Archive for the ‘Organizations’ Category


December 16, 2018

The box above is missing a picture of a snowman float that was created in Hoffman Estates in 1962. That year the State Street Council of Chicago decided to try something new with their famous Christmas parade. They opened it up to the suburbs, allowing local villages and cities to create a representative float to appear in the parade.

In fact, according to an article from the Hoffman Herald of November 1, 1962, “the Council wrote to the village requesting participation, and agree[d] to underwrite the cost of a float to the extent of $100.” Needless to say, even in 1962, this would not be enough to cover the expense so, once the Village gave approval, they also “agreed to further underwrite the cost of a float by an additional $150.”

They also requested that the Hoffman Estates Jaycees construct the float that would represent the village. So, with the help of an additional $150 from F & S Construction and $25 from Judge Muldowney, the Jaycees formed a special parade committee and got started.

Jim Boyer was named materials chairman and Carl Johnson was named construction chairman. They enlisted the assistance of fellow Jayceers Jerry Meyers, Fred Downing, Neal Galvin, Jim DeCardo, Dave Basch, Jim Lewis, Jim Sloan and Don Daly.

After throwing in the Jaycees’ donation of more than $425, they also contacted Al Hartman of the Roselle Lumber Company, who agreed to donate all of the lumber and exterior fibre glass. The Dickhaut Painting and Decorating Company of Elgin provided the painting and flocking, and “basic construction of the float was made by the lathing class, Washburn Trade School, Chicago.” [The Record, November 29, 1962]

Because a large enough site was required to create the float, H.C. Wilkening stepped in and donated a construction spot on his farm property. (You can see his farm in the upper right corner of the map above. It was located where the Dunbar Lakes subdivision is today, on the northwest corner of Schaumburg and Plum Grove Roads.) With all of the necessary materials, and manpower that consisted of more than 800 hours of volunteer help, the float came together in the shape of a 35-foot snowman.

The immense size of the structure required three more bits of special assistance: one, a hydraulic lift that was incorporated into the construction so that the snowman could be raised and lowered as it encountered the State Street “L” tracks and the bridges on the Congress Expressway; two, Don Sperling of Hoffman Estates provided the truck that was used to pull the float; and three, the village, state and Chicago police were required to act as escorts for the trip into the city.

And what a trip it was. The amount of time that it took to travel there and back, allowing for the bridges and the huge size of the float, was five hours. Five hours!

But, it was not in vain because, it won First Place in the suburban division! The cash prize was $1000 and the Jaycees and the village drove away (albeit, slowly) with a wonderful coup for the three-year-old village.

As Ed Pinger, village president, said at a huge victory celebration on November 25, “Today Hoffman Estates was put on the map. The entire village joins me in thanking all of the Jaycees for their tremendous effort.”

So, if you have a photo of this infamous snowman and would be happy to contribute it to the blog posting, I’d welcome the opportunity to add it. We’d all love to see what this masterpiece looked like!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

This blog posting was written with the assistance of The Record, November 29, 1962 and the Hoffman Herald, November 1 and 29, 1962.



October 31, 2016

The Schaumburg Township Historical Society will sponsor an open house of the Schaumburg Centre School on Sunday, November 13, 2016.  The open house will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  The schoolhouse is located on the St. Peter Lutheran Church property.

Constructed in 1872–and first called Sarah’s Grove School, it is believed to have been the first of five public schools in Schaumburg Township. It was later renamed Schween’s Grove School and called Schaumburg Centre Public School until 1954. For 82 years, the building served as a one-room schoolhouse, and was the last active one room schoolhouse in District 54.

With the widening of Schaumburg Road, the building was saved from demolition and temporarily placed on the grounds of the Town Square Shopping Center in 1979. It was permanently relocated to the St. Peter Lutheran Church property in September, 1981. It has been fully restored as a museum and is under the auspices of the Schaumburg Township Historical Society.

You can check out the Historical Society’s website here.


September 20, 2015

Fred Pfingsten photo

This photo was recently donated to the library and appears to be a group of young men on a field trip with their teachers and/or chaperones.  They seem to be of high school age and two of them appear to be wearing 4-H shirts.  Because one boy in the group has been identified, and we know the years he was in high school, it is possible to put the date of the photo between the years of 1949 and 1953.

Given the fact that the identified young man grew up on a farm in Schaumburg Township, it was not a stretch to wonder if this is a group was associated with the Cook County Farm Bureau, a 4-H club, a high school agriculture class or a group of Future Farmers of America.  After a bit of newspaper research, I did in fact discover that he was involved in a Schaumburg Township 4-H club.  He won prizes at the 4-H fair for raising cattle and swine and served as recreation leader for the group.

Which brings us to the location of the photo…  I’m curious about the building behind them.  It looks to be a Chicago area high school or an office building.  Can anyone help place this structure?  Here’s hoping the collective brain can figure it out!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


April 14, 2013

FistsBig Heads

For a four-year period these two sculptures were outside of the Chicago Athenaeum branch in Schaumburg.  If you can’t quite place the Athenaeum or are new to the area, this is the current Trickster Gallery in Town Square.

The sculptures were large and unusual and a tantalizing place to climb for the kids who visited.  They were  passed on to the group by Nina Levy, the New York artist who designed them, and erected on the Athenaeum grounds in May of 2000.

The formal name of the Heads is Merchandise Mart Heads.  They were completed in 1993 and were cast in resin and steel.  They “are a playful commentary of the 1940’s sculpture at The Merchandise Mart in Chicago.”  (This is the famous row of heads of renowned Chicago merchandisers such as Montgomery Ward, Marshall Field and Edward A. Filene that sit on the Chicago River side of the Mart.)  Each of the heads shown above is 40 x 38 x 53 and was originally installed at Art Chicago.

Holds is the formal name of the clenched Fists.  It is made from bronze powder, resin and steel.  Each fist is a separate part of the sculpture and together they are 60 x 44 x 40 in size.  It was originally installed at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.

When the Chicago Athenaeum vacated the premises in 2004, the sculptures went with them.  Larry Rowan of Town Square’s Coldwell Banker passed on the photos to me and asked, “What happened to the heads and fists?”

The answer is that they are currently ensconced at the Chicago Athenaeum’s Galena museum.  The Heads can be found on the outside of the museum and the Fists can be found inside.  You may visit their website at to see other views.   Mystery solved!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


January 8, 2011

The next meeting for the Schaumburg Township Historical Society is Monday, January 10.  The meeting will be held in the Schaumburg Township building at 1 Illinois Blvd. in Hoffman Estates. 

The meeting will start promptly at 7 PM with a tour of the expanded Food Pantry.  Please arrive on time on the 2nd floor to meet with the guide for the tour.   If you have any questions when you arrive please ask the security guard at the reception desk.  After the tour the regular business meeting will be held in the Board Room.  It will be followed by a display of some special items of interest  that document some of the history of Schaumburg Township.


October 31, 2010

When:  Monday, November 8 at 7:00
Where:  Schaumburg Center School on the grounds of St. Peter Lutheran Church.
What:  Monthly meeting.


October 3, 2010

When:  Monday, October 11 at 7:00
Where:  Schaumburg Center School on the grounds of St. Peter Lutheran Church.
What:  Monthly meeting.