] Landon, Barry Goldwater and Lyndon Baines Johnson. Other well known names mentioned were: U Thant, Martin Luther King, Chuck Percy, Everett Dirksen, [Paul] Douglas, [Otto] Kerner and [William] Stratton. Local names thrown into the ring were Bob Atcher, Ed Pinger and Scott MacEachron. It is interesting to note that the board did eventually use Dwight D. Eisenhower, Adlai Stevenson, Everett Dirksen and Hoover–though the latter began as J. Edgar Hoover and was later changed to Herbert Hoover. You can read about District 54 school names here in an earlier blog post.
  • Larry Plote was appointed the new superintendent of public works for Hoffman Estates. He grew up in Palatine Township on a farm that was worked by his father and grandfather. He attended St. Peter Lutheran School and Palatine High School and began contracting with the village in December 1961 as an operating engineer for heavy equipment. He was then asked to become the first man in the “street department” until his appointment as superintendent. Plote rented a farmhouse and five acres for his family on Roselle Road, just north of the tollway. According to the article, he raised and cared for the ducks that lived in the summer on Lakeview Pond in Hoffman Estates.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


October 13, 2019

The year is 1847 and you have traveled across the Atlantic Ocean and half of the continent to reach Schaumburg Township. You get your first view of the land that you have purchased from the government. Rich, dark soil? Check. A market for your products in nearby Chicago? Check. Enough trees to build your first house? Check. Enough trees to provide you with fuel for the next 20 years? No. And that’s a problem.

Considering that Illinois farmers of the 1800s largely heated their homes and cooked their meals with wood, a steady, ready supply was absolutely necessary for anyone living on the frontier. In rural Schaumburg Township there were five nearby groves interspersed in the prairie that were available to cut and cull timber. 

Sarah’s Grove was in the middle of the township, just west of the intersection of Schaumburg and Roselle Roads. Wildcat Grove was in the northwest corner of the township where the Greve Cemetery is located today in Hoffman Estates. The other three options were just outside of township boundaries in today’s Paul Douglas Forest Preserve off of Central Road in Palatine Township, the Arthur L. Janura Forest Preserve on the west side of Barrington Road in Hanover Township and the Ned Brown Forest Preserve in Elk Grove Township that is best known as Busse Woods. (Portions of all of the groves still exist to this day.) The surveyor’s map below shows the large key-shaped section of Busse Woods to the left that is simply marked “Timber” in the middle.

To be able to take advantage of these groves, farmers purchased acreage that often ranged from two to ten acres. According to Larry Nerge’s report on the Johann Heinrich Boeger family who lived on today’s Spring Valley property, they had a wood lot of two to three acres in Busse Wood.

The following document from LaVonne Thies Presley’s book, Schaumburg Of My Ancestors, draws out a legal description of the nearly ten acre woodlot her great grandfather purchased from Henry and Maria Bochers on November 23, 1853 for $1250.

The entrance was off of Higgins Road in Busse Woods and required quite a trek from their farm on Meacham Road near today’s WGN transmitter. Multiple trips a year were necessary to keep the house stoves going for warmth and cooking purposes.

A trip to the woods began in the morning after the milking and chores were finished.  Two men drove a wagon pulled by two large draft horses that carried their “two-man [cross cut] saw, wooden bow saw, sharpened axe, steel wedges, water and/or coffee, food for lunch, and possibly oats or hay for the horses.” 

Presley’s relatives were no different from the brothers of Ralph Engelking who was one of our oral historians. His account can be viewed on the library’s Local History Digital Archive. In his history, Ralph, youngest of eleven, recalls that his brothers would bring a lunch of sausage sandwiches and coffee when they made their trip to Busse Woods.

It is not known how the owners determined exactly where their property began and ended but there had to have been some kind of posts or markings that established the corners of their acreage. (If any of the readers of this post have ever come across something like this in Busse Woods, please put in a comment or send me an email.)

Once there, they began accumulating the fallen logs and branches that were easy pickings. Next, they probably tackled any dying trees as these were quicker to take down and more easily chopped. Dead wood was also dryer wood and burned more cleanly in the stoves. If burned, newly cut, green wood created an accumulation of creosote that could cause chimney fires if the stove fires burned too hot.

According to Presley, trees “were cut into lengths (about 5-6 feet long) that could be lifted and put on the wagon. Lengths to fit the stove would be cut back at the farm. This cutting and splitting was time consuming and took time away from the farm work. Time was precious and could not be wasted on tasks that could be done more easily at the farmyard.”

Some lengths of wood were also used for fence posts in the farmyard. The harder the wood, the more durable the post. According to “Farm Woodlots In Illinois” from Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of Science, Vol. 16 published in 1923, the best types of wood were white oak, catalpa, cedar, black locust, mulberry and, osage orange or “hedge” which was the best possible choice. Of course, if they did not have a choice of wood, the farmers in this area were going to take any type that grew on their woodlot–and replace the fence post when necessary.

Wagons were loaded very carefully as they did not want any displacement to happen as the horses pulled the timber home. As the afternoon drew to a close, saws, axes, wedges and other items would be placed in the wagon and the slow, burdened wagon would be pulled home by the powerful draft horses.  

Presley recounts a story in her book that, on a late fall day, her father and uncle were at their woodlot when an unexpected snowstorm broke out. They left the woods as quickly as possible but the snow was so blinding and heavy that they could not make out the road. It became obvious that the horses weren’t going to stop so the two young brothers loosened their hold on the reins and let the horses pull the load where they wanted. Through better vision, instinct or the feel of gravel on their hooves—or all three—the horses pulled the wagon safely to the barn on their farm. 

Once home, the 5-6 foot lengths were arranged in a teepee form to allow for further drying before they were chopped for use in stoves or used as fence posts. Chopping happened when there was time in between chores or when a group of family and neighbors had time in the winter to tackle the pile. 

The woodlots were kept by local farmers until other means of heat, like coal or kerosene, became available to the farmers. This was also close to the time that Cook County purchased Busse Woods for their newly formed Forest Preserve District, as can be seen in the letter to the Thies family in January 1918. 

It was most likely a win/win situation for many of the farm families. There was an opportunity to easily sell their remote woodlot, adjust to life with a kerosene stove and, best of all, eliminate that portion of chores from their workload. 

They did us all a favor, though, by being such careful conservators of their woodlots. As a result, we remain blessed to this day with the large forest preserves that surround Schaumburg Township.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

The Thies family documents and photo are all taken from the chapter of LaVonne Thies Presley’s book, Schaumburg of My Ancestors which gives us an amazing overview of farming in rural Schaumburg Township around the turn of the century. Copies of the book are available in the library’s Local History Collection or can be read on the Local History Digital Archive


October 6, 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

  • Lowell Siff of F & S Construction announced that the company had purchased additional acreage for 1000 homes. While it currently did not adjoin the village in its location north of Golf Road and west of Roselle Road, the company intended to work towards an annexation to the village. They also planned to add on to the Hoffman Plaza shopping center and move from the Sam Hoffman house that the company was operating from. The plan was to move into new quarters on the Harmening farm at Roselle and Higgins Roads.
  • The Ben Franklin opened its store in Hoffman Plaza on October 1, 1959. The store was staffed by manager Robert Weise and 13 other employees, all who lived in Hoffman Estates or Roselle. It was noted that the store would carry notions, hardware, gift wrappings, cards, etc. in addition to infants’ and childrens’ wear, toys, stationery, jewelry and “the usual five and dime store items.”
  • Snyder Drug Store in Hoffman Plaza had the following sales: deluxe Halloween masks of molded rubber for .29, a $9.95 directronic portable TV antenna, a free pumpkin with a purchase of $1 or more, a box of 24 Curity disposable diapers for $1.98 and an electric blanket for $14.99.

50 Years Ago In 1969

  • Mrs. Ida Vogelei sold her 14-room house and 10 acres of wooded, grassy land at the corner of Higgins and Golf Road to the Hoffman Estates Park District. According to Park District board members she sold the property “for $15,000 an acre when she could have gotten $60,000 or $70,000 for it.
  • The two movies being shown at the Thunderbird Theater were “Me, Natalie” starring Patty Duke and “How To Commit Marriage” with Bob Hope and Jackie Gleason. (It is the brick building in the photo above.)
  • Peter and Paul’s Texaco at Bode and Roselle was one of the area Texaco stations offering an Early Bird sale for a 1/3 off on your second Firestone Town & Country tire. The second tire could be purchased for as low as $16.50.

40 Years Ago In 1979

  • Minnesota Fabrics at the Golf Rose Shopping Center was offering a sewing machine “tune up special” that featured cleaning, oiling and adjusting for $9.95 on October 16.
  • The Hoffman Estates Loyal Parents or “HELP” group of Hoffman Estates High School as they were referred to, were holding their annual citrus sale of Texas grapefruit and oranges for $7 each. Sales would benefit the Band, Modern Dance, Junior Class, Photography, Outdoor Adventure, Senior Class, Hero, Radio Club, Art Club, Intramurals and German.
  • A newly dedicated stainless steel structure, created by Robert Gadomski, a teacher at Hoffman Estates High School, was erected outside of the Hoffman Estates Village Hall to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the village. 

30 Years Ago In 1989

  • For a fee of $7, the Blackhawk Community Center was holding a “Ghostbusters” Halloween event that allowed children to make costumes, march in a parade and create a monstrous snack.
  • The Hoffman Estates Police Department was struggling to fill open patrol officer positions and found it necessary to hold open testing twice during the year for new recruits. It was stated in the Chicago Tribune by Police Sgt. John Gomoll that “It’s very unusual.”
  • Matthew Modine and Daphne Zuniga were starring in “Gross Anatomy” at the Barrington Square 6 theater along with “An Innocent Man” starring Tom Selleck.

20 Years Ago In 1999

  • Angouleme, the French sister city of Hoffman Estates, was forced to call off their planned sister cities festival scheduled for 2000, due to their failure to acquire a grant that would have provided the funding. Local officials in Hoffman Estates were disappointed because the last time any residents had gone to France was in 1994 when the Hoffman Estates High School Madrigal Singers visited the sister city.
  • The Hoffman Estates Village Board gave Valli Produce overwhelming approval to take over the old F & M Distributors store and a Caesarland pizza parlor. The plans were for the building to be totally renovated, the parking lot to be resurfaced and the structure to get a new facade.
  • Ruth Ball Macintyre, a former District 54 science teacher, passed away at Friendship Village in Schaumburg. She was a 2nd-grade teacher at the former Twinbrook School, a 5th-grade teacher at Fairview School and the former Blackhawk School. Mrs. Macintyre helped start the Spring Valley Nature Sanctuary in Schaumburg, where a park, on Aegean Drive, as pictured below, is named for her.

10 Years Ago In 2009

  • St. Hubert School requested an exemption from the Village Board on the requirement of installing a sprinkler system in the building. The cost of around $500,000 and the fact that every classroom has an outside door were the deterrents for the church.
  • Sherri Shepherd who appeared as a co-host on “The View” shared her life story of growing up in Hoffman Estates with Daily Herald reporter Jamie Sotonoff. She attended Churchill Elementary and Hoffman Estates High School, was a candy striper at Northwest Community High School and worked for Sears at Woodfield Mall in the catalog return department. She was “so jealous” worked at Merry-Go-Round!
  • Hoffman Estates Trustee Gary Pilafas became the first trustee to call in and attend a Village Board meeting via cell phone. The meeting ended at 10:40 a.m. Japan time on Tuesday versus the 8:40 p.m. time on Monday in Hoffman Estates.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

Photo credit for the Ruth MacIntyre Conservation Area is given to the Schaumburg Park District.


October 4, 2019

On Sunday, October 13, 2019 from 1-2 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 but reservations are required.  Tours will start at 1:00, weather permitting.  Call Sue at 847-781-2606  for reservations beginning Monday, October 4.

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


September 29, 2019

A blacksmith shop. Five public one-room schools. Two private Lutheran schools. Two Lutheran churches and one Methodist church. Two stores. Four cheese factories.

Other than farms, this is what comprised Schaumburg Township in 1888 according to The History of Cook County Illinois by A.T. Andreas.

In the same volume, Mr. Andreas wrote substantial paragraphs on three of the leaders of the township at the time: John Fasse, Mrs. Lavina T. Williams (wife of Horace Williams), and William Freise.

By the time this book was published, Mr. Freise was 60 years old and had been living in the United States since 1847 when the future Schaumburg Township was being sold by the government at a cheap rate to those who were willing to homestead.

If we back up though, it is stated in his obituary that Friedrich Wilhelm (William) Freise was born on August 7, 1828 to Ludwig “Louis” and Sophia Freise in Reinsdorf, in the jurisdiction of Rodenberg, in the county of Schaumburg in the electorate of Hessia, Germany.

At the young age of 18, he and his sister Caroline emigrated to America and made their way to Chicago. They didn’t linger long in the city but made their way to Hanover Township where he worked as a farming laborer for a few years. According to the 1886 Cook County history, his father Louis joined his children in 1851.

On April 25,1852 William married Caroline Vette at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Schaumburg Township and moved permanently to our township. Caroline’s parents were Ludwig “Louis” and Johanne “Hanna” (Redeker) Vette who had immigrated to Schaumburg Township in 1846.












Over the next couple of decades, William began to accumulate properties in multiple sections of the township. He and Caroline lived in Hanover Township into the 1850s and eventually moved onto a farm that he purchased in the 1850s on the east side of Meacham Road, north of Higgins. The house that he had built is pictured below. By the 1870 census his real estate was valued at $12,000.

The couple also became the parents of three children: William, Henry and Herman. William was born in 1853, a year after his parents married. Sadly, he died at the age of three, having been kicked in the head by a horse. Henry was born in 1855 in Hanover Township, two years after his brother, and Herman was born in 1859–probably in Schaumburg Township. Both of the two younger sons continued in William’s footsteps by farming and marrying within the other local German Lutheran families.

Sometime in the 1860s local politics caught his attention. He served as Township Supervisor from 1865 to 1877, as Township Commissioner of Highways and as a school director.

In 1874 he took it up another level and was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives from the 7th district. He served a 2-year term in the 29th General Assembly in Springfield as a member of the Opposition Party. The term was a contentious one between the parties and, according to Illinois Historical and Statistical by John Moses, “fewer laws were passed during this session than any session since the 1830s; amounting to only 118 pages.” Possibly as a result of the ongoing disputes, one term was enough for Mr. Freise and he returned to the township to farm.

By the time the 1886 L.M Snyder plat map of Cook County was published, William owned plots in sections 4, 9, 10, 12 and 13 that amounted to 800 acres. The acreage was centered around the Meacham and Golf Roads intersection. He was clearly a prosperous man.

On September 30, 1910 he passed away at the age of 82 with Caroline, his sons, 13 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren and his sister, Mrs. Louis Oltendorf, surviving him. Other siblings in Germany and Illinois both predeceased and survived him.

He would be pleased to know that over the years his grandsons farmed the acres he had acquired, eventually selling much of it for places you may know today. Do the names Motorola and Woodfield ring a bell?

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

Photos of William and Caroline Freise are courtesy of Lori Freise, a great, great, great granddaughter to the Freises. 

Photo of the Freise farm is courtesy of Norman Freise.


September 22, 2019

For the 1988 season at the Poplar Creek Music Theater, management clearly went into overdrive on securing acts to appear onstage. In the 1987 season there were 47 acts versus the 66 they were able to book for the ninth season in 1988.

Unique to the theater this year were comedians like Sam Kinison, Jackie Mason and Gary Shandling. If any one of you went to these shows, it would be interesting to know how long their act was and how many warm up acts they had before the main event. Also, did the comedy translate well onto such a large, outdoor venue?

The season was supposed to jump start with Whitesnake, a British hard rock band. Unfortunately, they cancelled, but were able to reschedule a show on July 13.

It was almost, too, as if the organizers read my blog post regarding the 1987 season, and scheduled a few more female acts. There were eleven this year versus the six that performed the prior year.

  • May 20           Depeche Mode and OMD
  • May 28           Richard Marx with Henry Lee Summer
  • May 29           Robert Plant with Mission U.K.
  • June 4             Julio Iglesias
  • June 10-11     John Cougar Mellencamp
  • June 12           Jethro Tull
  • June 16           Sam Kinison
  • June 17          Chick Corea Electrick Band and Herbie Hancock and Headhunters II
  • June 18           INXS with Steel Pulse
  • June 24           Billy Ocean
  • June 25           Johnny & the Leisure Suits
  • June 26           Dirty Dancing with Bill Medley, Eric Carmen and the Dirty Dancing Band and Dancers
  • July 1              Kool & the Gang
  • July 3              Heart with Michael Bolton
  • July 4              Elgin Symphony Orchestra
  • July 6              Loverboy
  • July 8              Squeeze with the Smithereens
  • July 9              Steve Winwood with Johnny Clegg & Savuka
  • July 10            Moody Blues
  • July 11            Jackie Mason
  • July 13            Whitesnake
  • July 14            Bob Dylan with the Alarm
  • July 15            Dan Fogelberg with the Magical Strings
  • July 16            Jimmy Buffett & the Coral Reefer Band
  • July 17            Aerosmith
  • July 19            Belinda Carlisle
  • July 20            Country Explosion: Shenandoah with Southern Pacific, Baillie & the Boys, SKB
  • July 23            Earth Wind & Fire
  • July 24            Gary Shandling
  • July 27-28       Barry Manilow
  • July 29             “70’s Superfest” with Bachman Turner Overdrive, the Guess Who and Rare Earth; Grand Funk’s Mark Farner and Dr. Hook
  • July 30             Tiffany
  • August 2          Earth Wind & Fire
  • August 3          Gloria Estefan & the Miami Sound Machine
  • August 4          James Taylor
  • August 5          Temptations and the O’Jay’s
  • August 6          Chicago
  • August 7          Beach Boys with America
  • August 8          Willie Nelson
  • August 10        Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam
  • August 11        Sting
  • August 12        Kenny G and Stanley Jordan
  • August 13        Kenny Loggins
  • August 14        Huey Lewis & The News
  • August 15        The Moody Blues
  • August 16        Neil Young & the Blue Notes, Tracy Chapman
  • August 17        Robert Palmer
  • August 19        Darryl Hall and John Oates
  • August 20        The Jets with Stacey Q and Jermaine Jackson
  • August 21        Wynonna and Ashley Judd, Randy Travis, Tammy Wynette
  • August 22        UB40
  • August 23        Debbie Gibson
  • August 24        Crosby Stills & Nash
  • August 25        Tangerine Green
  • August 26         Hank Williams Jr.
  • August 27-28     Linda Ronstadt
  • September 1      Pat Benatar with the Rhythm Corps
  • September 2      Stevie Ray Vaughan
  • September 3      Barbara Mandrell
  • September 4      Bruce Hornsby & The Range
  • September 3      Barbara Mandrell
  • September 9      Sade
  • September 10    Swatch Impact Tour with skateboard and freestyle “action sport” show
  • September 16-17    Elton John with Wet Wet Wet
  • September 18    Santana
  • September 24    Pat Benatar with the Rhythm Corps

And I would be remiss if I did not mention that the only band that had been performing for the entire run of Poplar Creek’s existence continued their booking into 1988. The band? Still performing today? Why Jimmy Buffet and the Coral Reefer Band.

How many of these acts would you love to see perform again in all of their 1988 strength and glory? My choice, even though she was past her Greatest Hits Vol. 1 and 2 albums, would be Linda Ronstadt. You have to love powerful alto voices like hers.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

Credit for the photo of Gary Shandling is given to Wikipedia.



September 15, 2019

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

As we approach our 60th anniversary of incorporation, I thought it would be interesting to look back at some of the important dates from those early years.

1955  F & S Construction buys the 194 acre Hammerstein Farm.

1956  Our first school, Twinbrook, is opened in Parcel A.

1958  The Hoffman Estates Fire Protection District sets up its first fire station in one of the Hammerstein barns to house its first fire truck.

1959  Hoffman Plaza opens as the first shopping center.  Jewel is the first grocery store.

1959  Hoffman Estates incorporates on Sept. 23 with a vote of 759 to 569.  The population is 8,000.

1959  Hoffman Estates’ zip code is 60172.

1959  On November 7th, the first village election takes place.  Those elected are: Ed Pinger, President; Marilyn Broding, Clerk; James Gannon, Bruce Barger, Ed Deerfield, Ed Cunningham, John Pickering and Roy Jenkins, Trustees.

1959  November 12th is the first village board meeting.

1960  Thomas Engineering is the first commercial business to open in Hoffman Estates.

1964  Golf Rose Shopping Center opens with W. T. Grant’s Department Store as its anchor.

1965  Our village flag is designed by Lawrence C. Spiegel and our motto, “Growing to Greatness” comes from Leslie Goetz.

1968  Ida Vogelei sells her farmhouse and barn to the Park District for $150,000.  Located at Higgins and Golf Rds, the house was built in 1916 at a cost of $5,000.

1971  Hill Dale Golf Course is built on the Marshall Field Hunting and Skeet Shooting Club.

1972  Hoffman Estates moves out of its first village hall at the Hammerstein Farm Building into its newly constructed village hall (the Bruce Lind complex) on Gannon Drive.

1973  Hoffman Estates High School opens as a freshman-sophomore school.

1978  The Uniform Safety Code goes into effect with the renumbering of all commercial and residential addresses as well as some street name changes.

1980  Poplar Creek Music Theater opens its outdoor 22,000 seat music venue.

1992  The third village hall opens in the Safeco Building located at Hassell and Huntington Blvd.

Corporate growth would take pages and pages.  We truly have grown to greatness.

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Historian


September 8, 2019


About a year ago this rather unique photo popped up on eBay and came to my attention. While the ball field itself looks like it could have been our rural township, the house in the background and the small pergola were very much out of the ordinary for Schaumburg Township in the 1910s.

To confirm my feelings about the photo, I ran it past LaVonne Presley. She was born and raised in the township and was familiar with the farmhouses of the area. She agreed that this was not Schaumburg Township but had no clue where the grounds were.

There were definitely Schaumburg Township baseball teams, as indicated by this photo in the library’s collection. Our photo was probably taken about ten to fifteen years later than the photo at the top, judging by the style of clothing worn. Plus, the Schaumburg Township players wore uniforms instead of the white shirts and black knickers that are seen in the earlier photo.

To deepen the mystery, Johnny Kunzer, one of the blog readers, recently passed on another picture that was clearly taken at the same spot.

The handwriting is the same, the sequencing number on the photos is two digits off and that pergola and house look mighty familiar. Additionally, it says “Schaumburg Hall & Park” and the people are dressed in the same fashion. The information on the back of the photo said that it was taken in 1915.

I did a bit of internet searching but, with little time, decided to throw the question to a museum list serve. Within hours I received a response from a list member who said it appeared that this was the present day Schaumburg Supper Club in Randolph, WI. She sent a couple of other photos, one of which was from an article in the Fond Du Lac Reporter from August 22, 1973. It looked darned close but some of the elements were changed.

The beautiful glassed-in porch was gone and it appeared to have some type of addition on the right side of the building. Because the cupola cannot be seen in the 1915 photo, it was impossible to tell if that was an original architectural element that survived until 1973 or if it had been added somewhere along the way.

I then took a chance and called the Schaumburg Supper Club. Luckily, the very nice, very interested owner, Candy Palmiteer, answered the phone. While she was not sure about the pictures, she mentioned that the building had, indeed, been altered at some point and a glassed-in porch had been removed.

She also told me that the building was originally built by a man named John Schaumburg and his wife Mary. From Google Satellite, I was able to see that the building is currently on a lake. She confirmed that the lake was called Lake Emily and was named for one of the daughters of a man named Hamilton Stevens.

With a little more to go on, I looked into John and Mary Schaumburg and found quite an interesting story. By fleshing out some of the details in the Fond Du Lac article, I discovered in the 1870 census that John and Mary were born in 1812 and 1813 respectively. The article said they left Germany shortly after they were married–probably somewhere around 1832–and came to the United States, settling in New York’s Mohawk Valley.

Conversely, the 1850, 1860 and 1870 census–as well as John’s death certificate–all state that both John and Mary were born in New York. Without further research into Germany or New York church records, it is difficult to determine which location is correct.

To make things a little more interesting, the article further states that, “receiving an annual sum of money from his parents, young Schaumburg started a grocery store which quickly prospered into a large business. His wealth increased even more when he received a bequest of $60,000 from his mother upon her death about 1836.”

He and Mary must have used the money to begin buying acreage in Dodge County, Wisconsin. The Bureau of Land Management’s Land Patent database states that John and Maryann (as she is listed) both purchased 80 acres in 1848. As mentioned in the newspaper article, they eventually purchased 1800 acres on the shores of Lake Emily that had been surveyed by Hamilton Stevens (!) who also named nearby Lake Sarah and Lake Maria for his other daughters. In the 1850 census, as well as the years 1860 and 1870, John is listed as a “hotel keeper” so they must have built a rudimentary establishment when they arrived.

(In fact, in an article that was written by Beverly Connor and is hanging on the wall in the Supper Club, it states that the home “became a stop over for Indian agents, travelers and fur trappers, besides the settlers and local Indians.)

In 1852 they began construction of their large, two-story white house that was purportedly “designed after his ancestral Von Schaumburg castle built in Germany in 1030.” The house was fashionably furnished both inside and out according to the article. It is astounding to imagine that the house that we see above was built 15 years before Laura Ingalls Wilder lived in the Little House in the Big Woods in Pepin, Wisconsin.

According to the Fond Du Lac article, the Schaumburgs had a daughter who married an Englishman named Winship and “they too lived at Schaumburg Hall.” The 1850 census, in fact, lists only George Winship as a farmer on the Schaumburg property. It states that he was born in New York. We might surmise then, that Winship came to Wisconsin with the Schaumburgs to help them with their property.

The 1870 census confirms that the Winships were indeed living with the Schaumburghs (as the name is listed in the census.) George and Jessie were listed, along with their children Stephanie, John, Imogene, Desdemona, Thomas and Margaret.

The problem is that Jessie’s birthplace is listed as Scotland. In doing a bit of research on Family Search.org, her death certificate in Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths states that her parents were Alexander Fyfe and Margaret Caird. In fact, Jessie’s tombstone in Graceland Cemetery in Chicago, lists her maiden name of Fyfe as well as her married name of Winship. Clearly there was some type of relationship between the Schaumburgs and the Winships, but it was not parental.

After living in Schaumburg Hall for 35 years, as the article states, John and Mary sold their property and moved to Chicago with the Winships. Two years after the 1870 census–and after the sale of the property–Mary died on June 29, 1872 and was buried in Graceland cemetery in Chicago. John survived her by almost 16 years and died on June 14, 1888. He, too, is buried in Graceland Cemetery. George and Jessie Winship died in 1891 and 1916, respectively, and are both buried at Graceland too.

The Hall, meanwhile, went through a variety of owners, including Dr. Frank Gunther, a dentist from Chicago, who purchased it for a summer home in 1913. He, then, was the owner when the above photos were taken of “Schaumburg Hall!” He kept the establishment until 1930 and sold it to Mr. and Mrs. Louis Zoeller until his death in 1964.

After sitting vacant for four years, Bob and Marge Palmiteer bought the mansion in 1968 and converted it into the restaurant it is today. They, in turn, sold it to their son David and his wife Candy who run it today. They are often asked whether they are somehow connected to Schaumburg, Illinois and they have to say “no.” Conversely, we here in Schaumburg Township, despite the strong German farm period, never had a resident with the last name of “Schaumburg!”

In a recent visit to the Supper Club, it is clear that the beauty of the building and the setting are still very much present in this off-the-beaten-path spot in Wisconsin. Touches of the original building still exist. The cupola on top, the dark walnut trim inside that was hauled by oxcart from Green Bay, the front staircase, and the bucolic front lawn and circular driveway that reach out to County A are all in place.

The Palmiteers, in fact, have the historic lawn photo on the walls of the club. It states that the photo was taken in 1922, which seems possible, given the large hats that the ladies are wearing.

It is safe to say that the only connection that Schaumburg Hall in Randolph, WI and Schaumburg Township share is their common roots in Schaumburg-Lippe Germany. But, boy, did those roots stretch a long ways!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

My thanks to the Palmiteers for their valuable input into this story.

Photo credits:

  • Credit extended to Fond Du Lac Reporter for the exterior photo of Schaumburg Hall with the caption.
  • Credit extended to the Palmiteer family for interior color photos of Schaumburg Hall.


September 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

  • LeRoy Marks was appointed principal of Blackhawk Elementary School by District 54 Superintendent Robert Flum after O.A. Candeleria left the position to become superintendent of District 30 in Northbrook. Marks had previously been teaching science and physical education at “Schaumburg Junior High School.”
  • Plaza Liquors in Hoffman Plaza was advertising their holiday specials of Hamm’s Beer 24/12 oz. bottles for $3.39, plus a deposit and Canada Dry quart beverages 2 for .29.
  • A group of residents was looking into forming a community swimming pool club. The registration drive was led by chairman Otto Handwerk. The plan was to include a wading pool for children. Jack Hoffman, president of F & S Construction promised to set land aside within his development for any facility that came to fruition.

50 Years Ago In 1969

  • The Hoffman Car Wash at 100 E. Golf Road was offering a coupon for a free car wash in the Daily Herald.
  • The village of Hoffman Estates participated in a program to crush old cars that had been left on Cook County Forest Preserve property. Abandoned cars left at various forest preserves in the area were hauled to the [Paul Douglas?] forest preserve off of Central Road in Hoffman Estates. Surrounding villages, including Hoffman Estates, also brought cars that had been left or abandoned within their village borders. Over 500 cars were brought to the site, including 200 that had been stored at Old Higgins and Barrington Road–which must have been the Arthur Janura Forest Preserve on Barrington Road?
  • The Village Board announced that they would be transferring all village funds from the Schaumburg State Bank to the Suburban Bank of Hoffman Estates which was operating out of temporary quarters at the Golf-Rose Shopping Center. Ground had recently been broken for a new bank on the west side of Roselle Road, south of Golf Road.

40 Years Ago In 1979

  • A podiatry practice opened in Hoffman Plaza around September of 1979. The practice was Associated Podiatric Physicians and the podiatrists were Dr. Joel F. Spatt and Dr. Noel G. Frank. They specialized in foot & ankle surgery, children’s foot disorders and sports medicine.
  • Charles J. Ames was the first patient seen in the emergency room of the newly opened Suburban Medical Center of Hoffman Estates on Barrington Road.

  • Steven’s Bedding in the Golf Rose Shopping Center was offering “Spectacular Values” on a queen size convertible sofa, mattresses by Englander, Sealy, Simmons and Serta and Herculon sofa groupings.

30 Years Ago In 1989

  • On September 9 and 10 Margies was holding their Bridal Expo Sale that cut their prices from 20 to 80 percent on thousands of new gowns and dresses. Margies was located on Golf Road in Hoffman Estates
  • Jefferson Airplane was performing at Poplar Creek at 8 p.m. on Saturday, September 9. Ticket prices were $17.50-22.50.
  • A first-person interview with Anna Leopardi who was the Second Assistant Manager at the McDonald’s on Higgins Road appeared in the Chicago Tribune and detailed the duties that came with her job. Interesting details include: french fries are kept for seven minutes before they are thrown away, the grill temperature for a Quarter Pounder was 375 degrees while it was 350 degrees for a regular hamburger and she had to attend Hamburger University at the McDonald’s headquarters in Oak Brook to qualify for her job.

20 Years Ago In 1999

  • The Hoffman Estates Park District awarded $1.6 million in contracts for the Prairie Stone Community Center scheduled to be built on Prairie Stone Parkway.
  • A fire that started on the southwest corner of Barrington and Golf Roads burned 75 acres that began in a corn field and spread to a grassy area. The fire began at 3:30 p.m. and was put out by 5:00 p.m.
  • A group of parents and students spent the last few days of summer vacation painting the 8 bathrooms of Armstrong Elementary School a variety of vivid colors.

10 Years Ago in 2009

  • The Hoffman Estates Chamber of Commerce and the Arboretum of South Barrington announced they were offering their second annual fashion show and scholarship event at the Stonegate Conference & Banquet Center on Higgins Road.
  • A construction worker was caught inside a vacant Menards store that was being demolished at the Barrington Square Mall. The structure sustained a partial collapse as a result.
  • The village celebrated their 50th anniversary gala at the Marriott Chicago Northwest. Former village officials attended including former Village Mayor Virginia Hayter and former Village Trustee Fred Crespo. Additionally, two surprise guests slipped in from the 50th class reunion of Schaumburg Elementary School that was being held in another room of the hotel.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


August 25, 2019

Christian Kublank of Schaumburg Township made his decision to join the Union Army’s 113th Illinois Infantry Regiment on the very day that the unit was formed. The regiment held its meeting in the Methodist Church at Wood Street and Plum Grove Road on August 11, 1862.


An accounting of this regiment is covered extensively in the Palatine Centennial Book and states that Judge James Bradwell of Palatine helped to organize the company that became known as the Bradwell Guard. This window in the Methodist Church commemorates that organization.

Mr. Kublank must have heard talk in the area that a local company was being formed and made sure he was there for the official organization. Whether he had made up his mind before he attended the meeting, or was stirred to do so after the discussion is not known, but we do know that the Illinois Civil War Muster and Descriptive Rolls officially state he signed up on that very day.

The Rolls state that he was 5′ 10 with brown hair and blue eyes and was 21 years old. Interestingly, the 1860 census lists him as 16 years old which would have made him 18 years old in 1862. His tombstone says that he was born in 1842 which would have made him 20 years old in 1862. In doing a quick Ancestry search, it was confirmed on one of the family trees that Christian was born in 1842.

His parents were Jacob and Dorothea Kublank who sailed to the US from Germany. Hillside Cemetery states that “they came to Palatine Township in 1849 with their children.” This would mean Christian was a young boy of six or seven at the time.

Again, it is interesting that the Muster Rolls state his birthplace differently from Ancestry. The Rolls say that he was born in Bridgewater in Windsor County, Vermont. The Ancestry family tree confirms that he was Jacob and Dorothea’s youngest child born in Germany, even though two additional children–twins– were born after the family made their way to Illinois.

His siblings were Wilhelmina, William, Dorothy, Sophia, Elizabeth, Helen, Fred and John. Their father, Jacob, died in 1853, a mere four years after the family arrived in Illinois. Dorothea certainly had her work cut out for her.

By 1861, the Kublank family could be found on this Schaumburg Township map at the border with Palatine Township. Their property is listed at the top in the middle of the map under D. Kublank, his mother. They were farming a parcel on Plum Grove Road, south of the Methodist church where Christian enlisted.

When he left the farm to muster in with his compatriots on October 1, 1862, at Camp Hancock in Chicago, the Palatine Centennial book tells us, “Nearly all the surrounding territory turned out to bid them farewell. Their captain… was presented with a sword, the gift of the Palatine ladies.”

Christian and the men of Company E were involved in a war that would take them from Memphis to Chickasaw to Arkansas Post to Vicksburg and back to Memphis. After serving the entire duration of the war in the western campaign, he was eventually mustered out on May 28, 1865 in Memphis. He made his way back to Chicago with those who remained of the company, received his pay and was there with the company when it was disbanded on June 25. It must have been a joyous, if not somewhat bittersweet occasion.

He was incredibly fortunate to have survived. The regiment lost 1 officer and 25 enlisted men to battle wounds and a shocking 4 officers and 273 enlisted men to disease.

According to Hillside Cemetery, Christian returned to the farm. He then moved to Iowa where he lived from 1872 to 1875 in Iowa. By the 1880 census he was back in Palatine, living with his married sister, Dorothy Stroker. “He was a butcher and ran the Kublank Market on Brockway Street. In 1901 he ran for town collector as an independent and defeated the party nominee” according to the cemetery book.

By 1907 Christian was living at the Milwaukee VA Soldiers Home that was built specifically to house Civil War veterans and is pictured above. In a mention from the Cook County Herald of November 1, 1907, Christian “says there is no town like Milwaukee, nor no place like the Home, where they have Sunday every day. Good clothes, plenty to eat, money in the pocket and excitement all the time.”

He lived another 5 1/2 years and during that time, Hillside Cemetery says that he was receiving his pension for a disease of the eye. On April 24, 1913 he died at the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary in Chicago.


Christian is buried in the Kublank plot at the Hillside Cemetery in Palatine where he is honored with a tombstone from both his family and the military. And rightfully so.

For three years Christian, George Sager and John Sharp served their country in a conflict that took them from the homes, farms and families they knew in Schaumburg Township to battlefields and hospitals across the country. Private Sharp died in one of those hospitals. Private Sager found a life in southern Illinois but died, still a young man. And Private Kublank lived to the age of 70 with a condition that he incurred in the war. None of them escaped unscathed but they were all Civil War heroes of Schaumburg Township.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

For additional information on the 113th Illinois Infantry Regiment, please see the Palatine Historical Society’s account

Photo credit for the Methodist Church stained glass window is given to the Palatine Historical Society.

Photo credit for the Milwaukee VA Soldiers Home is given to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.