Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the July 2019 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

More than 60 years ago when the new residents of Hoffman Estates began settling into their daily lives in a new rural home, many of them didn’t want to feel alone. The close neighbors and friends had been left behind. Many of the women had had city buses to take them shopping or to visit family. Here their new life left them without much of anything. Once their husbands left for work each morning, their day was filled with daily household chores and looking after the kids.

They wanted to do more so they formed the Hoffman Estates Women’s Club. It was just one of many that sprang up in the new village.

The earliest news I found about the Women’s Club was in the Palatine Enterprise Aug. 29, 1957. The Hoffman Estates Women’s Club would start their new season in Sept at their meeting at Twinbrook School.

There were many interest groups that formed from the membership. If you had a special talent, you could join the Garden group. Those that enjoyed Bridge formed their group. There seemed to be something for everyone.

One of the first outings that the Garden Club held was a visit to the Gilbert Klem Nursery. Klem’s was noted for their beautiful and varied peonies. Whether or not this is the same Hoffman Estates Garden club that exists today is unknown.

The goals of the Women’s Club were to benefit the other groups in the community. They had an annual dance that was held in the Homeowner’s Community Center which was in the large barn on what had been the Hammerstein Farm. In 1957 they raised enough money to purchase and donate patio furniture for the Kindergarten that was taught in the barn.

1957 was also the year that Sleep Time Gals formed one of the first babysitting groups. They met on Tuesday evenings. In a few years another group was started up in Parcel C. These ladies were kept very busy with all the requests for help with the kids while the moms would head off to Roselle, Palatine or Elgin to shop for food and other necessities. If you remember, and I’m sure many of you are too young to know about this, back then you couldn’t buy meat after 6 pm. Shopping was done in the morning or afternoon.

The Hoffman Estates Women’s Club also had a Child Development group which offered summer craft classes as well as craft classes during the school year. What didn’t they do? It seems as if they enjoyed themselves while helping the community with many opportunities for the women who needed more than just staying home with the kids.

So little history has been saved from the Hoffman Estates Women’s Club over the years. When they dissolved the organization is unknown. If you can help with the Club’s history, please contact me.

Pat Barch


  1. Fred Says:

    I remember going with my mom to an Elgin grocery store in Kane County in the 1960’s because of the Cook County law, of no meat 🥩 being sold after 6pm.

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