THE FIRST SETTLERS OF HOFFMAN ESTATES

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the August 2018 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

I’ve written before about the first settlers to the area beginning with the farmers who came after the land was opened up after the Indians were removed following the Blackhawk Wars.  And I’ve also told the stories of the first pioneer families that purchased their homes from developer F & S Construction in 1955-56.  They were just the beginning of the rapid development of Hoffman Estates, with the construction of up to 4 houses a day.  We still call the differing parts of town by the original names of Parcel A, Parcel B, Parcel C, the Pie, the Highlands and Highlands West.

These early citizens who purchased homes were, as I’ve been told, friendly, neighborly, and determined to take hold of their new town by setting up a Homeowners Association in order to govern themselves.

At the drop of a hat, they’d step in and help a neighbor with whatever was needed.  Clubs were formed by the women to support one another in a new town that had neither shopping nor entertainment.   Babysitting clubs, the Women’s Club, the Gardening Club were some of what was established by women who were home with the kids and mostly without cars.   They were a community that didn’t want to sit around and do nothing.

These early residents were the people who debated, discussed and argued about what kind of community they wanted, not just for the next few years but for their future in Hoffman Estates. Would the future be better if they became a part of the Village of Schaumburg?  Maybe it would be better to split the town in two, letting those who wanted to incorporate go ahead with their plans and let the other half negotiate with Schaumburg in an effort to become a part of that village.

These sturdy, stubborn and argumentative folks would eventually vote for incorporation not once but 3 times.   Hoffman Estates became the Village of Hoffman Estates on September 23, 1959.

Elections were held and those who won elected offices  jumped into their new roles as mayor and trustees with both feet.  Learning as they went and finally governing themselves  as they always wanted to, having a say in all that would affect their lives for years to come.

Many have passed away and those who still reside in Hoffman Estates are in their late 80’s and early 90’s.  As we approach our 60th anniversary, please contact me with stories and photos you would like to share.  They are treasures to keep in our village history album.

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Village Historian
eagle2064@comcast.net

The Village of Hoffman Estates will be celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2019. We want to honor those early pioneers who moved here from 1955 through 1965. If you’d like to be honored as an early resident of Hoffman Estates, please get in touch with Sue Lessen at the Village Hall 847-781-2606 or e-mail her at suzanne.lessen@hoffmanestates.org

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