FILLING UP THE TANK AT HIGGINS AND GOLF

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

The intersection of Higgins and Golf Roads was a busy intersection in the 1930s and 40s as it is today. During the farming days of Schaumburg Township the service station was a necessary part of the community.

The Sunderlage family had a gas station and small grocery store on the south side of Higgins across from what was their granddaughter and her husband’s farm, the Christenson farm. It was a meeting place for the farmers who went there with their milk for pick up by the local dairy.

Another gas station was also located at this intersection serving the motorist with personal service that has long since disappeared. Excellent mechanical work for their cars, a fill up and windows washed was expected when you pulled in but most enjoyed a friendly welcome by the owner, Anton Kosnik.

Anton Kosnik and his family established their home and gas station at Higgins and Golf in 1928. A picture and caption of Anton being presented with a 25th anniversary plaque by Standard Oil was in the Daily Herald on 7/14/60.

The story of this gas station came to my attention this past year with a call from a gentleman who remembered the gas station and the son of Anton Kosnik. He and many of his young friends, who were now gray haired, had wondered about Anton’s son and whether or not he was still alive.

Yes, Anton’s son was still alive. With help from old newspaper stories and a photo, the gentleman’s question could be answered and further information shared with him.

It was another reminder of how the neighborhood gas station was more that a service station. It would become the hang out for customers and their kids. What had happened to the friendly young man? Anton’s son had cerebral palsy and the other kids would always be around if he needed help.

The gentleman who called me asking for help, made me realize how the history that we write about and the resources that we rely on are important to those who remember special people, events or memories from the past.

Many thanks to Schaumburg Township District Library’s historian Jane Rozek who is invaluable in helping with research.

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Village Historian
Eagle2064@comcast.net

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6 Responses to “FILLING UP THE TANK AT HIGGINS AND GOLF”

  1. David Olson Says:

    I think the headline for this article is wrong… it should be “Higgins and Golf”. My childhood recollection is the Sinclair station there.

    • jrozek Says:

      Thank you for catching that David!

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

      • Gregory Tazelaar Says:

        Sorry, David is wrong, you are right. The Standard Gas station was located on the West portion of Higgins and Golf. The commented Sinclair Gas station was located on the NW corner of Golf and Roselle.
        Was Antons Son with cerebral palsey, named Oscar? If that is him, he use to visit Charlotte, the owner of Highland Cleaners, next to the A&P, everyday.

      • Dave Olson Says:

        To be clear, the reason I said the headline was wrong was that the article itself talked only about the gas station at Higgins and Golf (and still does). However, the article headline originally was posted as “Filling Up the Tank at Higgins and Roselle” (or maybe it was “Filling Up the Tank at Golf and Roselle” — I don’t remember which it was, but it mentioned Roselle). All I was saying was that the headline should be consistent with the article, since the article didn’t mention Roselle Road at all.

        Separate from that fact, I do still have a childhood recollection from the middle to late 1950s of a Sinclair Station located at Higgins and Golf (to the east of that intersection). I remember they had a big inflatable dinosaur there for awhile which engaged this six year old’s imagination. I do dimly recall another station on the west side of the intersection, presumably the Kosnik Standard station you mentioned. The article talks about 2 service stations being at that Higgins and Golf. Maybe the Sunderlage station was the Sinclair station I remember. Or not.

      • jrozek Says:

        Hello Gregory,

        Actually, you’re both right. The Kosnick’s owned the Standard station on the west side of the intersection and Tony’s Sinclair Service was on the east side of the intersection. There was also another Sinclair station at Golf and Roselle. It was called R & W Sinclair. Pretty amazing, right?

        Jane Rozek
        Local History Librarian
        Schaumburg Township District Library

  2. Dave Olson Says:

    Thanks, Jane! What’s most amazing to me is that I remember that huge dinosaur at all. (I’m not sure it was inflatable; it might have been made of plaster or something like that.) I thought it was a big, wonderful world out there, when gas stations could have dinosaurs.

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