Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the January 2014 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.Jahns Road sign

A very historic moment happened on the rainy morning of October 17, 2013.  It was a very happy day for the Jahn family since the historic moment was the installation of the “Historic Jahns Road” sign on Jones Road at the intersection of Hillcrest Blvd.

It had taken 5 years of research to find evidence that the road had been originally named Jahns Road.  Although the family knew that it was Jahns Road, the Village couldn’t approve the historic sign until there was documentation to that effect.

The first piece of evidence came unexpectedly when Sharon Kimble, Deputy Clerk for Schaumburg Township, passed along some folders with old papers that she felt should be in our museum.  What I found was a precinct list of registered voters dated October, 1956 from the office of Edward J. Barrett,  County Clerk of Cook County, Illinois.  One of the streets listed was Jahns Road with 3 registered voters, Charlotte G. Jahn, Edwin Jahn and Carl Meier.  Needless to say, I was so happy to find proof of the roads name.  The other documentation came from the Schaumburg Township Road Books.  Historic Sites Commission member Marilyn Lind directed me to an entry that she remembered reading about the request of William Jahn and Fred Jahn for a road to be put in on their at a cost of $1.  The entry was dated “the 28th day of May A.D. 1906”.

Thanks to the Historic Sites Commission and Paul Petrenko, the request for the Jahns Rd. sign was officially presented to and approved by the Hoffman Estates Village Board on August 26, 2013.

As we gathered around the corner of (Jahns) Jones and Hillcrest in the pouring rain, Dorothy Jahn Schult recalled that Hillcrest Blvd. would have been very close to the original road that lead to her parents farmhouse.  Dorothy’s granddaughter Caitlin Larson and her cousins Ralph Heine and Vernon Frost were also huddled under the umbrellas as Ric Signorella videotaped the installation of the historic sign for the Village.

As we watched the sign going up, Vern remembered how he took the milk wagon down Jahns Rd. to the Sunderlage Gas Station at Higgins and Jahns Rd. for the dairy pick up. Dorothy told of how her and her sisters Marilyn and Carol walked to the one room Highland School on Ela and Central Rd. by taking Jahns Rd and cutting across the fields.  The girls frequently road their horses, Tony and Pepper down Jahns Rd. to the Sunderlage Gas Station for candy or a cold soda in the summer.

How the road’s name was changed to Jones was probably due to poor hand writing.  When the toll way went through, Jones (Jahns) road ended at the Hassell Road no longer going through to Cental Road.

Thanks to John Nebel, Director of Public Works and Joe Vopie of traffic control for presenting signs to the Jahn family members.  They’ll always have special memories of their historic day.

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Village Historian

(The photo is taken from the YouTube video that the Village of Hoffman Estates posted.  You can view the entire ceremony here.) 

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