Many talk about how much Schaumburg Township has changed over the years but until you see the pictures it’s really hard to grasp.
Take a look at these photos from Tom Helsper. Check out Schaumburg Road looking west from Plum Grove. Tom’s grandparents, Walter and Maybelle Ellis, bought property in 1954 from Dr. Paul and Sara Meginnis on the southwest corner of Schaumburg and Plum Grove Roads. Earlier that year, the Meginnis’s had purchased property from Palmer and Marjorie Carlson that straddled Plum Grove Road on the south side of Schaumburg Road. Having bought their parcel, the Ellis’s shared it with the families of their two daughters. Their sons-in-law subsequently built homes on the corner for all three families.
In this photo you see a simple, paved Schaumburg Road with no striping or individual lanes. Notice that the area is still being used for farming and that telephone poles line the road. The house that is slightly to the left is the Lennart and Ann Johnson house, which was the eventual location of Random Acres and has since been torn down. The Johnsons also purchased their property from Paul and Sara Meginnis. Now, take note of how the house is so far set back from the road. Below, is the same view today.
See the white fence far in the middle background? The Johnson house was on the other side of it. Notice how close the fence is to Schaumburg Road. Schaumburg Road with its four lanes and sidewalks certainly took up a fair amount of the Johnson’s front yard didn’t they?
The scene is also filled with houses and trees that have sprung up in the interim. Isn’t it interesting to think that the trees are less than 60 years old?
This is the same scene in the winter with a slightly more northern view. The Johnson house is in plain view. (Who knew a Commonwealth substation would be added behind the house at some point?) We can also see the St. Peter Church steeple in the background, as well as Schaumburg School with its stone tower that is still there today.
You can also see the red Landmeier barn behind the house on Schaumburg Road. The Landmeiers not only owned horses but a carriage as well that they would periodically ride up and down Schaumburg Road.
This is an interesting photo in that it does NOT show the Johnson house but it does show the St. Peter Church steeple and Schaumburg School. The School looks as if it might still be in the building process. This building opened in January 1954 and, I suspect this is the fall of 1953 leading up to the opening.
This photo looks in the opposite direction towards the east at the Paul and Sara Meginnis farm that they purchased from Palmer and Marjorie Carlson. A rather basic Plum Grove Road runs along the fence line in the foreground. Schaumburg Road is the white “line” that runs to the left of the barn. Paul Meginnis was a veterinarian at Arlington Park racetrack and Sara Meginnis was Schaumburg’s first village clerk. You can read more about the couple here.
Dr. Meginnis also later opened a small veterinary building on the property which you can see in the photo below. It is the white building with the gray roof that is behind Tom’s grandmother.
Isn’t it amazing what Schaumburg Township has seen in these past 60 years? Thank you to Tom Helsper for taking the time and effort to bring the photos to my attention!
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library