Continued here from May 5 are the contents of a Daily Herald article that ran on April 25, 1974 and reported some of the memories of Fred Volkening who lived in Schaumburg Township from 1903 until his death in 1993.

“Next to the general store, Fred and Herman Nerge ran a blacksmith shop and wagon shop. [When Mr. Volkening says “next to,” he is saying that the blacksmith shop was to the south of the Fenz Store along Roselle Road. Fred and Herman were sons of Heinrich and Marie Nerge.]

In back of the Schaumrose Inn building was an ice-storage shed, where pond ice was stacked and stored in sawdust and hay for summer use. There once was a pond by what is now the Bethel Baptist Church, north of the intersection. Residents went out in freezing weather to cut large chunks of ice and load them onto sleighs. [We have now ventured to the east side of Roselle Road. When Mr. Volkening mentions the Schaumrose Inn, he is referring to what is now Lou Malnati’s.   The pond that is mentioned was on property that was once owned by John Fenz according to the 1898 William Mitchell map of Schaumburg Township.  From a January 21, 1916 issue of the Daily Herald, it is mentioned that “Fenz and Krueger filled their ice houses Thursday and Friday.” It is possible that the building Mr. Volkening is referring to was owned by either Fenz or Krueger.  Mr. Krueger was the original owner of what is now the Easy Street Pub. He would have needed a certain amount of ice. Mr. Fenz owned John Fenz & Son across the street. Therefore, the proximity is perfect for both men.]

lenglsBetween the barn and another building was the firehouse where the hand pumper was stored. The building housed a tavern, which was later to become Lengl’s. [The firehouse is pictured here with a bell tower.   It is between the barn and the brick building which is the aforementioned tavern owned by Mr. Krueger. It was purchased by Frank Lengl sometime around 1924.  The pumper is shown below.  Photo is compliments of Bud Napier.]fire pumper

There was a special hall in the tavern where all the township meetings were conducted.  [This was on the second floor of Lengl’s/Easy Street Pub.]100_0202

Automobiles did not make their way into the area until about 1910.  Volkening’s family was one of the first three in the area to have a horseless carriage.  Use of the horse did not start to die until the 1930’s.  [According to Genesis of a Township, ‘the first automobile drove through town’ in 1901.  Another article from 1905 mentions a local gentleman owning an automobile.  The Volkenings would have had to purchase theirs sometime between their arrival in Schaumburg Township in 1903 and the aforementioned date.]

Schaumburg Centre had a small railroad line to Roselle, where the main lines were.  Materials to pave Roselle Road were transported on the tiny rail line.  [This was done in 1917. A small, narrow gauge railroad track was laid to carry supplies as the workers moved their way from the village of Roselle into Schaumburg Township.]

Volkening worked on the construction, supplying a team of horses to grade the roadway for about $5 a day.  The pavement, when completed extended from just north of the village of Roselle to Higgins Road.

Volkening said cars could not be used in winter because of road conditions.  The horse remained the surest way of transportation for a while.

A person could tell who was driving down the street by the certain sound made by their team of horses and wagon.

The 74-year-old Volkening, a member of the village police and fire commission shrugged his shoulders in reaction to the massive growth of the area.

“I’ve seen it all,” he said.”

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library



  1. Bob Dohn Says:

    Today’s article on Fred Volkening’s memories (pt2, May 19th) references a narrow gauge rail line from Roselle to Schaumburg Centre. Does anyone know the location of that line, and when it was dismantled?

  2. LaVonne Presley Says:

    The small gauge rail line ran beside the unpaved Roselle Road from the DuPage County line north to Higgins Road. There were no drainage ditches along Roselle Road at this time, so Roselle Road was at the same level as the farm fields. The railroad was specifically built to carry the raw materials to the north for the paving of Roselle Road. The road bed was constructed of crushed stone and gravel. The concrete was mixed, pored, and finished to complete the paved road. As Roselle Road was paved, the rail line was taken up and never used for any other purpose. This first paved version of Roselle Road was very narrow. Ditches were added along the paved road to aid in the drainage of rain water and melting snow/ice. My father, William Thies, was in Schaumburg Center immediately after Roselle Road was paved at Schaumburg Road. His horse was spooked by the machinery and ran across the freshly laid concrete. These hoof prints were visible until Roselle Road was widened. He loved to tell the story of his frisky horse and the paving of Roselle Road.

    • Lisa Says:

      What year was Roselle Road paved?

      • jrozek Says:

        The first portion of Roselle Road was completed in 1917. It ran from the outskirts of the village of Roselle north through Schaumburg to Nebel’s creamery which was at Higgins Road.

        The second portion of Roselle Road that ran between Higgins and Golf Roads was done in 1931.

        The third portion of Roselle Road from Golf to Palatine Road was done sometime after 1946. An article from the Arlington Heights Herald of March 29, 1946 has an article that discusses the intention of the Cook County Board to pave this portion. I could not find any article confirming the completion.

        I hope this helps,

        Jane Rozek
        Local History Librarian

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