June 9, 2019

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

The back and forth of court fights to annex land for the development of Hoffman Estates seemed to occupy the first five years of the village’s history.

Last month I wrote about the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision to allow us to annex the land north of the tollway. The back and forth court decisions over this annexation made development of the area unusual.

Between 1962 and 1964 a story was unfolding that I would title “The Topsey Turvey Howie in the Hills development”. The development was located on the south side of Palatine Road, about where the Jewel is now presently located.

Believing that the land planned for the Howie in the Hills development was annexed to Hoffman Estates in September, 1962, their project went forward with all the appropriate approvals needed from the village board. Foundations were poured, a well was put in and plans were going forward for the sewer system. But then the results of the lawsuits against Hoffman Estates by three of our neighboring villages, South Barrington, Barrington Hills and Inverness , who believed that land could not be annexed across a tollway, was settled in their favor. It took the land away from Hoffman Estates and placed Howie in the Hills’ development under Cook County’s building requirements. Under the new Cook County rules only 8 of the 10 foundations that had already been poured met with the county’s requirements.

Sewerage plans weren’t going very well either. Howie in the Hills planned on building a sewage treatment plant for its proposed homes but Inverness and Palatine objected to water from the plant spilling into Salt Creek.  The Metropolitan Sanitary District did not have plans to expand and accept the Howie in the Hills development. Howie in the Hills’ request for connections to the sanitary district were voted down.

With on again, off again changes to how they would continue their development, Howie in the Hills’ costs for sewer lines, lawyers, lawsuits and other unexpected expenses eventually took its toll. The final blow came when City Savings and Loan, who was handling the financing for the development, collapsed. The entire Howie in the Hills development was abandoned. Homes that had been built sat empty for years and some said it looked like a ghost town.

It took close to 10 years to finally resolve the Howie in the Hills failure. The land reverted back to Hoffman Estates and Allister Construction purchased the land and built the Westsbury subdivision.

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Historian


June 2, 2019

During Hoffman Estates’ 60th anniversary year of 2019, we will take a look back at the Hoffman Estates you’ve known for the last six decades. Every month there will be a posting on 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 1959

  • Mel Bellairs, who had a weekend radio show on WBBM, advertised the new developments in Hoffman Estates. He talked about The Imperial, a four-bedroom ranch, the new Blackhawk School, the split-level Lincoln model and the new Hoffman Plaza with its Jewel, Walgreens, medical center and 350 parking spaces. Model homes were open for viewing at Higgins and Roselle Road Monday through Friday 9-8, Saturday 9-6 and Sunday 9-3. (Can someone tell us where the model homes were/are?)
  • Jewel announced that in its new 15,000 square foot store at Higgins and Roselle Road, they would feature an old-fashioned sausage shop with foods from 7 nations. (Does anyone remember this shop?)
  • A story in the Chicago Tribune on the development of outlying Cook County states that “Schaumburg Township to the northwest, was the last of the 38 townships to be completely rural. The line of the Northwest tollway changed that, attracting the builder of Hoffman Estates, and then bringing about the incorporation of Schaumburg Center.”

50 Years Ago In 1969

  • Martin Plate announced his retirement from Conant High School (pictured above) after serving as principal for the first five years of Conant’s existence. He announced he was returning to school to work on a doctorate in school administration. A painting of Plate was presented to the school by the Conant Student Council to hang in the foyer.
  • In a Chicago Tribune listing, Hoffman Estates’ median family income was $11,935 and the median home value was $26,400.
  • The True Value in Hoffman Estates was advertising an Arvin “Swing Along” 45 rpm phonograph for $24.88 with 10 45 rpm bonus records with your buy. “Insert a record and hear instant smooth sound (thanks to both solid state design and velvet voice speaker.”

40 Years Ago In 1979

  • Moon Lake Village at 1410 Volid Drive was advertising their closeout sale on garden homes. 5% down. No closing costs. No assessments until 1980. Mortgage money available. The garden homes were two-story and featured one, two and three bedroom units, ranging in price from $38,500 to $52,500. (They can be seen in the background of the photo below.)
  • The Stebbing Royal European Circus brought clowns, trained elephants, chimpanzees and poodles to Barrington Square Mall for a series of shows sponsored by the Hoffman-Schaumburg V.F.W. Post 8080. Admission was $4.50 for adults and $3.50 for children 11 and younger.
  • When seven firefighters from the Hoffman Estates Fire Department responded to the May 25th crash of Flight 191 of an American Airlines DC-10 at O’Hare Airport, it left the village with 11 firefighters to man three stations. This was five less than a normal crew and one below the department’s minimum. Mayor Virginia Hayter was concerned about the reduced staffing and expressed her concerns.

30 Years Ago In 1989

  • It was announced on Sunday, June 25, that Sears Roebuck & Co. had officially decided to leave Sears Tower in Chicago and had chosen Hoffman Estates as their location for the new home.
  • Dangerous Liaisons, the winner of three Academy Awards, was showing at the Barrington Square 6 theater.
  • Mass was said at St. Hubert Catholic Church on June 24 for Air Force Lt. Col. Robert J. Panek, Sr. who was declared missing in action 20 years ago in North Vietnam and whose remains were returned last year.

20 Years Ago In 1999

  • The Hoffman Estates Park District Board approved construction bids for Willow Skate Park. They also approved a design by Wright Architects for the Prairie Stone Community Center that  included three gymnasiums, indoor tennis courts, a 40-foot climbing wall, a 2,300-square-foot activity pool with zero- depth entrance, a lap pool and a whirlpool.
  • The Hoffman Estates Fire Department will sponsor their first Citizens Fire Academy to teach participating residents about firefighting and fire prevention.
  • Julie Hollister became the village’s first woman police detective after spending three years as a patrol officer. She was one of seven women on the force.

10 Years Ago In 2009

  • Plunkett Furniture announced that they were closing their four stores in the Chicago area and bringing their 78-year run to an end. Their location was at the northeast corner of Golf and Barrington Roads.
  • Fire Station No. 24 on Beacon Pointe Drive at Shoe Factory Road opened its doors and replaced the 17-year-old Pratnum Avenue station.
  • The Village sponsored its 10th Unity Day with a bigger entertainment lineup than ever before. The village’s Cultural Awareness Commission upped this year’s event as 2009 marked the village’s 50th anniversary.

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.

Credit for the photo of the Arvin Record Player is given to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01r6trIKv44
Credit for the photo of Willow Skate Park is given to skateboard.com.au





May 26, 2019

For the past couple of weeks we have investigated the three Johnson men who came to the Schaumburg Township area in the early 1840s from their home in Yates County, NY. Daniel, Morgan and Lyman were all born in Bennington County, Vermont and, with their parents, moved to New York during their childhood.

One has to suppose that, because the men all purchased property around the same time, they and their families came to Illinois together. According to an 1884 obituary for Lyman’s wife, Emilene (Van Court) Johnson, the couple left New York in 1840 and traveled down the Erie Canal by boat and made their way to the area that is now Detroit. They stayed there until the following spring in 1841, arriving in Chicago in the early summer.

However, the 1877 History of Whiteside County states that, “in 1844 he [Lyman Johnson] sought the west, and with his family settled in Cook County, Illinois.”  Apparently, there is some discrepancy with the dates. Because Emeline died in 1884, a mere seven years after the Whiteside County history was published, it is difficult to determine which account is correct.

Eventually, Lyman and Emeline made their way to Schaumburg Township and established a farm in Sections 12 and 13. According to the 1851 map below, they also ran a tavern on their property.


Interestingly, I can find no further mention of this tavern. There is nothing in Emeline’s obituary or in the 1877 History of Whiteside County that lists this occurrence as part of the family’s history. In addition, Lyman is listed as a farmer in the 1850 census for Schaumburg Township. My suspicion is that the tavern reference is possibly attributed to Wickliffe, the tavern that his brother Morgan ran on Algonquin Road in Palatine Township. This tavern was discussed in last week’s blog posting.

We find Lyman and Emilene living in Schaumburg Township as recorded in the 1850 census. They had four children at the time: Rollin, Edwin, J. Harvey and Larman. The three oldest were born in New York and Larman was born in Illinois. Since Larman’s age is three, he was clearly born during their time in Schaumburg Township.

Shortly after, according to the 1877 History of Whiteside County, Lymanabandoned [farming] and settled at Huntley Station, engaging in the hotel business, which enterprise he relinquished about one year afterwards, having secured a contract to build that portion of the present Northwestern railroad between Round Grove and Fulton [in Whiteside County.] He removed his family to Fulton, where he resided about nine months, and from thence came to where Morrison [Illinois] now stands, having purchased a considerable tract of land, upon which part of the city is now located.”

From this point forward, Lyman platted the city of Morrison on the property he purchased. According to a later History of Whiteside County published in 1908, the town was surveyed in 1855. He built the first house (which was a log cabin that was similar to the one above,) opened a couple of different general stores and devoted his energies to building up the town. The book also states that he “was the leading spirit in the early development of Morrison.”

In addition, according to the 1860 census, he and his wife had two additional children, Charles and Frank while living in Morrison. Rachel, who was 10, must have been born shortly after the 1850 Schaumburg Township census was taken and, possibly, while they were still living here.

Lyman died on March 17, 1867 and is given the honor of being founding father of Morrison with his wife, Emeline, known as the Mother of Morrison. In the 1908 History of Whiteside County, the section on Morrison begins, “If Lyman Johnson could rise from the grave, and compare the virgin prairie of his time with the bright and beautiful city of the present day, he would acknowledge his successors have been exceedingly busy.” In looking at Higgins Road today, Lyman might say the same about the small farm in Schaumburg Township where he and Emilene got their start.

The Johnson brothers who made the strenuous journey from New York to Illinois in the early 1840s definitely put their mark on the Schaumburg Township area–and beyond. They are proof that the pioneering spirit moved strongly through all of them.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

Sources used:

History of Whiteside County by Charles Bent, 1877.
History of Whiteside County by William W. Davis, 1908.
Photo of the unidentified log cabin is from History of Mt. Pleasant Township by Genealogy Trails.




May 19, 2019

Last week we met Daniel, Morgan and Lyman Johnson who arrived in the area in the mid to late 1840s. Morgan’s tombstone says he was born in Sandgate, Vermont which is in Bennington County. According to the the Palatine Centennial Book, Daniel and Morgan moved to Yates County, New York as boys and left for Illinois in 1844. There is no mention, however, of Lyman in the book.

Having been born in 1799 and 1803, respectively, Daniel and Morgan were already firmly established adults who were quite possibly seeking affordable government land in the far off state of Illinois when they moved here.

We also discovered that Lyman and Daniel made their way to Schaumburg Township and bought land patents here in Sections 12 and 13. While they both were listed as farmers in the 1850 census, Lyman and his wife Emeline also ran Johnson’s Tavern, as seen in the 1851 map above.

Tracking Morgan S. Johnson, we find that he, too, purchased a land patent, except that his was in Palatine Township. According to the Bureau of Land Management’s land record database, he purchased 40 acres on April 10, 1848 in Section 28. This was just a bit north of Algonquin Road and coincides with a segment in the Palatine Centennial Book that states:

“Morgan Johson came from Yates County, New York and purchased the farm owned for several years by Gustavus W. Southworth. [This area was called Highland Grove.] Mr. Southworth kept a tavern called the “Wickliffe House.” When Mr. Johnson moved in he took down the sign and said he would not keep transients. However, so many travelers stopped and asked for lodging that Mr. Johnson was compelled to keep them overnight and at last kept the tavern as his predecessor had done. It was a popular stop and often during the summer as many as ten or fifteen covered wagons would be lined up in a string, loaded with new settlers from the east. People from Rockford and Dundee, on their way to Chicago, always stopped here to rest themselves, their oxen or horses.”

During Gustavus Southworth’s ownership of the “Wickliffe House” he was appointed Postmaster in July 1842. According to the Palatine Centennial Book, “the post office was probably a box with pigeonholes in it at the rear of the establishment.” Mr. Johnson served as deputy postmaster for four years after he purchased the property. This is why many accounts from the early Hoffman Estates portion of Schaumburg Township, state that their first post office was Wickliffe. Their proximity was closer to Highland Grove than central Schaumburg Township.

The time frame of Morgan Johnson purchasing the land patent and owning Wickliffe House ranges loosely from 1844 to 1860. Morgan and his wife, Wealthy Wood (Willey), are listed in the 1860 census with Morgan’s occupation being farmer. When he and his wife moved to Palatine in 1861, he “donated the land for the site of the St. John’s church located on Algonquin road immediately west of Roselle road” per the Palatine Centennial Book.


During this same period of 1844 to 1860, Daniel and Rachel (Willey) Johnson lived on their farm in Section 12 of Schaumburg Township with their children Solon, Clarentine, Myron and Coralin–all of whom had been born in New York. (The two Johnson brothers married the two Willey sisters.)

By 1860 though, Daniel and Rachel had sold their farm in Schaumburg Township. Curiously, Daniel is listed in the 1860 census, living with his brother, Morgan and his wife, Wealthy Wood, in Palatine Township. This was on the above mentioned farm in Highland Grove, near the southwest corner of Roselle and Algonquin Roads. Even more curiously, Rachel is not listed at all.

In 1861, according to the Palatine Centennial Book, Morgan, “being a carpenter and builder by trade, built a beautiful home in Palatine and moved there… For two years he served as Palatine supervisor on the county board and subsequently held many other public offices.”

One has to wonder if Daniel and Rachel moved to Palatine when Morgan sold his farm or, if they purchased that farm–or another–for a period of time before 1870. Rachel’s Chicago Tribune obituary from January 12, 1892 goes a ways towards clarifying this when it states “Mrs. Johnson was one of the old settlers of Cook County, having come here forty-eight years ago with her husband, Daniel H. Johnson. They settled in the Town of Schaumburg, but acquiring a farm in the Town of Palatine moved there some years later.”

In the 1870 census, though, Daniel and Rachel are once again listed together in Palatine and, apparently, living in town on a street surrounded by various merchants. Four years after the census, Daniel died at the age of 75 on June 25, 1874 and was buried in Hillside Cemetery in Palatine. Rachel lived another 18 years and died of old age at 86 or 87. As seen below, they were given quite an impressive tombstone by their descendants.

It is possible it was paid for by their son-in-law, Samuel McCrea, who married their daughter, Coraline. Mr. McCrea had entered the grain commission business and served as the president of the Chicago Board of Trade in 1870 and, later, as Cook County Treasurer.

Morgan, meanwhile, lived substantially longer. He was born in 1803 and died in 1890 at the age of 87. His wife, Wealthy, lived even longer and died at the age of 91 in 1899. They are buried adjacent to Daniel and Rachel in Hillside Cemetery under the white obelisk to the left.

We have successfully tracked Daniel and Morgan’s time in our area, but what happened to Lyman? He, after all, is the one who ran the tavern with his wife Emeline that was located in Section 13. Where did they go if they didn’t stay in the area? Why did they leave? Check in next week to catch the conclusion of the story of the Johnson gentlemen of Vermont.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

Sources used:

Palatine Centennial Book; Updated and published by the Palatine Quasquicentennial Committee of 1991.
Hillside Cemetery; by Constance Rawa of the Palatine Historical Society; 1997.


May 12, 2019

On this 1851 map, just above the “G” of “Schaumberg,” you can see a listing for Johnson’s Tavern, along Higgins Road. Starting a tavern in the mid-19th century on the lonely road that ran between Chicago and Dundee was certainly a good idea for those traversing that empty stretch. But, who was Johnson?

Taking a look at the 1850 census, we can see that it was most likely Daniel or Lyman, as they are the only Johnsons listed. Also, we know through the land office records of the Bureau of Land Management, that Daniel owned land in Section 12 that can be found at the top of the map. We know from Schaumburg Township Land Patents, a listing prepared by Bonnie Cernosek and compiled by Valentine, that an Emeline Johnson purchased property in Sections 12 and 13.

According to both the Palatine Centennial Book and Hillside Cemetery, Daniel Johnson traveled from New York with his brother, Morgan Johnson.They were both born in Vermont and moved to New York where they married sisters.

There is no mention of Lyman in either book so, we have to ask, was he their brother? They almost certainly were because Hillside Cemetery states that Morgan and Daniel were children of Lyman and Dorcas Johnson of Sandgate, Vermont. The 1850 census also states that Lyman, Morgan and Daniel were all born in Vermont. It’s almost too much of a coincidence that they share a history of the name Lyman, that they were born in the same state AND lived so close to one another in Schaumburg Township. The only other possibility is that they were cousins.

The two books also state that the families of Morgan and Daniel left New York in 1844 and traveled to Illinois. The Bureau of Land Management database says that Daniel signed off on 80 acres from the government on September 1, 1845 in Section 12 of the township. He added to it on March 1, 1850 by purchasing another 160 acres in the same section.

Schaumburg Township Land Patents tells us that Emeline Johnson purchased her property in Sections 12 and 13 on September 5, 1845–right around the time Daniel was buying his tracts.

Does the 1850 census say then, as shown above, that the occupation of Daniel or Lyman was saloon keeper or tavern owner? No, as noted above and below, it says they were farmers. What Johnson, then, was the tavern owner?

In Genesis of a Township, the author Marilyn Lind, states “Emilene Johnson, wife of Lyman Johnson from Vermont, was listed as the owner of property in Sections 12 and 13. According to a map dated 1850, the Johnsons operated a tavern on the property in section 13. They were more than likely related to Daniel H. Johnson, also from Vermont, who also purchased property in section 12.” While she doesn’t make it clear in what document Emilene is listed as the owner of property, we have to assume it is the original land patent and that Ms. Lind is clearly drawing the same conclusions about the two Johnsons.

The year 1850 was a big one for Daniel, Lyman and Schaumburg Township. Not only was the township formally established and named on April 2, Daniel was also given the esteemed title of first Supervisor of the Township. Lyman was made Overseer of the Poor and a Justice of the Peace. Daniel served in his position for one year and Lyman for two years.  By the 1860 census, both Johnson families had clearly moved on from Schaumburg Township because they are not listed.

What fortunes did they and their brother Morgan pursue and where did they go? The next couple of weeks we will pursue the story of Daniel, Morgan and Lyman Johnson.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

Sources used:

Palatine Centennial Book; Updated and published by the Palatine Quasquicentennial Committee of 1991.
Hillside Cemetery; by Constance Rawa of the Palatine Historical Society; 1997.
Schaumburg Township Land Patents; prepared by Bonnie Cernosek and compiled by Valentine.
Genesis of a Township; by Marilyn Lind.
Land Office Records of the Bureau of Land Management.




May 5, 2019

During Hoffman Estates’ 60th anniversary year of 2019, we will take a look back at the Hoffman Estates you’ve known for the last six decades. Every month there will be a posting on 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 1959

  • The Hoffman Estates Women’s Club voted to enter their proposal for a Community Center in the national Community Achievement contest sponsored by the federated women’s clubs and the Sears Roebuck Foundation.
  • Scout Troops #94 and #100 decided to host a paper drive that would help recycle newspapers in the homes of Parcel A and B on the first and third Saturdays of the month. Their goal was to collect enough for funds to replenish their camping supplies that burned in the barn fire on the Hammerstein property.
  • Jupiter Cleaners opened May 16 in Hoffman Plaza and offered a special of 1/3 off of all cleaning as an introductory offer.

50 Years Ago In 1969

  • Model apartments opened at Hermitage Trace, a new 416-unit apartment complex on Heritage Drive. (These are currently the Steeple Hill Condominiums on Higgins Road between Golf & Roselle.)
  • The Schaumburg Township Memorial Day parade was scheduled to step off at 2:00 p.m. on Thacker Street. It would then move south on Roselle Road and east on Schaumburg Road to St. Peter Lutheran Cemetery where the service was to be held. (Sixty years later and the service is still being offered at the cemetery.)
  • It was reported that very few families were taking advantage of the reduced fares for family pool passes at the Community Pool. Family memberships were sold at a lower rate of $35 until May 31 when they went back up to $50.

40 Years Ago In 1979

  • The Village Board voted to approve creation of a new liquor license class in order to accomodate the sale of beer and wine in disposable containers at the Poplar Creek Music Theater.
  • The K-Mart hair salon at Barrington Square was offering a “Brush and Run ph Heat Activated Perm” for $19.95. “Brush it! Rough it! Twirl it! Fluff it! It falls into place!”
  • The “All New” Sante restaurant had clearly been updated and was advertising breakfast, lunch and dinner Monday through Thursday from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m., and all weekend starting at 6 a.m. on Friday and ending at 1 a.m. on Sunday. The restaurant was owned by three brothers, Nick, George and Denny and was the “home of excellent food, super service and family prices.”

30 Years Ago In 1989

  • State officials began pitching a site in Hoffman Estates as an alternative to a location near O’Hare Airport for the relocations of Sears, Roebuck & Co. The site was 1300 acres, just west of the Poplar Creek Music Theater.
  • Minnesota Fabrics was holding a big Mother’s Day sale featuring multiple fabrics, threads and ribbons. They were located in the Golf Rose Shopping Center
  • The Highland Superstore, on Roselle between Higgins and Golf, was selling various models of camcorders–including Roger Ebert’s Four Star Movie Guide, free, with any purchase!

20 Years Ago In 1999

  • The Hoffman Estates Park District was soliciting resident input on the park elements and amenities at Field Park at the Blackhawk Community Center on Higgins Road.
  • The results of a transportation survey elicited few surprises. (1) More than 92% said they drive alone to work and 14.4% use a Metra train to get to their job. (2) The top destinations for a regular PACE route would be Woodfield Mall, Metra and CTA stations, Golf Center, Hoffman Plaza and St. Alexius Medical Center. (3) Those 65 and older would most likely go to Woodfield and younger residents would be inclined to go to Harper College. (4) Respondents would prefer fixed routes, subsidized cab rides and Dial-A-Ride as the elements they would most like to see in services.
  • The Beth Tikvah congregation was holding a “Big Top” rummage sale as its last fund raiser of the year. Shopping would be held inside in case of rain. 

10 Years Ago in 2009 

  • Hoffman Estates was sponsoring a Memorial Day event at the Veterans Memorial outside the Hoffman Estates Police Department on Gannon Drive. It was hosted by the Hoffman Estates Veterans Memorial Commission at 11:00 on Monday, May 25.
  • The Village Board approved a future off-track betting parlor inside the Prairie Stone Business Park. It was to be part of the Saddle Room restaurant and bar.
  • The Village was offering residents the opportunity to purchase special license plates to celebrate Hoffman Estates’ 50th anniversary. The temporary plates cost $20 and featured the special 50th anniversary logo.

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.


April 28, 2019

In the fall of 1988 Hoffman Estates finally opened this full-service post office building on Gannon Drive that was big enough to accomodate the growing population. Discussions actually began in 1982 but were put on hold until a proper site could be found.

Postal officials had gone through several plan revisions in the meantime. Construction eventually began in 1987 on the $2.9 million structure and ended with the red-brick building that today features beautiful arched glass windows and 21,000 square feet of space. When the facility opened, there were 75 full-time employees at the new office and they served all residents in the 60195 zip code and portions of 60194.

Before this permanent facility opened, a post office of some sort had existed in Hoffman Estates in multiple locations since the early years. In a wonderful article in the Hoffman Herald of January 19, 1967, the reporter accounts for the first four branches in Hoffman Estates, beginning in 1962. (Prior to that time, mail service was done exclusively through the Roselle post office.)

  • In November 1962 the first temporary facility opened at Frank Beauty Salon in Hoffman Plaza. It closed after eight months because it was so busy that Frank Vaccaro, the owner, could not keep up with the heavy traffic.
  • The next sub-station opened in the Clothes Basket (a laundromat) at 213 Roselle Road. It lasted until September 1964. It too closed due to the heavy volume of business.
  • The third location was at B&K Realty at the corner of Roselle and Higgins Roads. It opened in October 1964 and was coordinated with Joseph Boris of the realty company. Irene Hitzeman, Roselle Postmaster, suggested that most users try to visit Roselle whenever possible because of the lack of space in the realty office.
  • In February 1966 a newly built, one story, 3579 ft. substation opened in Hoffman Estates. F&S Construction, who built much of early Hoffman Estates, won the U.S. government contract for this venture. One article mentioned that it was “directly north of the Hoffman Plaza shopping center” and another article stated that it would “be 678 feet north of Higgins Road and 321 feet east of Roselle Road.” As stated in the comments below, this was a stand alone building that faced Roselle Road and was behind the first Jewel. According to Tom Rogers, a 39-year employee of the Hoffman Estates Post Office who retired in 2001, this building was called “The Vault” by the carriers who worked out of the building. In a Daily Herald article from September 21, 1972, a story on a new Jewel being built mentions that the six year old post office  would be torn down for the new store. (This would be the Jewel that is there today.)
  • After the relatively young, six year old building was torn down, a temporary home was needed while the next Hoffman Plaza location was prepared. Due to its temporary status, it was moved to a couple of store fronts that were a few doors down from Denny’s. (This was in the north wing of Hoffman Plaza.)  Mr. Rogers remembered that they were definitely there while Denny’s was being built. Denny’s opened in the summer of 1973 so this time frame matches up.
  • The next location was in the original Hoffman Plaza, close to the Currency Exchange and the Hot Dog Place–as shown in the photo above. If you look closely enough, you can see the water tower behind the tree. According to Mr. Rogers, they were in this location from 1974 to 1985.
  • The last location, before the official building opened in 1988, was at 1833 W. Golf Road. This appeared to have been at Poplar Creek Plaza at Walnut Lane–which is actually Schaumburg today. They were here until 1988 when the new, larger location was completed and opened.

My thanks to Tom Rogers for confirming and clarifying the many locations. It was great to have him help fill in the gaps!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

[Credit for the top photo of the current Hoffman Estates Post Office is given to Post Office Fans.]


April 21, 2019

While going through some older newspaper clippings, I came across these two buildings that were pictured prominently in the Record. The first one did not have a year but, since all of the clippings appeared to be from the early to mid 1970s, I presume that is the time period. I am trying to determine their location in the township. If you can help out, please leave a comment or send me an email at the address below.

Unlike many farmhouses that sit on a rise, this one is clearly below grade and sits in a lower spot. It is surrounded by a circle of trees and a fence, and has a basement that is as large as the house itself. Other than that, it is difficult to garner any other clues in the background of the photo or in the building itself.

This photo is from the November 15, 1972 paper so we at least know the time frame. The clipping gives us a bit of a clue when it says that it was near the intersection of Schaumburg and Roselle Roads and there is “an adjoining piece of land where a Schaumburg hardware firm is expanding.”

My guess is this would had to have been near the Ace Hardware on the southwest corner of the intersection. If so, was this barn to the south or to the west of the Ace? But, maybe the blog posting I wrote about the hardware store answers the question. It says, “…they added on to the small building around 1974.  They bought the barn to the south and a brown, two-story house to the west, expanding the store in those directions.”

So, for those of you who remember that time period, is this the barn? If it is, I will definitely change the Ace Hardware posting to reflect the fact that the building was added onto in 1972. I’m just waiting for confirmation!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


The answer to the barn was solved with the assistance of two readers of the blog. One sent me an aerial of the area and it was easy enough for all three of us to determine that the building in question belonged to the house that was due south of the Ace Hardware. From the aerial, the gray barn sat about 10 feet behind the house. Thank you David and Ed!




April 20, 2019

On Sunday, April 28, 2019 from 1-2 the Hoffman Estates Historical Sites Commission will conduct guided group tours of the Greve Cemetery on Abbey Wood Drive in Hoffman Estates.

Groups will be shown the interrelated Greve, Meyer, Ottman and Sunderlage pioneer families buried at the cemetery which is also known as Wildcat Grove Cemetery or Evangelical and Reformed Cemetery.

The event is free but reservations are required.  Tours will start at 1:00, weather permitting.  Call Sue at 847-781-2606  for reservations beginning Monday, April 15.

Tours are also available for small groups by appointment at other times.


April 14, 2019

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

As Historian, I’m continually looking back.  The stories of how we’ve become the Village of Hoffman Estates are always in my thoughts as I prepare my Historian’s Notebook column each month. Now, as we celebrate 60 years as a village, the stories explain how we grew from a population of 8,000 in 1959 to a community of more than 50,000 in the year 2019.

Time seems to pass so quickly.  It seems as if we just celebrated our 50th anniversary and here we are celebrating our 60th.  I’ve lived in Hoffman Estates for 53 of the past 60 years.  This “looking back” always puts me in a position to see the whole story of our village but, then, there always seems to be something new to learn.

This past January 22 marked the 45th anniversary of the historic Illinois Supreme Court ruling in favor of Hoffman Estates’ annexation of about 1700 acres north of the tollway.  The ruling in favor of our village prompted the Chicago Tribune Jan. 26, 1964 headline to read “Court Ruling Tumbles ‘Wall’ to Annexation”.

Land north of the tollway had been annexed by Hoffman Estates between November of 1961 and September of 1962.  Three neighboring villages opposed the annexation and the lower courts ruled that Hoffman Estates’ annexed land was not legal and it was separated from our village by Circuit Court ruling on July 23, 1963.

In doing research for this column, I learned that one of the opposing villages, South Barrington, had just incorporated in December of 1959, a few months after our incorporation on September 23, 1959.  They needed land to continue to develop the same as we did.  Both Barrington Hills and Inverness also opposed our annexation. I learned that Barrington Hills incorporated in 1957 and Inverness would not incorporate until 1962.  All of the opposition came from the others who were planning on growing and developing the area to continue their way of life.

The land north of the tollway was very important to Hoffman Estates and the village decided to take their fight to the Illinois Supreme Court.

The Illinois Supreme Court ruled in our favor, stating that Barrington Road and the Barrington Road bridge that had been annexed into the village earlier, was contiguous with the land requested for annexation north of the toll way.

When Hoffman Estates Mayor Ed Pinger heard the Illinois Supreme Court’s ruling, he is quoted in the Jan. 26, 1964 Chicago Tribune’s story saying this will “put Hoffman Estates on the map for years to come.  We won’t suffer, as some of the older communities have by being completely surrounded by other municipalities with no room to expand.” And expand we did, spreading out to Inverness and Palatine to the north and Ela Rd to the east.

Pat Barch, Hoffman Estates Village Historian