Bowling was a hot sport in the first few suburban decades in Schaumburg Township. The first bowling alley to appear was Hoffman Lanes on Higgins Road in 1961.

Not only was it well used by local residents but, a year later, in August 1962, it was announced that “Top Star Bowling” would be televised from both Hoffman Lanes in Hoffman Estates and Marlborough Lanes in Marlborough, MO, beginning August 28.

Originally known as “Championship Bowling” the reinvisioned show, according to an article in the August 16, 1962 issue of The Herald, was scheduled to feature many of the top bowlers in the field: Don Carter “Mr. Bowling”, Tom Hennessy, Buddy Bomar, Marion Ladewig, Steve Nagy, Harry Smith, Al Savas, Joy Abel, Don Ellis, Dick Hoover, Bill Lillard and others.

The most interesting portion of the show was that Jack Buck, the famous St. Louis Cardinals announcer, was going to call the tournaments. And, if you watch, you can definitely tell that he knew bowling.

Additionally, analysis was provided by Jerome “Whitey” Harris who was the winner of ten national bowling championships.

Take a look at this competition between Bob Chase and Don Ellis.  Or this competition between Marion Ladewig and Joy Abel.

The interesting thing is you get the opportunity to see the interior of Hoffman Lanes in its beginning days. The cameras show us the lanes as well as the crowd and, even the booth where Mr. Buck called the tournament.

And take a look at how they track the scoring–all by hand on a big chart. The writing is meticulous.

The crowd appears to be on some type of bleacher or riser set up to accommodate more people. There also was a standing room only area off to the side. Many of the people in the crowd were obviously wearing their good clothes. It was, largely, not a place to wear your jeans and tennis shoes. Because, after all, the chances were good you were going to be on TV!

Around 250 free tickets were distributed to anyone who wanted one. Thus, if you look close, your parents or your neighbors might be in attendance.

As another article from February 28, 1963’s Herald said, “”Saturday fun for many local residents was seeing themselves on the Top Star Bowling TV show taped several months ago in Hoffman Lanes. Some of the smiling faces were those of Rose Kraft, Ann and John Lynch, Lu Kitler, Lee Dornin, Florence Meier, Jim Gannon and Mark Orlick.”

If you remember watching this show or even remember that your family attended a taping, please leave a comment!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

My thanks to Tom, one of the commenters on a blog post, who pointed out this bit of Schaumburg Township history. What an interesting story!



In the 1850s Heinrich Rohlwing and his wife Wilhelmina built a general store on the southwest corner of Schaumburg and Roselle Roads where the clock tower stands today. They called it Schaumburg House.

Heinrich and Wilhelmina (Freise) ran it together after their marriage at St. Peter’s in 1852. Between 1853 and 1868 they had eight children, three of whom survived into adulthood according, to Larry Nerge’s Founding Families of St. Peter Lutheran Church.

In 1870, at the age of 43, Heinrich died of cancer and was buried at St. Peter’s. Wilhelmine then married Henry Meyer in 1871 and continued to run the store past his death in 1874.

Unfortunately, the store burned to the ground on September 21, 1881. A brief from the Chicago Tribune dated from Elgin, Ill. states “the large general store, warehouse, barn, wagon-shop and blacksmith shop belonging to the Widow Rohlwing, and situated in Schaumberg, Cook County, burned last night, scarcely any of the stock being saved. The fire originated in the barn, seemingly being the work of an incendiary. All the buildings were frame. The loss is from $10,000 to $12,000.”

By the time of the fire, Mrs. Rohlwing’s daughter, Caroline, had married John Fenz in 1877. They had seven children between 1879 and 1899 and had helped Mrs. Rohlwing run the business.

In 1882 John and Caroline stepped in and rebuilt the store, renaming it Schaumburg House. We are secure in the year 1882 because the October 1936 obituary of John/Johann said that he retired after 37 years in the business. Earlier issues of the Daily Herald give 1919 as the year he sold the store. Subtracting 37 from 1919 gives us 1882. His mother-in-law was very likely tired from maintaining the store and overwrought from the fire that leveled it. As a result she turned the corner location over to her daughter and son-in-law.

Once it was rebuilt, the business continued to be all things to all the people of Schaumburg Township. At various times it served as a general store, post office, polling place, dance hall, hardware and tin dealer and farm implement dealer.

In the photo above, according to a “Way Back When” article from the October 7, 1949 issue of the Daily Herald that was specifically written about this store, the first door on the left was the entrance to the general store. The second door on the left was the entrance to the tavern. The door on the right hand corner was the entrance to the dance hall on the second floor.

By zooming in on the photo above, the upper sign on the left says “John Deere Plows.” The lower sign on the left says “Champion Harvesting Machines.” The sign above the middle door says “Schaumburg House.” The words on the right side of the building say “Groceries & Dry Goods, Clothing, Hats & Caps, Boots & Shoes, Tin & Hardware.”

Or, as the October 1936 obituary of John Fenz put it, “He sold them [his friends and neighbors] the supplies for the table, the things to wear, machinery for the field and hardware for the house and barn. It was in the days before paved roads and autos and many a farmer depended upon the service of Mr. Fenz to market his produce. His advice was also frequently called upon in other business problems of his customers.”

And, judging by the people in the photo above, it is suspected that John and Caroline are proudly standing in front of the large front store window to the right. The year is probably 1884 and can be deduced in the following way.

The young girl in the dress is likely Emilie, their second daughter and child who was born in 1880 and died in 1887. Caroline appears to be holding their son, Herman, who was born in 1883. He looks to be between the ages of one and two. John and Caroline’s next child, Hermine, was born in 1885. Since these three were alive together until 1887 when Emilie died, all three would have been in such a proud photo. Since there are only two children in the photo, we have to assume it was taken in 1884, about a year and a half after Herman was born and a year before Hermine was born.

By 1905, the first year that the Daily Herald is available on microfilm, the store was referred to in advertisements as John Fenz & Son. It most likely refers to his first son, Herman but could have also referred to his second son, William, who was born in 1889. We can confirm it was Herman through his January 14, 1944 obituary in the Daily Herald, where it states that “he was a former resident of Schaumburg and some 25 years ago operated a general store there.”

It is also possible that John retired around 1913 when he had this home built by local builder and neighbor, Louis Menke who lived in the Turret House. John would have been 61 years old, having owned the store for 31 years. The home still exists today on East Schaumburg Road, across the road from Lou Malnatis.

By the time this photo was taken in 1913, the Fenz’s had updated the building by adding the front display windows and entrance. Not only did there appear to be a livery, stable or blacksmith shop on the southern side of the building but a telephone pole on the far left also confirmed that phone service was available for residents of Schaumburg Township.

More elaborate gables and an addition on the western edge, with a more formal entrance, were also put in place. It is possible that the far right portion of the building was used as a residence for the Herman Fenz family. Herman had married Emma Pfingsten in 1906 and, in running the store, it might have been more convenient to live on the premises.

In fact, as stated earlier, Herman W. Fenz held onto the business until 1919 when he sold it to Charles E. Hoffman in May of that year. In the Daily Herald of May 9, it states that “H.W. Fenz moved his household effects last week to the John Fenz home.” In addition, it states that Mr. Hoffman hired Edward Dickman to manager the store and his family “will occupy the rooms annexed to the store.” It seems a reasonable assumption that the far western portion of the store was used by both Fenz and Dickman.

For over 60 years a member of the Rohlwing/Fenz family was engaged in running a vital, community gathering space for township residents. Unfortunately, though, the building met the same fate as its predecessor when it caught fire on September, 17 1924, a mere five years after the Fenz family passed on ownership. They may very well have watched the building burn from their home. We can only imagine what a sad day it was.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library



Take a look for yourself. The renovation of the Easy Street is complete and the building has reopened as Phat Phat. Wonderfully, the integrity of the building was maintained through extensive brick work, new windows and doors and a new main entrance. Let’s take a look at how the building has evolved into the unique structure it is today.

When the building first opened it was called the Schaumburg Inn. This 1913 postcard shows the structure shortly after it was built by H. E. Quindel in 1911 for a cost of $15,000. On August 1 of that year, according to an article in the July 28, 1911 issue of the Cook County Herald, Charles Krueger began leasing it as a hotel, hall and saloon. The fact that it served as a hotel explains all of the windows on every side of the building.

Notice the large windows on the first floor in the front and the multiple doors on both sides of the building. In fact, there are a total of four doors. Not only can we see the set of double doors on the diagonal, but there is another door in the shade on the far left of the front facade and two doors on the south side.

Frank Lengl purchased the restaurant April 28, 1924, maintaining the above appearance for a number of years. Later, he enclosed some of the front facade and added a vestibule for the front door, creating this look.In addition, he added his name to the front of the building, renamed it the Schaumburg Inn and painted the large sign in the upper corner that advertised the chicken and steak dinners that were served in the restaurant.

This rendition was used to create the village’s 2019 Christmas ornament.

When the recent renovation began, the building looked like this. Ken Koy and Jerry Trofholz, owners of the Easy Street, had maintained the boarded front facade that gave the establishment a more snug, tavern-like feel. They removed the vestibule and front door that jutted out onto the sidewalk and installed awnings over the tops of the windows. Somewhere along the way they also added a satellite dish on the roof to provide access to multiple sports channels.

Today, the building has largely reverted to its original appearance. Most details that are viewable from Roselle Road have been maintained, save for the two doors on the south side of the building that have been converted to windows, and the diagonal door that is now a single door rather than double doors. The door on the left side of the front facade remains intact and in shadow in this photo too. Interestingly, neither door serves as the main entrance. That is on the north side of the building.

Notice, too, that a smaller rendition of the historic Lengl sign has also been added to the building. You can get a closer look here.

The north and east views of the restaurant below, show the main entrance on the north side of the building, complete with stairs and a ramp. In addition, the Chicago common brick that was originally used has also been reworked and freshened up.

Like the front, the back of the building was changed quite a bit from the Easy Street era to today’s Phat Phat restaurant. In comparing both photos, it appears that most of the doors and windows have been moved and the red paint that covered the Chicago common brick was blasted off.


It is wonderful that the building still maintains its look of an early twentieth century hotel with its large number of doors and windows. Comparing a restaurant from the 1900s to anything built today, we would never see so many entrances, exits and multi-shaped windows. It is part of what makes this amazing historic building a contributing structure in the village’s Olde Schaumburg Centre District.

What a pleasure to see that it has been renovated to rival its original appearance. Mr. H.E. Quindel, who commissioned the building in 1911, would be oh so impressed. As are we!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


One of the most interesting things about looking at old photographs is taking note of everything in the background. The more you do it, the more skilled you become at picking out details.

For instance, in the photo above, we see two young girls–Elvira and Evelyn Heide–selling food and drinks at the food stand on Nebel’s Corners. Their grandparents, Fred and Mary Nebel, opened a creamery and grocery store on the northwest corner of the intersection of Higgins and Roselle Roads. By the 1930s Alma and William Heide, parents of Elvira and Evelyn, were operating the grocery store and the food stand.

In the picture it is obvious that Cracker Jack was a big item at the stand. This was not too surprising given the fact that the caramel coated popcorn snack originated in Chicago. It was owned by the Rueckheim Bros. & Eckstein and began production in 1896.

The Nebel family clearly incorporated both the font used on the Cracker Jack box, and the 1896 slogan “The More You Eat, The More You Want” on the side panels of their food stand.

The simple sidewalk sign at the corner of the building says, “We Sell Sweet Spot Ice Cream” which was sold by the Sweet Spot, a small restaurant owned by Arthur Kleinschmidt in Roselle. He also sold lunches, magazines, candies and cigars. The Sweet Spot must have produced a tasty ice cream if it was packed and sold locally.

Of course, a food stand that sold hamburgers and red hots also sold cold drinks. And for that they needed ice. Enter the Jefferson Ice Co. They were based out of Chicago and begun in 1865 by William Rustman. They had numerous warehouses, including an operation in Barrington that is today known as the Ice House Mall. It is probable this truck came from that location.

Then there’s this charmer of a photo with signs for three different drinks. There is the Arlington Club Carbonated Beverages truck in the foreground, the Rheingold beer sign perched on the metal frame on the roof and, of course, the 7UP sign on the side of the building.

The Arlington Club company was begun as Sass and Brother in 1872 in Arlington Heights. The owners were Louis H. Sass and F.W. Muller. A year later, in 1873, Mr. Muller bought out his brother and became the sole owner, renaming it F.W. Muller Carbonated Beverages. Their specialty was soda pop that they delivered all over the area–first, by horse and wagon and, eventually, by truck. At various times, the company made Ginger ale, Sarsaparilla, Lemon Soda, Strawberry Soda, Lemon Sour, Klondike Fizz, Buffalo Mead and Cream Soda.

By the time this picture was taken, F.W. was retired and his sons, William and Henry had taken over the business and renamed it Arlington Club Beverages. Their slogan during this time period was, “Arlington Club Sparkling Beverages when you want a cool, pure, refreshing drink.”

Arlington Club had competition too, based on the 7UP sign that is on display. Without a color photo, it is presumed that the background is red and the letters are white–which is different from today’s green background and red dot between the 7 and UP.

7UP is somewhat of a regional drink too. It was begun in St. Louis in 1920 by Charles Leiper Grigg of The Howdy Corporation and held until 1978 when the founding families sold it to Philip Morris.

Interestingly, the 7UP sign is what probably dates this photo. For years the lemon lime beverage was called “7 Up Lithiated Lemon Soda” and the name was finally shortened to simply 7UP in 1936. Because we know the food stand stopped operation in 1938, we are able to determine that this picture had to have been taken sometime between 1936 and 1938.

The Rheingold Beer sign is a bit of a conundrum. The largest selling Rheingold beer came from a brewery out of New York that was in business from 1883 to 1976. They were one of many regional breweries that were forced out of business when national breweries began their rise in the 1950s, 60s and 70s.

Another version of Rheingold Beer was produced by the United States Brewing Company that operated out of the Monadnock Building in Chicago. We have to assume that the sign reflects this locally owned brewery and not the larger New York brewery.

Both beers were often imbibed by average workers and their families. There are ads for a Rheingold beer in the Newspaper Archive, stating that it was in local area establishments “on tap.” We presume, that, like the beer in this next picture, it was on tap at Nebel’s Corners too.

It was obvious that Nebel’s did not just sell Rheingold beer, but Blatz beer as well–as can be seen on the sign in the background. Was William Heide holding a glass of Blatz beer? It had to be beer, given the foam at the top of the glass.

Blatz beer was brewed and sold in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for over a century from 1851 to 1959 by Valentin Blatz Brewing Company. It was also a working man’s beer and, in fact, is still being sold by the Pabst Brewing Company.

These photos are a wonderful look into a side of Schaumburg Township that we don’t often see. Common, everyday photos certainly make us wonder about the reason for the photo. Who grabbed the camera? What type of camera was it? Where did they get the photos developed? Were most of these photos taken because the Nebel property was being sold? Did the family want to capture last minute glimpses before the buildings were moved and they vacated the property?

Whatever the case may be, we can thank the Nebel and Heide families for taking a moment in time to share with us a unique perspective of sunny, summer days in 1930s Schaumburg Township.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

These websites provided the background for the text of this blog post:









Farms dotted the terrain of Schaumburg Township from the late 1840s and well into the 1960s. Most of those farms centered around a herd of dairy cows that required milking twice a day. The farmers then had to deliver that milk to the local creamery. This was where the cream was separated from the whole milk, allowing for the production of butter and cheeses.

There were at least three creameries that operated in Schaumburg Township at various times: the Wilkening Creamery on east Schaumburg Road, the Buttery on Roselle Road that was just south of Schaumburg Road and the Nebel Creamery on the northwest corner of the intersection of Higgins and Roselle, where Walgreen’s is today. Pictured below is a plat of survey for what was left of the Fred Nebel property in 1938.

Fred married Mary Scharringhausen in November, 1889 at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Schaumburg.

Shortly after their marriage, young Fred Nebel began operating in a building on the corner of Higgins and Roselle Roads. It is unknown whether he built the house that eventually contained the creamery and a store, or whether he and Mary moved into an already existing building. In any case, it also acted as a residence for his expanding family. Fred and his wife Mary would eventually have eight children: Albert, Alma, George, Edwin, Fred Jr., Leonard, Raymond and Alvin. The building is pictured on moving blocks in this photo from 1938 when it was moved to the Fred Wille farm.

According to family members, the creamery was located in the basement of the building and was a profitable business. In an article from the July 8, 1938 issue of the DuPage County Register, “as much as 10,000 pounds of milk were received each morning by Mr. Nebel, whose butter achieved a reputation for quality.” In addition, Marilyn  Lind states in her book, Genesis Of A Township, that “several times a year he (Fred Nebel) would ship cases of cheese into Chicago from the Roselle rail office.”

If we track the Nebel family through the various censuses, Fred is listed in 1900 as a cheesemaker, along with Herman Scharringhausen who resided in the house with the Nebels. Herman was also listed as a servant and was, in fact, a brother to Mary Nebel. Their sister, Lydia, also resided with the Nebels and eventually married Herman Nebel.

In the 1910 census both Fred and his oldest son, Albert, are listed as buttermakers, and Mary is listed as a saleswoman in the grocery. This compliments the 1938 article that states “the farmer brought his milk to Nebel, and took home from the Nebel store the groceries that he needed. At the end of the month a balance would be struck and if Mr. Nebel owed the farmer any money, a check was forthcoming. If it was the other way, the farmer just kept bringing the milk to settle the account.” The photo below is from the cover of an account book in the library’s Local History collection that is the Daily Milk Delivery Log to Fred Nebel of Nebel’s Corners. It covers the time period of 1890-1892.

Interestingly, the 1920 census has Fred listed as a farmer on a dairy farm. In fact, the Nebel property’s 60 acres extended along the western edge of Roselle Road from Golf to Bode and the largest portion of it was farmed. There was obviously plenty of work to do on Nebel’s Corners as an article from the July 28, 1922 issue of the Cook County Herald states that George Nebel and his young wife, Alma Rodewald would “make their home with the groom’s parents on Nebel’s Corner at present.” Whether it was farming, running the dairy or managing the store, multiple people were needed for the operation, especially since Mary died a year later in 1923.

The following year, in 1924, it was announced in the Daily Herald that the Arlington Dairy “has purchased the route of the Des Plaines dairy, also the Nebel dairy business and is erecting the bottling plant at 111 No. State road.” This arrangement did not last long because the Nebels reopened the creamery in January 1926 under the Nebel name.

By the 1930 census, Fred Nebel is listed as a grocer in the grocery store and Alma, his daughter, is listed as a saleslady in the grocery store. Alma and her husband, William Heide, who worked for the state highway department, lived with both Fred and their daughters, Elvira and Evelyn, on Nebel’s Corners. Evelyn is the younger one with the necklace and Elvira stands next to her at the food stand that the Nebels operated.

A year later, on October 4, 1931, Mr. Nebel died in a car accident at the age of 64. On his death certificate, he is listed as a buttermaker at a creamery. According to the oral history of Wayne Nebel, Mr. Nebel’s grandson, it was after Fred Nebel’s death that the farmland portion of the property was sold and the creamery part of the business was halted.

The business continued to operate under the guidance of Alma and William Heide until 1938 when the State of Illinois’ Highway Department began the process of widening Route 72/Higgins Road. The plan was to create a “super highway 200 feet wide with two parallel highways, each 20 feet wide.” The grocery store/food stand at Nebel’s Corners was directly in the path of the new road, and the entire parcel–both north and south of Higgins Road–was subsequently purchased by the state.

Schaumburg Township was fortunate to have the Fred and Mary Nebel family manage their corner for over 40 years. They created both a necessary creamery that gave the local farmers a place to have their milk processed, and a small grocery store that provided local residents with a nearby spot to pick up basic food items for their dinner table. It was unique for this area because it wasn’t  just a dairy, but an early version of a convenience store too!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

Many thanks to Lori Freise, granddaughter of Elvira (Heide) Freise, for the photos of Nebel’s Corners and for providing so many details about the creamery.

Copies of the Wayne Nebel oral history are available in the library’s Local History collection and on the library’s Local History Digital Archive.



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

Four years ago we sadly learned of the closing of the Hoffman Lanes Bowling Alley.  It was built by F & S Construction, the developer who was building Hoffman Estates, to fill a need for entertainment in the new community.

Hoffman Lanes has some history that many may not know of.  I didn’t know about the interesting happenings at the bowling alley until I received a newspaper article from a friend who loves to investigate the past.

In just a year after Hoffman Lanes opened in 1961, a series of 22 “Top Star Bowling” network television programs were taped during an eight day recording session, beginning August 28. They were scheduled to be aired for Saturday night broadcasting throughout the country, starting that fall.  The previous year’s TV programs were called “Championship Bowling.”

Many of the “big name bowling champions, such as Don Carter, Carmen Salvino, Harry Smith, Ed Loubanski, Dick Hoover, Tom Hennessey, Ray Bluth and many others will be in Hoffman Estates for the filming” the Hoffman Herald’s August, 16, 1962 newspaper reported.

Hall of Fame bowler Joe Norris (shown above) represented the program sponsor, the Brunswick Corporation bowling division.  Lanes 29 and 30 were chosen to be the lanes that would be used in the filming.  They were kept in peak condition and used only for the competition. Local residents could receive complimentary tickets for the event until they were gone.

Another very special bowling tournament that came along years later was the Petersen Classic.

It was known as bowling’s grand event.  It began in Chicago in 1921 at the Archer & 35th Recreation building.  The top bowler would receive $1,000 compared to golf’s US Open that paid $500 for its first place prize.  Quite a bit of money in those days and entry fees were $28, a week’s wages back then.

Over the years it grew to include tournaments in other major cities.

It survived the Great Depression and in 1981 the tournament still drew more than 36,000 bowlers but finally, in 1993, the Petersen Classic died.  After 90 years in Chicago at Archer & 35th it finally died of old age.

It wasn’t long before private investors purchased the tournament and it moved to Hoffman Lanes in Hoffman Estates where it debuted in its new home at Higgins and Roselle Roads.  Hoffman Lanes proudly displayed “Home of the Petersen Classic” on its outdoor marquee (as seen on the sign above.)

I never knew what this was until I did research for my article.  They held the famous bowling tournament there for 20 years, from 1994 till 2014 when the tournament was moved to AMF Bolingbrook for just one year. It moved to Brunswick Zone in River Grove, IL in 2015 and is still drawing bowlers to its classic tournament.

Hoffman Lanes sits empty and quiet.  It had a wonderful run from 1961 until it’s closing in 2015. As I learned, it was a wonderful bowling alley, not just for our families but for the top bowlers in the U.S. and the historic Petersen Classic.

Pat Barch, Hoffman Estates Village Historian

Credit for the photo of Joe Norris is given to Dr. Jake’s Bowling History Blog.


What: “Dairies to Prairies”  This free exhibit, presented by the Elgin History Museum, explores the history of the area’s remarkable dairy heritage. At one time, there were over 140 dairies, dairy farms and creameries in a 50-mile radius around Elgin. Now, there are only three dairies left.

Who: The Hoffman Estates Historical Sites Commission

When: Saturday, March 23, at 1 p.m.

Where: at the Sunderlage House, 1775 Vista Lane, Hoffman Estates, IL 60169

For more information, call Sue at 847-781-2606.

(The Wilkening Creamery listed below as the “Artesian Creamery” was along East Schaumburg Road, across from Spring Valley Nature Sanctuary. You can read about it here.)


Last week we posted a series of photos from a small booklet that was published for the tenth anniversary of Hoffman Estates. The 1969 booklet was titled “Community From Cornfields.” This week we’ll continue with photos that are centered around some of the District 54 and District 211 schools, and a few of the larger retailers that opened in Hoffman Estates during its first ten years.

Blackhawk Grade School opened in 1958. It was the second school built in, what would be, Hoffman Estates, following Twinbrook Grade School. A history of Blackhawk School can be found in an earlier blog posting. It closed in 1976.

Lakeview Grade School opened the following year in 1959–the same year the village of Hoffman Estates was incorporated. It was built in Parcel C and is on Lakeview Lane. An earlier blog posting discussed the farmhouse that can still be found directly west of the school. Clearly, the site was optimal for both the house and the school.

Winston Churchill Grade School opened on Jones Road in 1965 to serve the children of the Highlands subdivision.

Helen Keller Junior High opened in 1967 and was the second junior high in the district, following Frost Junior High. By 1969 the school district’s offices had moved into trailers next to the school.

Conant High School opened in 1964 and was the first secondary school in the township to serve students who lived in both Hoffman Estates and Schaumburg. Fremd High School (the insert) opened in 1961. All Hoffman Estates students north of the tollway attend Fremd.

This wonderful photo gives us a bird’s eye view of the first Jewel that opened in Hoffman Plaza in the summer of 1959. It was a much needed grocery store for the new residents of Schaumburg Township.

With that iconic water tower behind the grocery store you can tell that the orientation of the shopping center faces south towards Higgins Road. You can also see a barber shop off to the left with other stores in between. Maybe some of you can identify what they would have been in 1969?

If you know Hoffman Estates history at all, you recognize this building as the Fireside Roll Arena which opened in 1975 after the booklet was published. This is actually its predecessor, the Magna Mart department store, that was built for this location and opened in May of 1968.

Their advertisement in the May 3, 1968 paper said that they had 52 departments that included: clothing, home furnishings, electronics, paint, jewelry, records, sporting goods, patio, family shoes and a snack shop to name a few. They did not last long and seem to have closed their doors sometime in 1970 or 1971 as there is nothing in the paper beyond February 1970. Does that sound correct?

Last, but not least, this gem of a photo captures three businesses that were the heart and soul of early Hoffman Estates.

The brick building to the left is the Thunderbird Theater which opened in 1966. The business in the center of the photo is Grant’s, a one-stop shop department store for the entire family and, off to the far right is the National Food Store. Both Grant’s and National opened in the Golf Rose Shopping Center on October 17, 1963. By the time this photo was taken in 1969, they were fixtures and had been there for six years.

What a wonderful discovery this booklet has been! Next week you will have a chance to take a quiz on the churches of Hoffman Estates. This time, I’m leaving the identifications all up to you!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


In December 1959 the first Campanelli home was finished in the “W” section of Weathersfield and Ray and Carmella (Carm) McArthur moved in. They were the first in a long line of Weathersfield owners that extended into the late 1980s.

Ray was employed by Motorola, initially at their Franklin Park campus, and later in Schaumburg where the corporation established their headquarters. The couple didn’t let any grass grow under their feet and proceeded to get involved in the brand new village of Schaumburg.

Carmella worked at both the Ben Franklin store and W.T. Grant store in Hoffman Estates. Later, in 1965, the couple opened Carmen’s Colonial Restaurant in the brand new Weathersfield Commons at Springinsguth and Schaumburg Road. A Daily Herald ad for Carmen’s from June 4 of the same year mentions their specialty in Italian and American food for Dine In or Carry Out. The restaurant was in business until 1967. You can see portions of the menu below. It was quite extensive and reasonable–complete with a soda fountain, no less!

Ray served on Schaumburg’s Plan Commission for more than 12 years under Mayor Bob Atcher. In addition, Ray and Carm were also actively involved in St. Marcelline Catholic Church. Ray was head usher and a deacon, and Carm was one of the volunteers responsible for counting donations on Sundays and holidays.

Their son, Richard, moved with them to Schaumburg and built his own house in Weathersfield with his new wife, Mary Ann. They opened McArthur Realty in 1971 and had offices at 1635 W. Wise Road and 1407 W. Schaumburg Road. It was an active, busy realty company that served the greater Schaumburg Township area. To promote their company, they ran radio ads on some of Chicago’s major radio stations. Thanks to the McArthur family, you can listen to one of those ads here.

The radio spot advertised McArthur Realty’s involvement in the Weathersfield Lake Quad Row Homes in Schaumburg that were being developed by Campanelli.  It came complete with membership in the Nantucket Club which gave owners access to the clubhouse, gameroom and swimming pool.

The realty office closed after Richard passed away in 1976.

Before Richard’s death however, he and Mary Ann were also very involved in community affairs. Richard was one of the first Schaumburg Jaycees and Mary Ann was a Jayceette. They helped put together The Shindig which was a predecessor of Septemberfest. Richard also served on the Schaumburg Kings board.

Mary Ann was busy with the Camp Fire Girls, Nathan Hale Elementary School and St. Marcelline Church. She served on several committees of the Nathan Hale PTA and in 1975-1976 was President. She said, “To celebrate our country’s 200th birthday, our PTA had a carnival and it was amazing the number of people who attended, and more amazing was the number of volunteers we had including fathers of the students who helped build booths and supplied the hard labor.  The number of donations we received from business owners was overwhelming…from lumber and nails to build the booths, food, beverages, to prizes for the games!”

Another branch of the McArthur family was also instrumental in the development of Schaumburg. Ray’s step-brother, Wayne, and his wife, Carol, moved to Schaumburg with the intent of establishing a Methodist church. Campanelli became aware of this situation and donated a house on Springinsguth Road to serve as both a temporary church and house for the McArthurs.

When their house on Sharon was finished, the congregation then began meeting in the Jennings house and, later, in The Barn. Our Redeemer’s United Methodist Church formally opened its doors in 1970 on the northwest corner of Schaumburg and Springinsguth Roads. The church remains there nearly 50 years later.

The beginnings of Schaumburg and Hoffman Estates were busy times. The many young families who moved to the area immediately got involved establishing businesses, organizations and churches. Multi-generational families such as the McArthurs were definitely unusual in the early days. Schaumburg Township benefited all the more because of the passion of Ray and Carmella, the younger Richard and Mary Ann, as well as Wayne and Carol. In fact, to this day, members of the McArthur family still call Schaumburg Township home. They have all been instrumental in raising Schaumburg into the village it would become.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to Mary Ann Russell and her son, Scott McArthur, for contributing photos and information about the early days of Schaumburg. They came to talk to me in 2014 with their photos in hand and, about a month ago, passed on the radio ad and the restaurant menu. They had mentioned these items in their earlier visit and, the fact that they remembered four years later, is amazing.

Justin Teschner, who is a grandson of Wayne and Carol, also stepped in and contributed wonderful details about their family’s contributions. The McArthur family hasn’t stopped giving and it is appreciated!

















This charming little school at Schaumburg and Roselle Roads served as one of the five, one-room public schools in Schaumburg Township. It remained Schaumburg Centre school until January 1954 when students in the township began attending the newly built Schaumburg School on east Schaumburg Road.

When that happened, the school building entered its second phase and was rehabbed to accommodate a series of businesses. With its central location in the township, it was a prime spot for small businesses to get a start. As a result, for the next 26 years it housed everything from the R.I.C Delicatessen to a wrought iron store to three different realty agencies.

The photo below, taken in 1978 or 1979, was contributed by local realtor Bob Dohn when it was Koenig & Strey Realtors. The sign to the far left clearly shows a portion of the long time Koenig & Strey logo.

This realty agency was preceded by FBK Realty and Kole Real Estate. According to Mr. Dohn, “Kole Real Estate [was] a well-known local real estate company in the 1970s that was started by Robert Kole. When I worked in the building, Koenig & Strey was a well established, family-run firm from the north suburbs that made a foray into the northwest suburbs in the late 1970s.

As part of this move, they purchased FBK Realty, which still had operating offices in Mt. Prospect and Arlington Heights. I’m not sure whether Jack Keller retained ownership of the schoolhouse building or if the building and land were part of the acquisition, but K&S hired me to open their office there. Jack Keller remained active in the merged company until he passed away a short time later. Jack was a genuinely good person who was admired by eveyone, by the way.”

The office began operating in September 1978 according to a March 8, 1979 issue of the Daily Herald. Mr. Dohn said, “Koenig & Strey had plans to build a shopping center on the site, much like the current Schoolhouse Square that was later developed by Terry Bolger. The idea was to build the new center around the schoolhouse, then move our offices into the new space and donate the schoolhouse to the historical society, who were to move it to its current location by St Peter’s Lutheran Church.

Unfortunately, per my understanding at the time, the Village of Schaumburg wanted the schoolhouse moved to allow for the installation of a water detention area prior to any other construction taking place. As a result, we merged our Schaumburg staff into another K&S office in Palatine and the schoolhouse was moved to its temporary location.”

This site was across Schaumburg Road in Town Square. You can see the red school next to the pond in the photo below.

Mr. Dohn continued, “Before the shopping center was started, the real estate market saw record-breaking interest rates, heralding hard times for the real estate business. K&S shelved their building plans and eventually closed all their northwest suburban offices. After several mergers over the years, K&S today operates as Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff.”

In a time when open commercial space was valuable, it is telling that three realty agencies took advantage of the real estate mantra “Location, Location, Location” and moved into our township’s centrally located, one room school. What a prime spot!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library