Rogers Park Misc. Newspaper Article Extracts Cook County, Illinois ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Information contributed for use in Cook County ILGenWeb by Maryl, 1997. This is a newspaper article - probably from a Chicago paper, from a scrapbook belonging to my Grandmother Alice Touhy McKinley (1878-1963). Her Grandfather was Philip McGregor Rogers, Sr. Rogers Park Annexed to City in 1893 -Beautiful Home District Supplants Truck Farms and Woods- Once a trading post and resting place for weary travelers, the growth of Rogers Park has kept pace with the rapid growth of Chicago during the 19th century although it was a separate village until its annexation to Chicago in 1893. In 1816, the government traded the Indians 50,000 acres of land north of the Indian boundary line, which is now Rogers Avenue, to get them to relinquish land south of the line. Zender Early Settler-Early settlers were John Zender, who established Zender House Tavern at 6726 Ridge in 1809, a building which still exists although it has been remodeled many times. (note: archives of Illinois Land Records show several purchases by Philip Rogers between 1841-1847) Philip Rogers bought the tract now bounded by Touhy, Western, Ridge and Morse from the government for $1.25 an acre in 1836. Peter Smith in 1840 bought 115 acres along Ridge from Pratt to Touhy and built a house at Farwell and Ridge, and John O'Leary's farm, north of the Rogers acreage was purchased in 1845. (Note: Philip's and John's wives Mary Masterson Rogers and Margaret Masterson O'Leary were sisters). In 1844 the Marshall farm at Ridge and Jarvis and the Schreiber farm on Ridge were purchased. Dinner Slants Ridge-Mrs. Sarah Marshall, grandmother of John Marshall, is credited with having put the present slant in Ridge Avenue. (note: seems like there should be more test after this). First Police Station in 1893. The first police station in Rogers Park was established in 1893 at the time of annexation in the old village hall at the present location. At present the station is in charge of Captain Harding who has over 200 men. Lieutenant Healy was the first fire chief for Rogers Park fire station which was organized in 1893 and housed for several years with the police. It moved to the present location on Greenleaf in 1916. From three firemen the force has jumped to two fire companies, an engine and a hook and ladder company, and is equipped with the most modern fire fighting apparatus. H. C. W. Laubenheimer was the Village Assessor- With the growth of Rogers Park there came a demand for books and a branch of the Chicago Public Library was formally opened Dec 27, 1917 in a small building at 6925 North Clark. Gertrude Husintetter was librarian with three assistants. Mabel Maderwell succeeded her. Lida Pirritte, the present librarian, took office in 1926. She has 14 assistants. The business organizations of Rogers Park have done much to further the progress of the community by working for needed improvements. The Associations-Howard District Business Association organized five years ago has been active in the Howard Street district, which was annexed to Chicago in 1915. The association helped secure the widening of Paulina, the annexation of Sheridan from Rogers to Calvary in 1926, the new lighting system in 1925 and the stopping of North Shore trains at Howard. At present it is working with Birchwood association to have a Chicago and Northwestern station at Howard. Clark Street and West - Rogers-Park Clark Business Men's Association, organized in 1921, secured the cross town bus service for Rogers Park, installed festoon lighting on Clark, secured a new hook and ladder for Rogers Park police, was instrumental in having County . . . (clipping ends). (news clipping Aug 17 ca. 1925) Relic of Old Chicago (Chicago, Aug 17) Far up on North Clark Street, a few blocks from the Evanston line, are the ruins of the old Rogers homestead, where lived for many years one of our pioneer families. Rogers Park is named after this family, so is Rogers Park, which marks the old Indian boundary line. Up to within a few years ago the stately old house (note: called The Oaks by the Touhys, I think) stood in the midst of a large lawn surrounded by big trees and flowering shrubs. The dignified old house had, no doubt, seen many changes from the days when this section was "in the country," and a good half day's jog behind old Dobbin from town. On the lawn at that time stood a large round limestone ornament, about four feet high, a relic of the Chicago fire. This was one of a number of such ornaments which surmounted the old courthouse destroyed in that fire. It is easy to picture the many conversations which took place on the lawn about this historic stone, when on peaceful Sunday afternoons, friends "from the city" drove out to call. The many incidents thus recalled and discussed by these pioneers would make a valuable history of early Chicago if there had been any way to have preserved them. Now the old house has succumbed to the ravages of time and progress. Nothing remains but a hole in the ground strewn with crumbling bricks and mortar. The old stone ornament lies tumbled over and partly hidden in a tangle of lilac and wild currant bushes. Soon the chugging of the steam shovel and the rumble of trucks will, no doubt, will herald the advent of a new apartment building on this historic site and this relic of early Chicago days will be carted off as so much rubbish and consigned to some dump as "filling". A duplicate of this stone may be seen in front of the Academy of Sciences in Lincoln Park. This, too, came from the old courthouse at the time of the fire. Who will take steps to rescue this time honored relic of early Chicago and set it up in a place of dignity, perhaps as a companion to the one in Lincoln Park? Perhaps the Chicago Historical Society, the D.A.R. or some similar organization will be glad to do this. L. W. Wahlstrom (Thursday, Aug 12, 1926 - note: Philip Rogers was born Aug 15, 1812 in Co Louth, Ireland - died Rogers Park, IL Dec 13, 1856) Indians in Park Centuries Ago -Philip Rogers First Settler 90 Years Ago- In a century Rogers Park has evolved from a Pottawattamie Indian camping ground to a community of 70,000 containing progressive business districts and offering living conditions and beauty of surroundings that have established this district as an ideal business and home center. Ninety years ago Philip Rogers came from Watertown, N.Y. and built the first log cabin on Ridge, then an Indian trail. Rogers Park, at a later date, received its name from its first white settler. Incorporated as a village in 1878, it was annexed to Chicago April 4, 1893. Up until a few years ago Rogers Park land was the last thing that anyone wanted, and it was to be had in many instances on the bare promise of the purchaser to improve the property and pay for the lot later. Today land values have jumped sky high and lots purchasable a few years ago for a few hundred dollars are now bringing thousands. The last 15 years have seen a great change, for today large apartment buildings, immense theatres, thriving places of business occupy the prairie of the past. Business associations, such as Howard District Business, Loyola-Sheridan, Devon-Clark and countless clubs and societies, as well as prominent and influential citizens have also shared in the promotion and progress of the territory.
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