A FIRST CHRISTMAS IN THEIR NEW HOFFMAN ESTATES HOMES

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the December 2012 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.S120448

The first residents of Hoffman Estates moved into their homes in December, 1955.  I found an article in the Daily Herald dated December 2, 1965, written by Barbara MacEachron that recalls the 10th anniversary of the “Pioneer First Families” move to their new homes. Here are some of the “first families” stories.

The Arthur Danz home at 301 Aster Ln. was the seventh house occupied on Dec. 5, 1955.  “They remember their view at that time as nothing but foundations to the south, cornfields to the north and mud all around.”

The Boughen family moved into their home at 202 Basswood St. on Dec. 17th.  Mrs. Boughen recalled “that it looked like a ghost town and that they had trouble getting used to the darkness at night after living in the city.”  On Christmas she was expecting guests for dinner “and when we awoke in the morning there was no water coming out of the faucets.”

Many new families also experienced frozen gas lines that winter. The streets were unpaved and many families had to help one another pull moving vans and trucks out of the mud. The streets wouldn’t be paved until the spring of 1956.  Mrs. Joseph Gerker of 108 Basswood St. would recall “on Sunday afternoons when the men in the neighborhood would go out and scrape up gravel to fill in holes so they wouldn’t get stuck going to work on Monday mornings.”

Just before Christmas, on December 21st, the first baby was born in Hoffman Estates.  Little Kathy Irvin’s birth would bring some excitement to the new neighbors on Aster Lane.

Parcel A’s new residents were eager to get into their new homes before the holidays.

The Gluck family moved into their new home on Christmas Eve.  “Christmas day, 1955 is firmly impressed in the mind of Mr. Ted Gluck, 208 Basswood St. ….at 4 a.m. in the morning (they) were trimming their tree in preparation for a family Christmas gathering.”  The Gluck family had 4 boys and I can just imagine how exhausted they were from having to shop, wrap and plan a normal Christmas day with the stress of moving into a new home.

Another family, the Milton Barthell family, “moved into their home late at night on Dec. 10.  With small children in the house Mrs. Bartell recalls staying at home that first winter. She only went grocery shopping in Roselle.”

These families may still be living in Hoffman Estates.  E-mail me if you were one of the “first families”. I’d love to hear your stories too.

Happy Holiday!

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Village Historian
Eagle2064@comcast.net

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