Schiller Park Timeline

  • Early 1800s - Fields, trees, the Des Plaines River, and the Three Fires Nation. The Potawatomi, Ottawa, and Ojibwe Indian tribes inhabited the region around the River.
  • 1810 - Battle of Fort Dearborn, Alexander Robinson, Chief of the Potawatomi tribe rescues military personnel taking them to safety at Mackinac Island.
  • 1820 - The Prairie de Chen Treaty deeds to Robinson 1,280 acres on both sides of the River, which would later comprise a large portion of Schiller Park.
  • 1830 - Robinson moves his family to the River. He leads a delegation of Chiefs to Washington D.C. to plead the cause of the tribes being pushed out of the lake region. Later he, along with Billy Caldwell and other Chiefs, would have the task of escorting the tribes westward.
  • 1840 - John S Everett buys 105 acres of Robinson land, in the general area of the present location of Irving Park Road and River Road. Ashley Gilbert buys land in what is now referred to as Fairview.
  • 1850 - Immigrants arrive, taking up land all around Robinson’s, most are German farmers coming to try their luck in the land of promise.
  • 1860 - Civil War years, Robinson’s son, David, serves in Union Army.
  • 1870 - Robinson dies, 1872, the community grows, as more and more immigrants arrive, primarily Italian, Polish, and Spanish
  • 1880 - William Kolze comes with family, buys land that Everett had bought from Robinson. Wisconsin-Central Railroad first run 1886.
  • 1890 - Kolze builds his home, a large white house, which becomes a landmark. Railroad strikes rear their heads. A time of prosperity for some parts of the country, but life in the Kolze community is quiet and hardworking.
  • 1900 - Statistics list nine homes, school, blacksmith shop, and two saloons. Also mud roads, backyard pumps, outhouses, gardens and various animals.
  • 1910 - Population now 258 (180 are children). Movie era, Tom Mix, Farnums and others made movie in town and along the Des Plaines River.
  • Village of Schiller Park incorporated, 1914.
  • 1920 - Prohibition, Stock Market Crash - onset of hard times.
  • 1930 - Depression, population about 700. Julia Marenga Kolze, daughter-in-law of William Kolze, becomes Mayor in 1932. She is the town’s first woman mayor and the first woman mayor in the State of Illinois.
  • 1940 - War years, several young men taken into service. Population about 800.
  • 1950 - Post-war boom, by mid 50’s population reaches 5,000. New homes and businesses.
  • 1960 - Tollway, O’Hare Airport, annexation of Fairview, Frogtown, Indian Park sub-divisions. Population 8,600.
  • 1970 - Three public schools, two Catholic schools. Organizations such as Scouts, Sertoma, Legion, etc. flourish.
  • 1980 - Continuing battle with O’Hare, population levels off at about 11,000.
  • 1990 - Home rule for Village. Memorial Wall for veterans erected. Trees killed by Dutch Elm disease in 1960’s begin to be replaced with young plantings. Plans begin for Metra Station and Senior Housing projects.
  • 2000 - Senior Housing project is completed and first residents move in. Metra Station constructed.