SCHAUMBURG TOWNSHIP PUBLIC SCHOOLS: DISTRICT 51

February 19, 2017

The District 51 school was located on the south side of Higgins Road between Roselle and Barrington Roads.  In 2017 the location is slightly west and south of the intersection of Huntington Boulevard and Higgins Road in Hoffman Estates.  This school was alternately called the Sunderlage School and the Meyer School.  The latter name referred to its location on the Meyer farm.

[The USGS topographical map from 1935 below shows the school listed as Meyers School.]

meyer-school

[The USGS topographical map from 1953 shows it listed as the Sunderlage School.]

sunderlage-school 

Both Ester (Steinmeyer) Bierman and Erna (Lichthart) Hungerberg remembered walking to the Meyer School as students.  Erna arrived at school with potentially frost bitten hands one bitterly cold winter day.  The teacher had Erna put her hands in a wash basin full of snow, and the hands suffered no ill effects.  Miss Laura Williamson was one of the teachers that the ladies recalled.  Miss Williamson did not board with a farm family, but she drove a car (coupe) to school each day, because she lived in Norwood Park with her family.

[The school closed for the first time in 1943.  In a September 5, 1952 article from The Herald, it was mentioned that the school was reopened and used as a location for the 3rd, 4th and 5th graders of Schaumburg Township after being closed for the previous nine years.]

The District 51 School was closed in 1954 after the consolidation of the five township school districts and the opening of the new 4-room Schaumburg School.  Richard Gerschefske purchased the school building for his personal use.  The roof was carefully removed to aid in moving the school down Higgins and Roselle Roads to Schaumburg Center.  Richard placed the school on a portion of his farm southeast of the intersection of Schaumburg and Roselle Roads.  The school is shown below during the moving process.

district-51-school

He also purchased the Hartmann School (District 55), which was located at the northeast corner of Wise and Rodenburg Roads.  Because this school was closed for many years, the building was in poor condition.  Richard dismantled it for the lumber that he used to add on a kitchen and dining room to the District 51 School.

[An article in the December 23, 1954 issue of The Herald confirms this:  “Meyer School on Higgins Road was purchased by Richard Gerschefske and will be made into a residence.  Mr. Gerschefske also won the bid on the Hartmann School of Wise Road… All associated buildings on the school property was sold along with the school houses, in all four cases.  The buildings were sold due to the fact that they were no longer being used since the erection of the new consolidated school on Schaumburg Road.”]

The District 51 School on Higgins Road and the District 54 School in Schaumburg Center were the last two one-room schoolhouses used in Schaumburg Township.  Robert Flum was teaching the intermediate students at the Meyer School when it closed in 1954.  He went on to be a teacher/principal of the new 4-room Schaumburg School and, later, Community Consolidated School District 54’s first superintendent of schools.

The text for this blog posting is an excerpt from Schaumburg of My Ancestors by LaVonne Thies Presley, published in 2012.  The book is an in-depth look at Schaumburg Township around the turn of the nineteenth century.  

Her particular focus was the farm off of Meacham Road where her father grew up.  However, LaVonne also took the opportunity in the text to create a detailed examination of the formation of the public one-room schools of Schaumburg Township.  In the upcoming months a posting will be shared on each of those five schools.  But, first, an introduction to the formation of Schaumburg Township public schools

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org

 

THE ACE HARDWARE OF SCHAUMBURG

February 12, 2017

ace-hardware-2

The corner of Roselle and Schaumburg Road was home to various general and hardware stores for many years.  At one time or another you could have found Schaumburg House, Fenz & Son and Lake Cook Farm Supply that would have supplied many of your hardware needs.

Then, in 1954, Louis Redeker, the first mayor of Schaumburg, built a small, one-story building on the southwest corner of the intersection where the clock tower stands today.  According to local residents of that time, he used the structure for a variety of purposes and, in fact, a published zoning notice from February 19, 1959 calls it the “Redeker Building.”

Looking for a new location for a branch store, Tri-City Ace Hardware of Roselle opened in the Redeker building in October 1960, creating the first hardware store in the newly-formed village of Schaumburg.  Wilbert Snyder of Roselle was Tri-City’s owner and, according to an October 27, 1960 article from The Herald, James Kali, one of his employees, became the manager.

Early on the building was also home to Citizens Utilities with a separate door leading to that portion of the store.  It served as a local office and a place to pay your electric bill.  There was also a mailbox on the corner of the intersection since the nearest post office was Roselle.

On February 1, 1962, George and Miriam Vogt bought the store from Mr. Snyder and ran it for the next 23 years.  During that time, they added on to the small building around 1974.  They bought the barn to the south and a brown, two-story house to the west, expanding the store in those directions.

Mr. and Mrs. Vogt poured their heart and soul into the store and worked many long hours each week according to a Daily Herald column from January 30, 1986.  In the same piece, Miriam says, “It was real small at first and we knew all our customers and it was like one big happy family in town.  The opportunity came along to buy the store and we decided to take a try at it.  It was hard work but very enjoyable.  We met a lot of people we liked.  That’s the main thing.”

This ad gives you a good idea of the hardware and services they offered.  (Notice they collected S & H Green Stamps too!)

ace-hardware

Jann Jorgensen worked at the store from 1970-1976.  As she tells it, she lived in the same neighborhood as the Vogts and when she reached an employable age her father suggested she ask George if he needed any help.  George was a bit reluctant to hire a girl in a hardware store but gave her a two-week trial period and wound up hiring her for six years.

According to Jann, George was “all about service.”  With many new home owners coming to the area, they would bring George their problem.  He would take the time to lead them through to a solution, sometimes using pencil and paper to draw diagrams to illustrate what they needed to do.  And, as part of Jann’s job, she was required to wait on customers, weigh nails, take inventory, check in orders, cut glass for windows, move and organize the various products and handle the Commonwealth Edison light bulb orders.  Jann also remembered that one of the adjacent buildings where the fertilizer, soil, grass seed, etc. were kept had a dirt floor through the time she worked there.

In 1986, though, the Vogts decided to retire and sold the store to Joseph Bulgarelli who ran it for the next ten years.

When the village of Schaumburg decided to redevelop the Town Square property, they began negotiations to buy the property, eventually coming to terms in 1996.  The Ace Hardware then moved to the Farmgate Shopping Center at 560 S. Roselle Road where it remained well into the 2010’s.

This small, long-lived institution helped keep houses repaired and in good order for so many years–particularly as the area grew and expanded.  Do you remember Mom and Dad making countless trips as they tackled household chores and repairs?  What is your favorite memory of our local Ace Hardware?

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org

CHANGE IS COMING TO HOFFMAN PLAZA

February 5, 2017

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the January 2017 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

Hoffman Plaza

 

Changes are coming to our first shopping center. Hoffman Plaza, built in 1959, has darkened store front windows and an empty parking lot.

I received an e-mail from a reader of this column, asking what was happening to the Hoffman Plaza. He saw empty stores and knew that something was up. I’ve learned that there will be changes coming to the area, what exactly I can’t say. There’s still a lot not known about what changes will take place.

 

I do know that the Hoffman Plaza was our first shopping center. Parcels A, B & C were being constructed and there was no place to shop. It was with happy hearts that the residents learned that F & S Construction was planning on building the shopping area with an opening date of summer of 1959.

Hoffman Plaza

Shirley Turpin opened Turpin Fabrics & Drapery shop, the first small business in the Plaza. Jewel also opened our first grocery store, not to be confused with the newer store that will remain in the Plaza. The first store openings continued during that year and into 1960; Walgreen Agency Snyder Drugs, Ben Franklin, and Twinbrook Hardware. The first doctor’s offices and the first beauty shop also opened.

That first beauty shop belonged to Frank Vaccaro but his beauty shop would also serve as our first post office. After Roselle’s postmaster requested public bids for a substation in Hoffman Estates, Frank Vaccaro was awarded the contract and opened our first postal substation on Nov. 1, 1962. The east end of the plaza would become our first post office in 1964.

I also remember the first Yu’s Mandarin restaurant tucked into the corner of the north facing portion of the Plaza, the Hot Dog Place (Express) was one of my favorites also. A small ladies dress shop was on the north side too but I can’t remember the shop’s name perhaps it was the Sorority House. I know I loved there dresses.

With the addition of the new McDonalds and the newly built Wendy’s in Golf Center, the downtown area is always improving for the better. Everyone is especially happy with the new stop light that we’ve hoped for for a number of years allowing us a safer and more convenient way of shopping in our original downtown area.

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Village Historian
eagle2064@comcast.net

MCDONALD’S, HOLLYWOOD AND SCHAUMBURG TOWNSHIP

January 29, 2017

mcdonalds

In the new biopic The Founder, there is a mention of Ray Kroc opening his first McDonald’s restaurants in the Chicago area.  One of the restaurants is the first one at 400 Lee Street in Des Plaines. This original location opened in April 1955 and the building has since been torn down and rebuilt.  But the movie also mentions other locations in Waukegan–and Schaumburg!

Curious about this connection, a patron emailed me about the beginnings of McDonald’s in Schaumburg Township, wondering if we were, in fact, one of the first locations in the Chicagoland area.

After doing a bit of research, I discovered that there were others in the area that opened earlier–Arlington Heights, Elk Grove Village and Wheeling–to name a few.  The first one in Schaumburg Township was the location on Golf Road, just east of the intersection with Higgins.  This restaurant held its grand opening on Saturday, October 17, 1970 (15 years after the Des Plaines location) when they opened to the public at 10 a.m.

Ronald McDonald was there in person to greet kids from 10 to noon and handed out free gifts.  Their ad from the October 16, 1970 Daily Herald mentions their “piping-hot 100% pure-beef hamburgers, golden brown french fries… and triple-thick chocolate, vanilla and strawberry shakes.”  A photo from the October 22 paper says that the grand opening drew over 4000 people!

Facing Golf Road, the facade and interior of the building were in the latest style of the day which had been developed in 1968 by the corporate office.  Having moved from the outdoor restaurant trend with the golden arches, the Schaumburg location featured a brick building with big windows and a mansard roof.  As noted in the comments below, there was also an interior playground that was used as a space for countless birthday parties.  The McDonald’s sign on Golf Road maintained the golden arches–just as they do today.

As one of the commenters noted, the original building was torn down about around 2002 and the replacement building was not only smaller but was resituated on the lot to accomodate for the heavy drive thru traffic.  The location had a great 46-year run but, unfortunately, closed in 2016 after a new store opened in the Golf Rose Center in Hoffman Estates.

mcdonalds-2

 

Many other locations exist in Schaumburg Township:

  • Barrington Square Mall on Higgins in Hoffman Estates
  • 2580 W. Golf Road near the intersection with Barrington Road in Hoffman Estates
  • 1070 Roselle Road in the Golf Rose Center in Hoffman Estates
  • 550 S. Roselle Road in the Farmgate Shopping Center in Schaumburg
  • 2545 Schaumburg Road in the Scharrington Square Shopping Center in Schaumburg
  • 720 E. Higgins Road at Plum Grove Road in Schaumburg
  • Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg
  • 775 E. Algonquin Road in Schaumburg between Harper College and Motorola
  • 955 E. Golf Road in Schaumburg (This is another brand new store as of 2016.)
  • 633 Meacham Road at Biesterfield in Strawberry Hill Plaza in Elk Grove Village
  • 7455 Barrington Road at Irving Park in Hanover Park

mcdonalds-uniformSo many of us worked for McDonald’s in the 1970’s wearing those polyester uniforms with the perky hats, frying hamburgers for a Big Mac, frying eggs in a six-sectioned egg ring for Egg McMuffins and actually mixing and whipping the shakes in a triple-head milkshake maker.  And let’s not forget making change in our heads at the cash register!  What are your memories of the McDonald’s in Schaumburg Township?  Did you work there?  Do you know when they opened?  What were your uniforms like?  Please feel free to share your thoughts!

Also, enjoy this story by Dann Gire of the Daily Herald as he discusses the appearance of the Schaumburg and other Chicagoland McDonald’s in The Founder. 

 

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org

The article, “The Browning of McDonald’s,” was gratefully used in the description of the first McDonald’s in Schaumburg.

 

SCHAUMBURG TOWNSHIP PUBLIC SCHOOLS: AN INTRODUCTION

January 22, 2017

LaVonne's bookThe text for this blog posting is an excerpt from Schaumburg of My Ancestors by LaVonne Thies Presley, published in 2012.  The book is an in-depth look at Schaumburg Township around the turn of the nineteenth century.  

Her particular focus was the farm off of Meacham Road where her father grew up.  However, LaVonne also took the opportunity in the text to create a detailed examination of the formation of the public one-room schools of Schaumburg Township.  In the upcoming months a posting will be shared on each of those five schools.  But, first, an introduction to the formation of Schaumburg Township public schools

“At some point after the establishment of Schaumburg Township in 1850, the township was divided into five local elementary or public school districts.  Each attendance area was assigned a district number.  The exact date of the construction of each one-room school is not known.  There is little reliable written documentation about early public education in Schaumburg Township.  It appears that minutes from the districts have been misplaced, lost or destroyed.  The numbering for these five districts was changed sometime after 1900 by the Office of the Cook County Superintendent of Schools.

In 1829 Illinois established the Office of School Commissioner which was responsible for the sale of public school land.  The money from the sale of section 16 in each township was designated for the public (common) schools.  By 1882 most land assets for school used had been sold.  Though no written documentation has been found, it is assumed that there was enough money to cover some or all of the construction costs of Schaumburg Township’s five schools.  The Schaumburg Township public schools were typically built on an acre of land.

The minutes from School District 53 public school note that it was an active school in 1860, which was ten years after the township system was put in place in Illinois.  No records for the other four districts in Schaumburg Township have been found.

As seen in the Cook County Biennial Report of the County Superintendent of Schools from July 1, 1894 to June 30, 1896, …the one-room schools were listed as “country schools.”  The assumption is made that the country school designations came about because the schools were not located in an incorporated village and were small districts that did not have consolidation with a central school board.

This map from the Biennial Report makes note of the locations of the schools with the abbreviation S.H. that, presumably, refers to “School House.”
schools-of-schaumburg-township

The number of yearly attendance days varied in these districts as children were needed on the farm during the planting and harvesting seasons.  In the report from 1894-1896, the average number of months taught was six.  Each of the one-room schools had its own school directors.  In 1898 the Cook County Superintendent reported that the number of pupils enrolled in Schaumburg Township Public Schools was 86; however, the private school’s enrollment was 150 pupils.  The Illinois School Board of Education reported in their timeline for 1890 that female teachers in Illinois earned an average of $44 per month while the male teachers made about $10 more.  (At the time of the report, the schools in Schaumburg Township were numbered 1-5.  These were later changed to numbers 51-55.)

school-teachers

…At the conclusion of the 1895-96 school year, the five Schaumburg Township public schools had an enrollment of 76 students while the three Lutheran schools in the township had an enrollment of 146 students.  Also, the superintendent’s report noted that the libraries of the five public schools had a combined total of 374 books.  A list of suggested book titles for the school libraries was included with the cost of each book ranging from 18 to 45 cents.  It is not known if the superintendent visited the graded and country school in each township yearly or if they submitted a written accounting to him.

Between the 1890s and 1940s the population of each Schaumburg public school district fluctuated as children stared and completed their schooling.  Moreover, non-German families moved in and out of the township for various reasons.  A few German families sent their children to the English school for their primary education, but the children attended a Lutheran school for middle and upper grades.   At times, when a school’s enrollment was too low to keep it open, the local farmers would send their 4 and 5 year old children to the public school.  This raised the enrollment numbers sufficiently to keep the school open.   Another farmer simply bought the school to insure it was kept open.

In the 1940s and 1950s only two schools were in good repair and remained open–District 51 and District 54.  (District 51 is in Section 9 of the map and District 54 is in Section 22.)  As people from the city moved to Schaumburg Township and built homes, the school enrollment numbers increased.  If the number of children was too high for the two schools, Schaumburg Township had agreements with surrounding school districts to bus children to their schools on a tuition basis.  Some of the districts included:  Elk Grove, Bartlett, Palatine, and Barrington.  This arrangement ended with the consolidation of the schools in Schaumburg Township in 1952 and the erection of a new four-room Schaumburg School on east Schaumburg Road in 1954.”

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org

TWO LOCATIONS OF CHICKEN UNLIMITED NOW SERVING UNLIMITED CHICKEN!

January 15, 2017

It seems a bit of a fried chicken craze hit Schaumburg Township in the early 1970’s.  Kentucky Fried Chicken had already paved the way in Hoffman Estates in the late 1960s when they opened a brand new restaurant at Higgins and Roselle Roads.   In 1970 Ray and Geri Herringer opened a Chicken Unlimited franchise at 10 N. Roselle Road.  [Daily Herald, April 26, 1971]  This was followed by another Chicken Unlimited franchise that opened in July 1972 and Brown’s Chicken decided to join the competition with a restaurant at 620 S. Roselle Road in September.

In the July 12, 1972 issue of the Daily Herald, an ad invited the public to the grand opening of Chicken Unlimited’s Schaumburg stores at 805 W. Higgins Road and at 10 N. Roselle Road. The Higgins Road store was at the intersection of Higgins and Golf and the Roselle Road store was in this small strip mall that was on the northwest side of the intersection of Schaumburg and Roselle Roads.

Library

When they came to town they brought not only “the world’s best fried chicken” but fish & chips, giant Whamburgers, fried shrimp and hot apple puffs.  Yum!  And, to celebrate the opening of the stores, they offered a “Get Acquainted Coupon” that featured 12 pieces of light, crispy chicken, french fries, cole slaw, hot rolls and honey.  All for the low price of $3.99.  Certainly enough to feed a family of five or six!

The Herringers also offered a package deal for catering purposes.  It was called “Parties Unlimited” and featured a package of chicken, salad, rolls, plates, knives and forks.

Yet another ad from a November 1973 mailer stated that the stores were open 7 days a week, beginning at 11 a.m.  It also featured this coupon for a fast way to save a buck.

chicken-unlimited

Unfortunately, though, Chicken Unlimited did not last long. On March 30, 1976, the franchise filed for bankruptcy and it was around this time that the restaurants shut down in Schaumburg.  The last time there was an appearance in the Daily Herald for one of the Schaumburg locations was in 1976, although ads for the Palatine and Elk Grove locations appeared into the later 70’s.

Maybe one of our readers worked at one of the restaurants or remembers when they closed?  If you can clue us in, it would be most appreciated!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org

CAN YOU HELP IDENTIFY THIS PHOTO?

January 8, 2017

 

unidentified-woodfield-mall

This photo has been in our collection for quite a while and it is a puzzler.  The back of the photo says, “Once Upon a Time” and is dated 03/04/81.

Upon first glance, it seems it might be Woodfield Mall, due to the amount of open space and the size of the project.  The background is what throws that supposition off.  Even though there appears to be a farm in the middle background of the photo, there is also a hint of a neighborhood in the upper left of the photo.  And that was simply not the case in the area that surrounded Woodfield prior to construction.  An aerial photo of that locale in 1969, before construction began, would have shown only farmfields, houses, barns and outbuildings in a checker board pattern.  There would not have been a grid layout of streets and houses anywhere close.

It also appears that the area was excavated, given what looks to be an accentuated incline that runs behind the building.  It is also curious that there are a couple of buildings in the foreground of the photo.  One appears to be a barn and there is a type of drive-thru garage to the left with two construction trailers in between.  Interestingly, there is a power pole behind the garage.  Which begs the question, were these buildings there before development began and then incorporated into the construction site?

I strongly suspect this is not Woodfield.  Is it even Schaumburg Township?  The only other clue is that the photo came to us with a collection of other local and regional photos.  Sooooo, it could be another suburb.  Do any of you have a clue?

***Photo identified!  In addition to the comments from JKunzer below, I also received an email–with photos attached–from another reader of the blog explaining why this is Stratford Square Mall under construction.  Through their views it is not only possible to compare the basic shape of the building in the photo to an aerial of it on today’s Google Satellite, but both commenters agreed that the angular walls along the berm are, in fact, near the rather unique northwest mall entrance that is between Kohl’s and Macy’s.

And, as local realtor Bob Dohn noted, the mall opened in 1981 which makes the date on the back of the photo even more relevant.

JKunzer also mentioned that the farm is the current Bloomingdale Walk town homes.

Leslie Drewitz, Maretta Britt and Abby Budznynski of the Bloomingdale Public Library graciously assisted me too, and passed the photo back with identifications tabbed all over it.   You can see their handiwork below.

stratford-sq-aerial-labeled-under-construction-docx

Some of the details they provided are:

  • The farm in the background of the photo is the Benders Sod Farm which is, as JKunzer said, today’s Bloomingdale Walk town homes.
  • The diagonal corner behind the farm, in the very background of the photo is the corner of Schick Road and Springfield Drive.   Springfield is just a dirt road that runs to the right.  Schick Road is the diagonal road that runs to the left of the photo and separates the farm and the subdivision.
  • Abilene Trail is the road running through the subdivsion.
  • The road at the left middle part of the photo is the Entrance Drive to the mall that is emptying into the excavated property.
  • The far left portion of the mall being excavated is today’s Carsons.  Montgomery Ward’s/Burlington Coat Factory is in the undeveloped portion in the very forefront of the photo.  The closed J.C. Penney portion is in the right forefront.
  • The left portion of the skeletal structure is Sears lower level and the right portion is Kohl’s lower level.  Macy’s undeveloped lower level is on the far right of the photo.
  • In the very middle of the photo, above where two sections of the berm meet, is the location of the current Cinemark Century Theater.

 

All of the clues provided by contributors were a big help in determining the photo’s subject and the many details in the photo.  Many thanks to all of the commenters for their analysis and the identification methods they used to determine the identity of the photo.  Your collective brains are always much appreciated!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org

THE LION BRIDGE IN HOFFMAN ESTATES

January 1, 2017

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

Lion Bridge

Finally, after so many years of trying to find out who built the Lion Bridge, I now know who engineered that beautiful little bridge. His name was Harry L. Emerson, an engineer who worked for Cook County back at the turn of the century. Not only did he build our Lion Bridge but he built the first reinforced concrete arch bridges in Cook County. Seven of them were across the Des Plaines River.

According to his biography in the History of Cook County dated 1909, his two most notable bridges were built in Wheeling and Lemont, Illinois. They also had animals on them and the Lemont, or Stevens St. Bridge, built in 1906, was so beautiful that it was a destination point for visitors to the Chicago area. The bridge in Wheeling, or the Dundee Rd. Bridge, built in 1905, was identical to our Lion Bridge only longer in its span across the Des Plaines River. The Stevens St. Bridge was torn down and the Dundee Rd. Bridge was widened and the Lions and decorative outlining of the bridge were destroyed in the process. All that’s left are the photos found on line and at the Wheeling Historical Society.

I have to thank Randy Schallau who found the name of engineer Harry L.Emerson while doing research into the mystery of who built the bridge. Randy had lived in Hanover Park at one time and had read about our difficulty in finding any information about the bridge. Research is a hobby of his as he’s retired from his work in construction and living in the north woods of Wisconsin. He knew that bids for work in the construction of buildings, roads or bridges could be found in the Engineering News that dated back to the late 1800s. He located me and e-mailed what he had found. That was a great day. After all the years of finding nothing in newspapers or government records, we finally found who had built the bridge. The request for bids for the Lion Bridge and the Stevens St. Bridge in Lemont were in the same issue of Engineering News from 1906.

As far as we know, none of Mr. Emerson’s original bridges remain except for the Lion Bridge located at the southeast corner of Route 59 and Golf Rd. It is already recognized as a historic bridge but I’m now in the difficult process of applying for National Register status. More research is required and with a bridge that’s 110 years old, it’s a time consuming process with little to be found.

Old maps from 1890 show that there was a cheese factory and the Bode Hotel located at the northwest corner of Bode Rd and Sutton Rd (now Route 59). Golf Rd did not exist in 1906 when the Lion Bridge was built. It was an important bridge because dairy farmers would take Sutton Rd across Poplar Creek on the Lion Bridge to Bode Rd stopping at the cheese factory or on to Elgin. Known as the Elgin to Chicago Rd, Bode Rd. is one of the oldest roads in this area. Farmers would take Bode Rd to Elgin with wagons loaded with milk bound for the dairies in Elgin.

Please join us on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 10 am at the Lion Bridge to celebrate its 110th birthday. A small parking area is located at the north east corner or Bode Rd and Route 59 and we’ll tailgate with coffee and donuts, walk down to the bridge and sing happy birthday to our much loved bridge.

Pat Barch, Hoffman Estates Village Historian
eagle2064@comcast.net

THE BOTTERMAN GARAGE AND THE HATTENDORF STORE IN THE HEART OF SCHAUMBURG TOWNSHIP

December 25, 2016

trinity-lutheran

Over the years, we have obtained cookbooks from various churches, schools and organizations of Schaumburg Township.  They are an interesting snapshot of the home culture of the day and also provide us with names of the local cooks.  This cookbook from Trinity Lutheran Church in Roselle was passed on to me not too long ago and was published sometime between 1936 and 1942.

While it has interesting recipes like Spinach Mold, Creamed Kohlrabi and Ham Tiffle, there were a fair amount of recipes from some of the German farm families of Schaumburg Township.  The names were recognizable and it was interesting to note the variety of recipes and ponder how many of the dishes are still in the cooking repertoires of those families.

Also included in the pages of the cookbook are ads from various local businesses–most of which were Roselle-based businesses. However, two Schaumburg Township businesses were also listed and, not surprisingly, both were located at the intersection of Roselle and Schaumburg roads.botterman-garage

The first was Schaumburg Garage, owned by Al Botterman.  In the book Genesis of A Township, Marilyn Lind notes that in 1936, “The garage at Schaumburg Center was now being operated by Albert Botterman” and then in 1942, “In March, Albert Botterman decided to sell his garage because rationing of tires and gas would cut down his business.”  She derived these details from The Herald and they help confirm the time frame of the cookbook itself.  The 1940 census also confirms Mr. Botterman’s employment by stating that he was “manager of service garage.”

Botterman’s Garage (as it was known by the locals) was directly to the south of the current Lou Malnati’s on Roselle Road.  According to an article from the Roselle Register (May 14, 1959), the building was dated as a “45-year-old garage.”  We can then derive its origin as circa 1914.  This photo of the garage was taken around 1928 during an earlier ownership.  Roselle Road is in the foreground.

botterman-garage-2

Mr. Botterman did auto repairs at the garage but never sold gasoline even though the above quote from The Herald implies that.  (Not only were there were not visible gas pumps outside of the garage, but this fact was also noted by a few of our oral historians.)

Part of the building must have been parceled off to Lake Cook Farm Supply around 1938 when they came to Schaumburg Township.  The Daily Herald states the Farm Supply’s location thusly: “The building was an old barn where Botterman did auto repair work.  Lake Cook supplied farms with bulk feed, fuel oil and gasoline.”  (Daily Herald, November 10, 1938)
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In 1957 Lake Cook Farm Supply built this low building for their retail location.  If you remember this building next to today’s Lou Malnati’s, it is a bit confusing to imagine a garage in between the two.  It is important to keep in mind that in 1957 the intersection of Schaumburg and Roselle Roads was much smaller, with only two lanes in both directions.

The garage remained in between the Farm Supply and Niemann’s Tavern (Lou Malnati’s) on the corner until May 1959 when it burned down.  The Roselle Register article states that the “two-story frame garage” was “two doors away from the intersection of Roselle and Schaumburg rds.”  The fire leveled the garage in an hour.  With the open space created, this is what made it possible to move today’s Lou Malnati’s when the intersection was widened in 1980.  The tavern was then moved 35 feet to the south and east.

A few doors down from Bottermans was the other business mentioned in the cookbook–Hattendorf’s Grocery.

hattendorfs

Herman Hattendorf opened a small grocery store on Roselle Road in 1932 in a house that had been owned by Alma and Frank Lengl.  Mr. Lengl was the nephew of Frank Lengl who was the proprietor of Lengl’s Schaumburg Inn, which is today’s Easy Street Pub.

When opened, the grocery store was small in scope but carried enough basic products to satisfy the farmers who were the main shoppers.  As one of our oral historians mentioned, the locals would often bring in eggs to barter with.  If she brought in one extra above the normal dozen, she was allowed the delight of picking out a piece of candy.

It is also interesting to note that, in Genesis of a Township, Mrs. Lind also notes that Herman and Clara Hattendorf delivered groceries by truck throughout the township.  In essence, it was an early Peapod!

Considering that this was the height of the depression, Mr. Hattendorf managed to stay afloat and even had the store repainted “a combination of white and green.” [Cook County Herald, September 30, 1938]  Because it was a brick building, the story must have been referring to the interior.  You can get an idea of the size of the store from this rear view photo that shows the store being torn down in 1982.

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In 1940 though, Mr. Hattendorf was prosperous enough to buy the former Schaumburg Bank building that was on the northeast corner of Schaumburg and Roselle Roads as a new location for his store.  The sale was announced in the January 19 issue of the Cook County Herald and said that Mr. Hattendorf planned to spend $3000 to remodel the interior of the building and even purchased additional ground to provide parking.  The grand opening was set for March 1 and 2.  Interestingly, the article also states “the store at that time will be converted to the self-serve type.”  This implies that in the old store, prior to the move, a list was given to Mr. Hattendorf and he collected the goods for the shopper–in an old-fashioned general store sort of way.

And, on March 1 and 2, the new version of Hattendorf’s Grocery opened.  Included in the new store was a “complete, fresh meat department…  Goods are being attractively and conveniently arranged so that you will find it delightful to serve yourself.”   [Cook County Herald, March 1, 1940]

hattendorf-store-ad

The grocery store was in existence through at least 1943, but it has been difficult to determine when it closed.  Suffice to say, it was a draw for the locals of Schaumburg Township and, obviously, a convenient store to have in the area.  If you can provide any details, please provide a comment or send me an email.

You never know what can be found in an old book and how it can trigger an investigation into our local history!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org

SCHAUMBURG THROUGH THE DECADES: A MONTHLY LOOK BACK

December 20, 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

  • Pure Oil gained approval from the Cook County Zoning Board of Appeals at a hearing at Schaumburg School to change the zoning on their property from farming to business use.  The 62-acre tract would scheduled to hold a new office that would accomodate 1000-2000 potential employees.Pure Oil
  • 100 young 4-H’rs were in attendance at Schaumburg School for the Schaumburg 4-H Agricultural Club’s achievement night and Christmas party.
  • The home of Mrs. Minnie Kastning that was across Roselle Road from the Turret House, burned to the ground Monday, December 10.  Mrs. Kastning was rescued from the home by firemen who were alerted to the fire at 2 A.M. by a passing motorist.

50 Years Ago in 1966

  • The Illinois State Chamber of Commerce announced that the three largest new building facilities in Illinois for the year 1966 were the $395 million dollar accelerator being built at Fermilab, the nearly $30 million dollar foundry being built at Silvis and the 674,000 square foot Motorola plant.  The latter was the largest facility being built under one roof.
  • Final approval was given by the District 54 board to purchase and install 5 mobile classrooms in the district.  They were expected to alleviate crowding at Fairview, Campanelli and Hillcrest schools.
  • The Schaumburg Jaycees were selling Christmas trees, wreaths and accessories at the Weathersfield Commons shopping center at Schaumburg and Springinsguth Roads on Saturdays and Sundays before the holiday.  In addition, Santa was expected to be there to greet the kids!  (The photo below shows Weathersfield Commons at a later date when the Jewel Food Store had been moved from its first location.  When the shopping center opened–and when the Jaycees sold their Christmas trees in 1966–it was originally located where the True Value is at the back of this photo.)weathersfield-commons

40 Years Ago in 1976

  • In a Chicago Tribune article on Woodfield at Christmas, a variety of stores were mentioned:  Two-Plus-Two Jewelry, Sears Roebuck, Puppy Palace, McDonalds, I-Natural Cosmetics and J. C. Penney.  The same article stated that the mall was so crowded during the season that employees parked at Pure Oil and were shuttled across Golf Road to the shopping center.
  • The a capella quintet named Stormy Weather was scheduled to perform on December 19 at B’Ginnings, the Schaumburg nightclub on Golf Road.  They were noted for performing “doo-wop” or “street corner” singing.
  • The Chicago Tribune reviewed a new Asian restaurant in the Woodfield Commons Plaza at Golf Road and National Parkway called Fu-Lama Gardens.  They offered not only Chinese cuisine but Szechuan, Japanese, Polynesian, Cantonese, Mandarin and Indian specialties.

30 Years Ago in 1986

  • At their new store at 130 W. Golf Road in Schaumburg, CompuMat was featuring “the most advanced personal computer in the world.”  It was a Compaq Deskpro 386.
  • The Woodfield Plitt Theatres were showing the following movies at the beginning of December:  An American Tail, Star Trek IV, Peggy Sue Got Married, The Nutcracker, Children of a Lesser God, Firewalker, Crocodile Dundee, The Color of Money and Something Wild.
  • The following older subdivisions were targeted for street lights in the near future:  Lexington Fields Estates, Meadow Knolls and Pleasant Acres.  An increase in vehicle sticker fees was being considered as a way to pay for the lighting.

20 Years Ago in 1996

  • It was announced that the Winkelhake Farm on the southeast corner of Higgins and Plum Grove Road would be sold for development to Cambridge Homes.  The property was the last farm in Schaumburg and had been owned by the Winkelhake family since the original land grant purchase in 1846.winkelhake-farm
  • Medieval Times decided to freshen up their act a bit by garbing their knights in armor instead of chain mail and adding a court sorcerer, new pyrotechnics, high-powered stereo system and new bright and colorful costumes.  The business opened its first castle in 1983 in Kissimmee, FL.
  • The Schaumburg Sister Cities Commission planned to send a group of health care professionals to the sister city of Schaumburg, Germany to view their country’s outlook and practices in the medical field.

10 Years Ago in 2006

  • Santa Claus was temporarily kept from his chair in Woodfield’s Central Court for an entire day when a decoration suspended from the ceiling caught fire in the early morning hours of December 11.  He was back in place the following day.
  • Elio’s Pizza at 977 W. Wise Road was having their grand opening special and offering 50% off any pizza or pasta on Tuesdays.
  • The Village of Schaumburg began a new, annual tradition of selling a Christmas ornament that depicts a local establishment.  The tradition was established as part of the village’s 50th anniversary celebration and the first ornament design was the Turret House on Schaumburg Road.Turret House

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org

The photo of the Weathersfield Commons Shopping Center is used courtesy of  the former Profile Publications of Crystal Lake.
The photo of the Winkelhake farm is used courtesy of Spring Valley.

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