The Old Settler’s Inn was a friendly establishment that was located in the very southern part of our Schaumburg Township on the southwest corner of Roselle Road and Nerge Road.  The last owner of the Inn, Mr. Walter Schauer, wrote an account of his three years of ownership prior to its demolition.  This account appeared in the Fall 2011 issue of the  Roselle History Museum Newsletter and they have graciously allowed us to reprint it here.

In addition, we are lucky to include the above rendition of the Inn, created by Joyce Kuhlmann, and based upon Mr. Schauer’s memories.

Onto the account…

The Old Settler’s Inn
July 4, 1969 to December 2, 1972
As told by former proprietor Walter Schauer

Our part of the history began in the summer of 1968.  Bob Ramsay and I were working on a project on Roselle Road–“Timbercrest”–in Schaumburg.  We were running heavy equipment, doing the underground and excavating in preparation for future homes and apartments in the fast growing areas of Roselle and Schaumburg.  The owner and developer, Mr. Wolf, was a happy, congenial man; although his mood could change quickly if he didn’t have enough manpower or machinery on his project.

The project was going well, but one of the problems the construction crew had was there really wasn’t anywhere to eat lunch.  We could brownbag it, but felt it would sure be nice to have a cheeseburger and a beer someplace.  About the only place you could get a liverwurst sandwich or something simple was Lengels, on Roselle Road near Schaumburg Road.  One drawback–Hannah (the owner) had to like you–AND your boots had to be clean!  This was pretty difficult, as our work was all about digging and moving dirt.  Once Hannah got to like you, you were invited in, but only if your boots were just a little dirty–not muddy, just dirty.  As we got to know her, we found she was quite a nice lady.  She was the one who told us about a tavern down the street that might be for sale.  Wanda and Julius, the owners were in their mid-eighties.  The Old Settler’s had become just too big a job for them.  When Bob Ramsay (a friend and relative of mine) approached them about buying, it must have been just the right time and they agreed to sell to us.

We assumed ownership on July 4, 1969.  On the following day, Badger Pipeline opened a “gathering area” right across the street.  (A “gathering area” was where the operators and tradesmen would park their vehicles, and get on a bus to take them to their various work areas.)  At the end of the day when they returned to their parked vehicles, many would just cross the street to the Old Settler’s before they went home.  We had instant success!

We developed a workman’s luncheon special, which would be changed daily.  If you ordered a Settler burger or special of the day, you could be in and out within a half hour.  The plan worked and business continued to grow.

The building was a two and a half story white frame located on the southwest corner of Roselle and Nerge Roads.  It was just outside Roselle’s boundary and was kind of a landmark for the area.  It was probably built sometime in the 1920’s as a roadhouse.  The dining room faced Roselle Road with a view of downtown Chicago’s landscape.  The food served was considered above average and the staff were always very friendly and courteous.  We had customers from all over the area, even police and firemen from South Barrington stopped in.  Friends, neighbors and employees made the Old Settler’s a great success.  Every Friday was standing room only with a successful fish fry.  Sundays, another full house as the Chicago Bear games were on TV while most of the Chicago area was blacked out.

The Old Settler’s would make “Cheers” of television fame look “classless.”  But, alas, after only three and a half years of success, it was time for the business to be sold.  The business and property were sold to an oil company for a gas station.  This property was just off the interchange for the proposed Elgin-O’Hare Expressway.  Soon the building , with all of its history and memories was demolished.  I will always be grateful for the wonderful staff, the customers and the village for our success.

Mr. Schauer and Bob Ramsay purchased the Old Settler’s Inn from Julius and Wanda Halatek. It is unknown when the Halateks purchased the Inn.  We can guess that it was after they were married in 1940.  They ran it as a tavern/restaurant and, according to A Schaumburg Farm, 1935-1964 by LaVonne Presley, they often rented out the back room for wedding receptions.  After selling the Inn they retired to Elgin.  Julius died in 1979 and Wanda died in 1994. 


3 Responses to “THE OLD SETTLER’S INN”

  1. Betty Helsper Says:

    I worked for the Schaumburg Elementary School District for 22 years, and whenever the secretaries wanted to have a drink after working hours, we would go to the Old Settler’s Inn. We didn’t want anyone at work to know how rowdy we got…so we would make it a point to tell people we came from some other town!!

  2. Bruce Trivellini Says:

    Mrs. Helsper…what a surprise. I wonder is she is still around. I see the date as being 2011. I went to school with the Helspers. I went to school with a Debra Schauer…I am wondering this was Walters’s daughter? I knew the Halateks and would speak to Mrs Halatek on many occasions while riding my bike from Sunset Hills to Roselle and Gorski’s…when the were on the south side of Irving Park Road…before they built the building on the4 north side. Still remember Mr. Gorski doing the produce section with his stump of a cigarette hanging from his mouth.

  3. Betty J. Helsper Says:

    Bruce, your name did not ring a bell with me…but then my kids had lots of classmates that I didn’t know. I will ask them (Norma, Dan, and Marjorie) if they went to school with you. Yes, I AM STILL AROUND and recently moved back to Schaumburg! Betty Helsper

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