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.
Hoffman Estates Village Historian