Archive for the ‘Schaumburg’ Category


October 8, 2017

Last week Florence Catherine Bell shared her stories about what it was like to attend the one-room Schaumburg Center School.  We received interesting and detailed information about the school that we hadn’t known before.

Because she was game for a few more questions, I decided to take a different tact and ask her about some of the businesses that were in place at the intersection of Schaumburg and Roselle Roads in the 1920s and 30s.  We have that wonderful set of postcards of this intersection from 1913 and it seemed like a good idea to tie the questions to those photos.  Let’s take a look at what she had to say…


In 1913 when this photo was taken this building was Farmer’s Bank of Schaumburg.  It was on the northeast corner of the intersection and was moved in 1980 when the intersection was widened.

During Florence Catherine’s time in Schaumburg Township, her parents, James Austin and Florence Bell, did not use the bank but they did go in periodically.  Florence Catherine remembers that it was small inside–even to a young girl’s eyes.  She does not recall bars on the windows that a number of banks had during that time.  She had no memory of a safe or vault or of any robberies that occurred.

She did say that, as far as she knew, there were only the teller and his wife who worked there and they lived in the apartment above the bank.  She remembered the banker as Mr. Kraft.  In doing a bit of research, I discovered in a January 16, 1925 article in the Herald that this 100 year old lady wasn’t far off in the memories of  her 7-year-old self!  His name was William C. Kreft and he was listed as the cashier.

In 1913 this building was a hardware store that was on the southeast corner of the intersection.  It is currently Lou Malnatis.

Florence Catherine remembers this as Schnute’s Tavern.  It was owned by Herman Schnute and was, again, visited by Florence Catherine only a few times.  She noted that this was a saloon even though Prohibition was in effect.

She had a cute story about how her horse ended up having a beer at Schnute’s.  “I was riding my horse, and there were all these guys standing outside of Schnute’s, shooting the bull.  I stopped to talk to them and they got the idea to take the horse inside the bar to get it a beer.  [They guided the horse into the bar], the horse smelled the beer and it backed out of the bar.”  The horse obviously knew better.

As far as the buildings to the right of Schnute’s, she did not recall what their purpose was.

This was the Fenz store that was on the southwest corner of the intersection.  It was a general store and farm implement dealer and, unfortunately, burned down in 1924.

Even though Florence Catherine would have only been 7 at the time of the fire, it’s such an unusual building that I couldn’t resist asking her what she knew about it.  She did not remember the building but she did recall that the bottom part was still there.  She said, “We would cut across the area where it was burnt” as they walked to and from the Schaumburg Center School that she attended on Schaumburg Road.

This parcel remained empty until Schaumburg’s first mayor, Louis Redeker, built a small, one-story building on the corner that later became the Tri Village/Ace Hardware.

Originally a hotel and saloon that was owned by Charles Krueger, the business was purchased in the 1910’s by Frank Lengl.  He eventually renamed it Lengl’s Schaumburg Inn.

Florence Catherine’s father was a friend of Frank Lengl so she knew this building well.  She said Mr. Lengl went to Germany and brought back two nieces and two nephews.  (They attended the Schaumburg Center School to learn to speak English.)  One of the boys helped in the bar and the other acted as a stable boy, taking care of the barn and animals.  According to Florence,  Mr. Lengl had a “trotting horse” that he would ride to the Bell’s house.  She also said, “When Daddy wouldn’t let me have the bridle to my horse, I would go over to Mr. Lengl’s and borrow one from him.”

The nieces helped Mrs. Lengl in the kitchen since Lengl’s offered both food and drink.  Florence specifically mentioned that steaks were served in the good sized dining room.  As far as drinks went, the bar had a “doors wide open” policy during Prohibition.  People would come from Chicago to go to Lengl’s.  It was “like a nightclub and had rooms upstairs.”

Mr. Lengl also built a big stage at one end.  The public schools would use that area for their graduations.

This is a drawing that her granddaughter drew of the layout of Lengl’s during the years Florence Catherine was familiar with the business.  Orient yourself by where the door is at the corner.  Behind the bar area was a partition that separated the restaurant from the bar.

This is a view of the intersection looking south down Roselle Road.

By the time Florence Catherine lived at Stratford Farms, Roselle Road was paved while Schaumburg Road was still dirt/gravel.  According to her, the view looking south didn’t really look that different during her day–except for the fact that the Fenz store to the right was gone.

She did note that, during the time her family lived here, the Latner family moved to the small town center and opened a small store on the east side of Roselle Road.  The lady of the family and her son ran the store.  According to Florence Catherine, it was located between Lengl’s and the dairy (Buttery.)

Roselle Road itself was wide enough to allow automobiles to maneuver the pavement.  The ditches were VERY deep and when they filled with snow and ice, “they would be level with the road and we would walk on the ditches on the way to school.”

Between the narrow road and the steep ditches, visitors to Schnute’s and Lengl’s would not always be able to stick to the road due to the drinks they had enjoyed.  After winding up in the deep ditches, people would knock on the door of the Bell home at 2:00 or 3:00 and her father would get “a team of horses out and hooked up early in the morning to pull those cars out of the ditches.”

I’ve heard stories about how narrow this road was in the 1950s and 60s so it sounds like the situation really didn’t get much better over time.  Things finally changed after the road was graded and widened.

It’s nice to have these small details added to our local history.  Kate, thank you once again for your sharp memory and good observation skills.  I still can’t believe that you remembered Mr. Kreft’s name!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library





December 20, 2016

During Schaumburg’s 60th anniversary year of 2016, we will take a look back at the Schaumburg  you’ve known for the last six decades.  Every month there will be a posting on 3 village happenings for each decade the village has been in existence.  Maybe you remember some of the events and have something more to add to a few of the items?  Send in your comments!

60 Years Ago in 1956

  • Pure Oil gained approval from the Cook County Zoning Board of Appeals at a hearing at Schaumburg School to change the zoning on their property from farming to business use.  The 62-acre tract would scheduled to hold a new office that would accomodate 1000-2000 potential employees.Pure Oil
  • 100 young 4-H’rs were in attendance at Schaumburg School for the Schaumburg 4-H Agricultural Club’s achievement night and Christmas party.
  • The home of Mrs. Minnie Kastning that was across Roselle Road from the Turret House, burned to the ground Monday, December 10.  Mrs. Kastning was rescued from the home by firemen who were alerted to the fire at 2 A.M. by a passing motorist.

50 Years Ago in 1966

  • The Illinois State Chamber of Commerce announced that the three largest new building facilities in Illinois for the year 1966 were the $395 million dollar accelerator being built at Fermilab, the nearly $30 million dollar foundry being built at Silvis and the 674,000 square foot Motorola plant.  The latter was the largest facility being built under one roof.
  • Final approval was given by the District 54 board to purchase and install 5 mobile classrooms in the district.  They were expected to alleviate crowding at Fairview, Campanelli and Hillcrest schools.
  • The Schaumburg Jaycees were selling Christmas trees, wreaths and accessories at the Weathersfield Commons shopping center at Schaumburg and Springinsguth Roads on Saturdays and Sundays before the holiday.  In addition, Santa was expected to be there to greet the kids!  (The photo below shows Weathersfield Commons at a later date when the Jewel Food Store had been moved from its first location.  When the shopping center opened–and when the Jaycees sold their Christmas trees in 1966–it was originally located where the True Value is at the back of this photo.)weathersfield-commons

40 Years Ago in 1976

  • In a Chicago Tribune article on Woodfield at Christmas, a variety of stores were mentioned:  Two-Plus-Two Jewelry, Sears Roebuck, Puppy Palace, McDonalds, I-Natural Cosmetics and J. C. Penney.  The same article stated that the mall was so crowded during the season that employees parked at Pure Oil and were shuttled across Golf Road to the shopping center.
  • The a capella quintet named Stormy Weather was scheduled to perform on December 19 at B’Ginnings, the Schaumburg nightclub on Golf Road.  They were noted for performing “doo-wop” or “street corner” singing.
  • The Chicago Tribune reviewed a new Asian restaurant in the Woodfield Commons Plaza at Golf Road and National Parkway called Fu-Lama Gardens.  They offered not only Chinese cuisine but Szechuan, Japanese, Polynesian, Cantonese, Mandarin and Indian specialties.

30 Years Ago in 1986

  • At their new store at 130 W. Golf Road in Schaumburg, CompuMat was featuring “the most advanced personal computer in the world.”  It was a Compaq Deskpro 386.
  • The Woodfield Plitt Theatres were showing the following movies at the beginning of December:  An American Tail, Star Trek IV, Peggy Sue Got Married, The Nutcracker, Children of a Lesser God, Firewalker, Crocodile Dundee, The Color of Money and Something Wild.
  • The following older subdivisions were targeted for street lights in the near future:  Lexington Fields Estates, Meadow Knolls and Pleasant Acres.  An increase in vehicle sticker fees was being considered as a way to pay for the lighting.

20 Years Ago in 1996

  • It was announced that the Winkelhake Farm on the southeast corner of Higgins and Plum Grove Road would be sold for development to Cambridge Homes.  The property was the last farm in Schaumburg and had been owned by the Winkelhake family since the original land grant purchase in 1846.winkelhake-farm
  • Medieval Times decided to freshen up their act a bit by garbing their knights in armor instead of chain mail and adding a court sorcerer, new pyrotechnics, high-powered stereo system and new bright and colorful costumes.  The business opened its first castle in 1983 in Kissimmee, FL.
  • The Schaumburg Sister Cities Commission planned to send a group of health care professionals to the sister city of Schaumburg, Germany to view their country’s outlook and practices in the medical field.

10 Years Ago in 2006

  • Santa Claus was temporarily kept from his chair in Woodfield’s Central Court for an entire day when a decoration suspended from the ceiling caught fire in the early morning hours of December 11.  He was back in place the following day.
  • Elio’s Pizza at 977 W. Wise Road was having their grand opening special and offering 50% off any pizza or pasta on Tuesdays.
  • The Village of Schaumburg began a new, annual tradition of selling a Christmas ornament that depicts a local establishment.  The tradition was established as part of the village’s 50th anniversary celebration and the first ornament design was the Turret House on Schaumburg Road.Turret House

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

The photo of the Weathersfield Commons Shopping Center is used courtesy of  the former Profile Publications of Crystal Lake.
The photo of the Winkelhake farm is used courtesy of Spring Valley.

The factual items for this blog posting were taken from stories that appeared in the Daily Herald and the Chicago Tribune.





November 20, 2016

During Schaumburg’s 60th anniversary year of 2016, we will take a look back at the Schaumburg  you’ve known for the last six decades.  Every month there will be a posting on 3 village happenings for each decade the village has been in existence.  Maybe you remember some of the events and have something more to add to a few of the items?  Send in your comments!

60 Years Ago in 1956

  • More than 1500 suburban residents–including those from the newly formed village of Schaumburg–participated in a fund drive to raise $1 million for a new hospital to be built near Arlington Heights.  The hospital was to be named Northwest Community Hospital and is shown below.northwest-community-hospital
  • In a classified ad in The Herald, a “modern 2-family house, [with] income $200 per month, large barn [on] 5 3/4 acres” was listed for $17,000.  It was listed as being the first house east of the church in Schaumburg.  The reference is to St. Peter Lutheran Church along Schaumburg Road.
  • Anyone having scrap paper and/or rags was invited to drop them off at St. Peter Lutheran School on Friday, November 23, the day of their Scrap Paper Drive.  It was requested that the bundles be securely tied.

50 Years Ago in 1966

  • Ace Hardware, at the corner of Schaumburg and Roselle Roads, was having a sale on the following products:  TV tray table set for $5.99, deluxe wall can opener for $5.87, portable ice crusher for $7.99, 8-inch cast iron skillet for $1.89, bath scale for $8.99 and clock radio for $13.88.clock-radio
  • It was announced in mid November that Mayor Robert Atcher would run for reelection the following April.  A slate of three additional village board candidates of the Schaumburg United Party (SUP) was also announced.  They include:  Raymond Kessell, Donald Wench and Gordon Mullins.  Sandy Carsello was also included as a candidate for Village Clerk.
  • An open house for the new Thomas Dooley school was scheduled for Sunday, November 20 from 1-4 p.m.  It is the 12th school in Schaumburg Township and the third school in the village of Schaumburg.  The building was built to resemble its sister school, Winston Churchill School, in Hoffman Estates.  The principal was Karl Plank who had been previously employed as principal at Black Hawk school.

40 Years Ago in 1976

  • Schaumburg banded together with seven other northwest suburban communities to begin the process of getting on the Lake Michigan water pipeline.  The name of the group was called SHARE +3.  The projected cost for the village was $11.8 million to $16.6 million.
  • Schaumburg Road between Springinsguth and Barrington Road was scheduled to be improved and widened.  The award for the 1 1/2 mile stretch of road was awarded to Palumbo Excavating Co.
  • Musicland and J.G. Music Center in Woodfield Mall was advertising specials on the following stereo lps and tapes:  Phoebe Snow’s It Looks Like Phoebe Snow, Blue Oyster Cult’s Agents of Fortune, Earth Wind & Fire’s Spirit, Neil Diamond’s Beautiful Noise, Boz Scagg’s Silk Degrees, O’ Jays’ Message in the Music, and Boston’s Boston.  

30 Years Ago in 1986

  • Daruma of Schaumburg which opened at 1823 W. Golf Road in Schaumburg in August was reviewed in the Chicago Tribune.  The long-running, Japanese restaurant can still be found in the same location in the Poplar Creek Plaza thirty years later!daruma
  • On Black Friday, the Friday after Thanksgiving, the parking lot at Woodfield Mall was filled with 10,288 cars by 1:00 p.m.  The attendance was estimated to be 150,000 which was the norm for the past few years.
  • The Annex shopping center in Schaumburg was having sales at the following stores:  Mix ‘n Munch, Card & Gift Gallery, Pier 1 Imports, Kids Place, Stacy’s Bags and Baggage, Space Options, Pro Ski & Surf, Waves Personal Hair Care, Van Heusen Factory Store and Lingerie Factory.

20 Years Ago in 1996

  • Consideration was given by the village board to requiring address numbers of businesses to be a certain size, depending on how far the establishment is from the street.
  • It was reported that, for the first time, Septemberfest turned a profit and moved closer towards being a self-supporting event.  The success of the festival was attributed to corporate sponsorships, increased fees, in-kind donations, a larger take of the Taste of Schaumburg food and beverage receipts and cleanup by Manpower.
  • Mayor Larson laid the first brick of the new terminal at Schaumburg Regional Airport.  This kicked off the development of the building that would hold administrative offices, a restaurant, aircraft maintenance areas and a flight school.  Pilot Pete’s became the eventual restaurant and can still be found at the airport.pilot-petes

10 Years Ago in 2006

  • Schaumburg announced they would be be featuring another year of the outdoor holiday festival in Town Square called Christkindlesmarkt.  Sponsored with the Schaumburg Township District Library, the festival would be an open market with European influences.  A Festival of Lights would be part of the festivities as well as horse-drawn sleigh rides.
  • Janet Niemann, the founding chairperson of the Schaumburg Sister Cities Commission, passed away November 6.  She also chaired Schaumburg Township’s Youth Commission and was very involved in the Jaycees and Jayceettes, having been a past president.
  • El Meson, Rupert’s On The Top and Prairie Rock Brewing Company all were featured in a Night Out:  Guide for Dining and Entertainment in the Daily Herald.  

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

The photos of Northwest Community Hospital and the clock radio are used courtesy of the Daily Herald.  The photo of Pilot Pete’s is courtesy of Ted and John Koston from their Flickr page.  


November 13, 2016


Prairie Center 2 of 1

Prairie Center 2 of 2

These wonderful renderings of the Schaumburg Prairie Center for the Arts were recently discovered on a 1983 calendar prepared by the First Bank of Schaumburg.

The drawings were created by architects, LaRocca Associates of Chicago, in anticipation of construction of the Prairie Center.  It had been many years in the making and was soon to come to fruition.

Two years later, on March 13, 1985, the invitation for bids went out to the public.  Final approval had been given for a building that would contain a 429-seat theater, ticket office and conference rooms, as well as an outdoor plaza.  The location would be just east of the Municipal Center on Summit Drive at a planned cost of $2.2 million. The project was paid for through a special endowment of funds collected over the years from developers.

Not surprisingly, there had been earlier suggestions for an even larger venue.  As far back as 1968, former Mayor Robert Atcher had originally planned a 500-seat drama theater and a 900-seat concert hall.  Scott Fisher, who was the chairman of the Cultural Commission in 1983, favored a 750-seat hall but the price was too high.  And, interestingly, prior consideration had also been given to a proposed site near Woodfield Mall.

The bid for the scaled down project in 1985 was eventually awarded to International Contractors of Elmhurst and building commenced in May of that year.

During the course of construction, consideration was given to who would be the director of the Cultural Center.  By July, Village President Herbert Aigner suggested that the village board opt for former President Bob Atcher as the ideal candidate.  “His heart is in this.  He’s in the entertainment field. He’s got contacts with major business people and a tremendous reputation.”  (Daily Herald, 7/17/1985)  After giving it some thought, the 71-year-old President Atcher turned down the job, concerned that the time necessary to devote to the job was more than he was comfortable with.

In October the village hired Elizabeth Armistead, former program coordinator for the Hemmen’s Auditorium in Elgin.  Going forward, her duties were to manage the Center, be involved in the construction process of the building, establish a group of part-time workers to assist her in day-to-day operations and seek out entertainment for the venue.  To this day, Ms. Armistead continues in her role, even as that role has expanded to include oversight of Septemberfest, the Prairie Arts Festival, the village’s cable channels and the Volunteer of the Year Awards program.

On June 14, 1986, a little over a year after the project had begun, grand opening ceremonies were held.  The stars of the show were former Schaumburg Village President Robert Atcher and his wife Maggie and their three children.  Having long desired such a facility for the village, the Atcher family returned their gratitude with a country and western concert to the an appreciative audience of nearly 200 people.

Kudos were also extended to William Lambert who originally donated some 40 acres of land to the village as the future site of the municipal center and cultural center.  He was given the honor of cutting the ribbon that stretched from end to end across the new stage.



Twenty years later, during the 50th anniversary year of the Village of Schaumburg, the theater at the Prairie Center was officially dedicated to Maggie Atcher who helped form the first cultural arts commission in Schaumburg.  It was a fitting bookend to the building next door, the Robert O. Atcher Municipal Center.

Today the Prairie Center continues to offer itself as a lineup for entertainment, a venue for local orchestras and choirs and a patio for the festivals held on the municipal center grounds.  Even if you haven’t been there for an attraction, you may just want to stroll the grounds.  The walking paths are an enticement to return again!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


October 9, 2016

As mentioned in a blog posting from August 28, 2016, the Schaumburg Township Historical Society received a phone call from the Arnold family last fall.   They had a collection of photos of Schaumburg that Mrs. Arnold took in the early 1970s.  The pictures had sat in a drawer for the past forty years and they were hoping to pass them on to someone who might be interested.  The Historical Society gladly accepted the photos and then kindly donated them to the library to add to our Local History Collection.

The story of these photos begins in 1971 when the Arnold family moved to Schaumburg from southern California.  They were surprised at the amount of open space in Schaumburg Township still occupied by farm fields and undeveloped acreage.  Mrs. Arnold said, “We were amazed at all the open field but knew that wouldn’t last long.  I decided to take pictures of the ‘before’ of Schaumburg.”  She then began to drive the roads of Schaumburg, taking photos of various buildings and intersections.  This is some of what they saw…


Taken from Walnut Road, looking west towards Barrington Road. 

The McNaught-Odlum farm is in the distance with its big white dairy barn and silo.  The house is hidden in the trees.  The acreage of this farm was adjacent to Barrington Road to the west.

The property was part of the Gertrude and Norris McNaught farm that was called Rolling Acres.  It was purchased from William Schuneman in 1937 by Gertrude and her husband Norris, who co-founded Duro Metal Products in 1916.  Mr. McNaught died in 1942 and his widow later married his business partner, William Odlum.   It  became known as the Odlum property and was eventually sold for development in 1986.

According to Ruth (Volkening) Clapper whose family’s farm was to the east of the McNaught-Odlum Farm, the portion of the property that was on the corner of Barrington and Schaumburg Road  was leased “from the McNaughts during the war [by the Navy] and had a pilot training area with small shed type buildings on the property.  The sheds on the navy property were about 20 x 20 ft. and used for residences for the men working on the property… The buildings were quickly built with no inner walls so they were cold in the winter and hot in the summer. We used that Navy building for storage and, in the summer, part was my playhouse for my dolls and all their furniture including a child size kitchen.”

You can read about the Navy’s use of the property for pilot touch and go training here.


McNaught-Odlum farm from Schaumburg Road.

This photo looks south from Schaumburg Road at the McNaught-Odlum farm that was adjacent to Barrington Road.  It is a better vantage point of the farm and it is possible to note that the lane off of Schaumburg Road separated the barn from the house.  In fact, there seems to be quite a distance between the two.

Mrs. Clapper said “the barn had a residence over the right extension of the barn. Two families lived on the farm – one in the house and one above that portion of the barn.”

It is also interesting how many trees and evergreens surround the house, providing shade and a wind break.  What appears to be missing–or obstructed from view–are the many outbuildings that can be found on a farm, i.e. the machine shed, a chicken house, equipment shed, etc.  Maybe they are tucked in amongst the trees or over the rise of the hill?


Looking southwest from the intersection of Schaumburg and Walnut Lane.

 The brown building on the corner is Christ the King Lutheran Church (then Our Shepherd Lutheran Church, now Salem Korean United Methodist Church) which was built around 1971.  According to Mrs. Clapper, the church was initially intended to be an outreach center for St. Peter Lutheran Church.  In the middle background are some of the buildings of the farm belonging to Mrs. Clapper’s parents, Herman and Edna (Greve) Volkening.  You can see the large barn with the silos to the right.  The white building to the left is the corn crib.

The Volkenings sold the corner to the church and according to Mrs. Clapper, “the parsonage is my family home since my parents had it moved there so it would not be demolished. They were one of the last to sell their land.  The church was built without a parsonage and Pastor Borhardt (sic) rented a house in Weathersfield until my parents sold their farm and moved the house.”

In the far background are the Hanover Highlands homes.


Schaumburg Road and Pleasant Drive looking northeast.

As we look northeast, we can see the back of the strip mall that was on the NW corner of the intersection of Schaumburg and Roselle Roads.  This strip mall–that was never named–was built  around 1966 and remained on the corner until 2010 when the village bought the property for development purposes.  The property is now the home of Pleasant Square–a residential development that includes row houses, townhouses and single family homes.


Town Square sign at the intersection with Schaumburg Road.

The Town Square sign on Schaumburg Road at Pleasant Lane notes the turnoff for the shopping center that opened in 1970.  The homes of Timbercrest are in the background.


Looking across Schaumburg Road near Branchwood Drive at the property that became Friendship Village.

In July 1972 the Village of Schaumburg and Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center North announced that they were beginning negotiations to bring a hospital to Schaumburg.  Their potential site was the home of today’s Friendship Village and, at that time, was owned by A. Harold Anderson of J. Emil Anderson & Son, a large Chicago area development company.  The sign notes their potential development of the space.  The project was disbanded in 1975 when the costs became too high to bring a hospital to Schaumburg.

Looking northeast across Schaumburg Road at Hilltop Drive.

The cars across the street are parked at Blackhawk School which opened in 1958.  To the right is the property that would later be used for the Schaumburg Post Office.


Looking west down Schaumburg Road at Hilltop Drive.

One of the Hoffman Estates Parcels is to the right off of two-lane Schaumburg Road.  Note the tall oak trees on the right side of the road.  They are remnants of the original Sarah’s Grove.   The distinctive Episcopal church sign, also on the right, is there to point out the Church of the Holy Innocents that was on Illinois Boulevard for many years.

Looking across Barrington Road at the Schaumburg Road intersection.

Notice that Schaumburg Road ended at Barrington Road at that time.  Even so, Barrington Road was a four lane road with a stop light.


Schaumburg Road near Walnut

The open spaces, undeterred by development in these photos, were abundant and definitely carried a rural feel.  Schaumburg Township in 1973 still had an awful lot of growing up to do!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

My thanks to Ruth Volkening Clapper for providing the necessary details that allowed me to complete this blog posting.  Her personal memories and knowledge of the area were a wonderful addition to the photos taken by Mrs. Arnold.  


August 21, 2016

During Schaumburg’s 60th anniversary year of 2016, we will take a look back at the Schaumburg  you’ve known for the last six decades.  Every month there will be a posting on 3 village happenings for each decade the village has been in existence.  Maybe you remember some of the events and have something more to add to a few of the items?  Send in your comments!

60 Years Ago In 1956

  • A notice in the Daily Herald announced that there would be a German service held at 9 a.m. and an English service at 10:15 a.m. at St. Peter Lutheran Church.  The English service could be heard on WRMN, Elgin and on The Lutheran Hour at 12:30 on WMAQ.
  • An article on Ellsworth Meineke detailed his love for bees and the honey they produce.  His shop and house had only been on Golf Road for a couple of years at this point, having moved from an earlier location on Higgins Road in the Busse Woods Forest Preserve in Elk Grove Village.  Mr. Meineke was known locally for his honey candy.Meineke Honey Farm
  • In the “Down On the Farm” column by Carl F. Mees in the Daily Herald, he mentions that he talked with a number of local farmers, including Emil Freise, Faustin Zeller, Wilmer Rohlwing, Emil Pfingsten and Xavier Schmid, who had all reported excellent wheat yields for the summer.  He had also talked to Herman Volkening who was experimenting with growing maize in addition to corn.  It was his second year and the yield was very high.

50 Years Ago in 1966

  • An article discussing The Barn property noted that court is held in the former hay loft, the police department is on the ground floor and other municipal offices are in various buildings on the former Jennings farm.  Mayor Atcher mentioned that he hoped to move village offices closer to Schaumburg and Roselle Roads in about three years.The Barn 3
  • Motorola Inc. launched its first phase of a new office, engineering and manufacturing plant.  The building on the 326 acre site was scheduled for occupancy in January 1967.
  • Permission was received from the Village Board for the Schaumburg Jaycees to begin painting house numbers on the curbs for each home in the village.  Work would be done on the weekends until the job was finished.

40 Years Ago in 1976

  • Eugene Matanky, a local developer, hoped to reach a compromise with the village on his proposal to develop the Sarah’s Grove property into 64 six-flat apartment buildings.  The property was on Schaumburg Road, approximately 1/4 west of Roselle Road.
  • A program on Citizens’ Band radio was being held at the Schaumburg Township District Library.
  • The 55-acre Paul Rosenwinkel farm on the northwest corner of Roselle Road and Weathersfield Way was sold to the First State Bank and Trust Company of Franklin Park  and developer R. L. Roth of Elmhurst.  Roth had obtained the appropriate zoning in 1975 for the future Farmgate subdivision, which would include townhouses, condominiums and a shopping center.  Dennis K. Connelly of Connelly and King Inc. of Schaumburg, represented Mr. Rosenwinkel.Rosenwinkel farm

30 Years Ago in 1986

  • The United Way of Schaumburg-Hoffman Estates celebrated its 20th anniversary.  Originally founded on August 2, 1966 as Schaumburg Township Community Fund, Inc., the group distributed over $2 million in the 20-year span to local organizations that provided human care services to those in need.
  • Consideration was being given to hiring a consultant to give direction on redeveloping portions of Schaumburg’s Town Square.  A plan was also being put together to redevelop the Quindel/Lengel area southeast of the intersection of Schaumburg and Roselle Road into a pedestrian mall.  Lengel Drive at the time was an unpaved road.
  • Random Acres Farm Stand, on Schaumburg Road west of Plum Grove Road, was selling Super sweet corn, cucumbers, peppers, cantaloupe, zucchini and more.  Their home grown tomatoes were .79 a pound.  They were open seven days a week from 10-7.Random Acres

20 Years Ago in 1996

  • Miss Molly’s of Schaumburg, a Danish bakery at 1407 W. Schaumburg Road, had been open for six years.  The specialty was the kringle, a flaky coffeecake pastry with layers of butter rolled into it.  They also sold bakery items such as breads, cookies, doughnuts and eclairs but their other specialty was cakes designed and made in house.
  • A fundraiser at the soon-to-open Roosevelt University successfully raised more than $300,000, allowing the school to meet its $5 million building-fund goal a few months early.  The first classes at the Albert A. Robin campus were scheduled to open August 26.
  • Drivers who park at the Schaumburg train station incurred their first increase in fees since the station opened in 1981.  Daily fees went from .75 to 1.00.  The increase was necessary to fund new parking lot improvements, creating more reserved parking spaces and adding additional landscaping.

10 Years Ago in 2006

  • Medieval Times was the location for a twenty-first century event when they sponsored an area audition for the popular game show, “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?”  Nearly 2500 people showed up to try out.
  • The village announced that, as part of their 50th anniversary celebration, they would be erecting a new public safety memorial to honor the men and women who work to keep the village safe from crime and disaster.  The memorial was to be built on the site of the village’s police station and newest fire station.Public Safety memorial
  • The Schaumburg Park District announced they would now be including a 2 1/2 hour preschool class on Tuesdays and Thursdays that would incorporate the Polish language and culture into the curriculum.  This followed on the successful model of a Japanese class that had been offered the prior year.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

The factual items for this blog posting were taken from stories that appeared in the Daily Herald and the Chicago Tribune.


July 17, 2016

During Schaumburg’s 60th anniversary year of 2016, we will take a look back at the Schaumburg  you’ve known for the last six decades.  Every month there will be a posting on 3 village happenings for each decade the village has been in existence.  Maybe you remember some of the events and have something more to add to a few of the items?  Send in your comments!

60 Years Ago In 1956

  • The Schaumburg Transportation Company on Roselle Road appealed to the Illinois Commerce Commission for a temporary permit to establish a bus route between Roselle and Palatine, via Hoffman Estates and Schaumburg.  The plan was to have morning and afternoon buses that would accommodate passengers on the Milwaukee Road line in Roselle and the Chicago and Northwestern line in Palatine.Schaumburg Transportation
  • Another petition was filed with Cook County to rezone a 38-acre parcel of land from agricultural to industrial.  The parcel was on the west side of Rodenburg Road, north of the Milwaukee Road line.  The farm was owned by Marvin A. Anderson and the intention was to develop a ready-mix, concrete plant to occupy a portion of the property.
  • School District 54 began placing ads in the local papers advertising for new teachers.  Superintendent Robert Flum had already signed three new teachers for the 8 room school house on Schaumburg Road–two of them through the classified ads.  To encourage application, he even gave his home phone number to the paper so that any potential candidates could contact him more easily.

50 Years Ago in 1966

  • On July 23, a benefit called The Shindig was held to raise money for the Schaumburg Volunteer Fire Department.  For the second year in a row, the event was held on the parking lot of the Weathersfield Commons Shopping Center.  A square dance, called by Bob Kim of the Plaids and Calico dance club of Hoffman Estates, was a highlight of the Shindig with records being played during intermission.  Sandwiches and drinks were also sold.  Five local organizations, including the Weathersfield Homeowners Association, Junior Woman’s Club, the Moose, the Jaycees, and the Lions Club all participated in the gala.  The year before had seen 2000 people attend.
  • The new $40,000 fire station opened to the public on July 7.  The station was located just east of the Weathersfield Commons Shopping Center and was under the auspices of the Roselle Fire Protection District.  The 40-acre property was purchased from District 211 and the building begun in the fall of 1965.  The village of Schaumburg was not scheduled to take the department over from Roselle until 1967 when it had both the budgeted funds and had set up the structure of its own district.
  • A builder announced plans to begin a new subdivision in the village.  Frederickson and Co. was planning a 300-400 development on the 160-acre site immediately south of Lexington Fields, between Route 53 and Meacham Road.

40 Years Ago in 1976

  • Franklin Weber Pontiac at 100 W. Golf Road sponsored their “Price Chopping Sale” on their Grand Prix, Catalina and Le Mans models–to name a few.  They mentioned in their ad that they were open on Sundays.Franklin Weber
  • Polk Bros., at 900 E. Golf Road, was advertising their Zenith Premier Days with a full case of 48 oz. bottles of Bubble Up with a purchase of $50 or more.  [The Polk Bros. chain went out of business in April 1992.  It was one of five stores left at the time.]
  • The Schaumburg Township Public Library was looking for interested parties, 16 and older, to join a new Game Club.  Potential games to be played were backgammon, chess, Scrabble, bridge and others.

30 Years Ago in 1986

  • Village trustee, Carl Niemann, and fellow members of the Community Planning and Development Committee, asked village planners to inventory the historic structures in the Olde Schaumburg Centre district and make a plan for saving them.  The intent was to avoid destruction of historic buildings such as the old Schaumburg bank that had been moved from the northeast corner of Schaumburg and Roselle Road to a Town Square location along Roselle Road.  It was torn down in 1982.Bank
  • Village officials decided to put aside their plan to funnel traffic from Schaumburg High School to Braintree Drive and instead pursue the installation of a traffic signal at Grand Central Lane.  Cook County had been reluctant in the past because the traffic counts did not warrant a light.
  • Fretter Superstores, at 820 E. Golf Road near Woodfield, had an “Everything on Sale” sale.  [Fretter was very similar to Polk Bros. in that they sold appliances and electronics.

20 Years Ago in 1996

  • Martin Conroy, Schaumburg’s first Police Chief, died on July 21, 1996 at his home in Florida.  Mr. Conroy was appointed chief of police on March 15, 1960 and served in that role until his retirement in 1981.3267
  • The village announced that they would be hiring a part-time employee to oversee operations at the Schaumburg Regional Airport nearly eight months after it opened.  The employee would deal with the administration of the airport as well as working with the operating company who were soon to be hired.  Northwest Flyers and Saxon Aviation were operation companies being considered.
  • It was announced that Maggiano’s Little Italy was considering its second suburban location in Schaumburg.

10 Years Ago in 2006

  • Sam & Harry’s, a steak chain based in Washington, D.C., opened its first Illinois location in the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center.  They specialize in surf ‘n turf dishes.
  • Woodfield Mall was the number one tourist destination in Illinois–over Sears Tower, over Navy Pier, over Lincoln’s Home and over the Shedd Aquarium.  Between four and five million visitors came annually to take in the shopping and restaurants.
  • The village held an open house for the public at the new Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center on Saturday, July 29.  Guided tours were offered every 30 minutes from the front entrance.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

The factual items for this blog posting were taken from stories that appeared in the Daily Herald and the Chicago Tribune.


June 19, 2016

During Schaumburg’s 60th anniversary year of 2016, we will take a look back at the Schaumburg  you’ve known for the last six decades.  Every month there will be a posting on 3 village happenings for each decade the village has been in existence.  Maybe you remember some of the events and have something more to add to a few of the items?  Send in your comments!

60 Years Ago in 1956

  • Groundbreaking for the new St. John Immanuel Lutheran School at Rodenburg and Irving Park Road took place Saturday, June 17.  (The school is to the left in this photo from the church’s website.)  St. John Lutheran school
  • The Schaumburg PTA sponsored their annual dance/frolic at the Roselle Country Club on Roselle Road on Saturday, June 23 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.  The Walt Bartelt 5-piece orchestra provided the music.
  • With the new Mobile Dial Exchange becoming operational in Schaumburg Township on June 28, many phone numbers would change.  The new numbers would be listed in the new Roselle, Bartlett and Bloomingdale phone book which also served Schaumburg Township.  The phone book was also operational on June 28.
    Phone book

50 Years Ago in 1966

  • Schaumburg’s Civil Defense budget was listed as being the biggest for surrounding towns.  Harland Hector was Director of the program since its beginning and at this time had 65-70 volunteers under his command.  With an active Police and Fire Department, the squad would be used in time of local and national emergencies.
  • The swimming pool located in Weathersfield opened June 13 with a record crowd registered and a second registration date set for the overflow.  Season passes were $25 per family, $15 for an individual adult and $10 for an individual child.
  • Thirty more elementary school teachers, four or five junior high staff, one principal, a social worker and a special education teacher needed to be hired before the school year started in September.  Assistant superintendent, Wayne Schaible, stated he hoped all would be hired by mid-summer.

40 Years Ago in 1976

  • It was announced that the third building of the Woodfield Park office development would be built at 999 Plaza Drive.  The building was designed and developed by J. Emil Anderson & Son, Inc. of Des Plaines.Plaza Drive
  • The village began the planning stages for a new Comprehensive Plan.  The Plan was to be developed by Nathan Barnes and Associates under the supervision of Village Planner Alan Saunders.  The first Master Plan was a series of maps that “suggest land use in several areas of the village.”  It was prepared shortly after the village was formed in 1956 by Village President Robert Atcher and a group of residents who owned land in Schaumburg when the village was chartered.
  • Burglars broke into the Schaumburg Airport Lounge and stole 60 pounds of spare ribs.  They also opened refrigerator doors and scattered food and utensils around the room. 

30 Years Ago in 1986

  • The Greater Woodfield Festival and Special Events was being in the months of June and July.  Various programs, concerts and events were scheduled in the suburbs of Greater Woodfield.  Schaumburg was scheduled to have the following events in June:  Ramsay Lewis and Colossal Nerve at the Prairie Center on June 21, “Shakespeare’s Friends & Lovers” by the Chicago Shakespeare Company would be held at Spring Valley on June 26, and Big Twist and the Mellow Fellows would appear at the Prairie Center on June 28.
  • The Schaumburg Park District was selling a $5 cookbook with about 250 recipes from staff, families and volunteers at all park district facilities.  They hoped to sell 2000 copies of the book to raise funds to furnish the Vera Meineke Observatory that was being built on the Spring Valley Nature Sanctuary grounds.    
  • Preleasing was beginning at the new Garden Glen apartments on Roselle Road between 21 Kristin Place and the Northwest Tollway.  A six-story building with 156 apartments would be surrounded by manor homes.

20 Years Ago in 1996

  • A 124-unit housing development to be built on the northeast corner of Schaumburg and Roselle Road was being proposed to the village.  (It is now known as Olde Schaumburg.)
  • The last service was held in the 89-year old St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church at Irving Park and Rodenburg Road on Sunday, June 22, 1996.  The congregation would be moving to a new church built across Rodenburg Road.  (This photo is from the church’s website.)St. John Lutheran Church 
  • Governor Jim Edgar announced the Schaumburg Park District would be getting a $273,800 Department of Natural Resources grant to purchase land north of the Metra commuter rail station on Springinsguth Road.  The park will have eight tennis courts, a lighted ball field and ice hockey/special events area, concessions, and a 119-space parking lot.  (This is the current Briar Point Park.  It does not have the ice hockey/special events area.)

10 Years Ago in 2006

  • Nordstrom at Woodfield received a shipment of Heelys wheel-in-the-heel shoes and was able to supply 30 people on a waiting list with the popular new shoes.  (The shoes are still being sold.)
  • Ground was broken on June 20 for Fire Station 5 (now 55) that will be built alongside the public works department at 714 S. Plum Grove Road.Fire station 55
  • The village officially made smoking areas illegal in all office buildings and in the common areas of condominium and apartment complexes.  As of June 14, the only indoor smoking areas allowed were tobacco shops and the smoking sections of restaurants.  

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

The factual items for this blog posting were taken from stories that appeared in the Daily Herald and the Chicago Tribune.



June 5, 2016

Happy Birthday Schaumburg!  You turned 60 this year on March 7, 2016 and we’re happy to celebrate with you!

In honor of your birthday year, we’re doing a monthly blog posting based on some of our favorite things about you.

This month we’d like you to share your favorite, neat tidbit about Schaumburg that others may not know.  

Maybe it’s a spot others might be unfamiliar with?

Cedarcrest Cemetery

[Sarah’s Grove Cemetery on Cedarcrest Drive]


Maybe it’s a piece of history that is forgotten but interesting to you?


[Remnants of the Redeker peony fields at Spring Valley]


Maybe it’s a business that came and went that you really loved?


[Barry’s Ribs on Mall Drive]


Maybe it’s someone famous who grew up in Schaumburg or lived here for a period of time?

Susan Downey

[Susan Downey–wife of Robert Downey Jr.]


It would be fun to hear what you can add to the conversation!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


May 22, 2016


Band photo 2

Kurt Cobain didn’t know it but there was Nirvana in Schaumburg Township long before his band came on the scene.  In August 1972, seven local guys began meeting in the houses and garages of their parents, jamming and kicking around various songs as well as a possible name for their new band.  With the early working name of Nirvana, they played for as long as each set of parents could take it before they moved on to the next house.

By September not only were they scheduled to perform at Schaumburg’s back-to-school dance, but they had also settled on a new name for the group.  Calling themselves Leviathan! after the large sea monster from the Old Testament, they fittingly told the press they were a “monster of a rock band.”  Roy, one of the band members said, “Back then we tried to make sure Leviathan always had an exclamation point in print –i.e. Leviathan!  But it didn’t always work so well, and it was often misspelled too.”

Flyer of band playing

The group of seven consisted of both current students and graduates of Conant, Schaumburg and Palatine High Schools.  They were:

Greg Pasek (Lead Guitar, Vocals)
Jim Polecastro (Lead Vocals, Guitar)
Steve Polecastro (Bass)
Irwin Rudolph (Tenor Sax, Flute, Vocals)
Hermann Schneider (Keyboards)
Roy Vombrack (Alto, Soprano, Tenor Sax)
Greg Walsh (Drums)

Jim and Steve, the two brothers, founded the group with Greg Pasek and Hermann Schneider.  Not long afterwards Irwin, Roy and Greg Walsh joined, bringing their prior experience and talent.

In the nature of a lot of bands, some members came with formal experience and some were self-taught.  Hermann, Irwin, Roy and Greg Walsh played in their high school bands while Steve, Jim and Greg Pasek had taken up the guitar after seeing The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Their sound, according to a local article, focused on “powerful saxophone arrangements and gut vocal.  The gentler side of the band create[d] flute duets and acoustic guitar work.”   Roy said, “We played mainly fairly progressive music… a huge range, from popular music by Loggins & Messina, Jethro Tull, and Stevie Wonder to lesser known performers like Johnny Winter, White Trash, Jack Bruce, and Gypsy.  We mixed in a few originals by several of the guys, too.”  Steve also noted that Roy did some rearrangements.

Band photo


Following the Schaumburg High School dance they were invited to perform at Schaumburg’s  annual Septemberfest (where they also played in the fall of 1973.)  Their next date was on October 14, 1972 at the Rally Dance for the Democratic team of George McGovern and Sargent Shriver in the St. Francis de Sales school gym in Lake Zurich.  “Dancers…worked up an appetite grooving to the hard rock sound…”   [The Frontier Enterprise; October 19, 1972]

Democratic Dance Flyer

After playing at a number of colleges, high schools and teen centers, they were written up in Carpentersville’s Cardunal Free Press.  On Saturday, February 3, 1973 they made their debut at “The New Expression” teen center in Carpentersville at a dance held from 8 to 11:30 p.m.  The band was described as having “eccentric vocal and instrumental talent” and playing music from Edgar White [Winter], Jethro Tull, Traffic and “hits like ‘Superstition’ and ‘Mama Don’t Dance and Daddy Don’t Rock n’ Roll.”  They also mentioned that Leviathan “is best known for their own arrangements of rock n’ roll hits.”

Leviathan followed this up with a mention in NIU’s Northern Star on April 27, 1973 detailing the fact that they would appear as part of the Student Association Concert Committee’s May Fete in front of Douglas Hall on April 29, 197 at 7 p.m.

They also had the opportunity to back up Styx at Jane Addams Junior High on August 1, 1973 and later at Papa Joes in Park Ridge.  Another date at Papa Joes found them backing up “Rufus,” a Chicago area funk band.

The band continued to perform for a few years, playing their own style and getting gigs.  They remain friends and sent me the articles that I used to write this posting.

When things were rockin’ in the 70’s, the sky was the limit in the music scene.  The seven band mates of Leviathan! took full advantage of that opportunity and turned it into something special.  As Hermann said, “[It was] a small but fun part of our past.”

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

[Roy Vombrack remains part of the local music scene with The Roy Vombrack Orchestra.  Everything came full circle when his orchestra performed–fittingly–at Schaumburg’s 50th Anniversary Gala in 2006.]

[Leviathan’s photographs were taken by Roy Vombrack’s father, Paul, who was a professional news cameraman for WLS and WGN as well as a movie cinematographer.]