The Schiller Park area began in about 1829 when the federal government granted two square miles of land to Alexander Robinson, the son of a Scottish trader and an Ottawa Indian mother. This tract of land, most of which is in present-day Schiller Park, was given in recognition of Robinson's services in securing treaties and helping settlers during the Fort Dearborn Massacre. Robinson and his family are buried on Cook County Forest Preserve property at Lawrence and River Roads.
In 1881 William Kolze purchased 105 acres of land and built a house that became an inn called the White House. He served as honorary mayor of the unincorporated town, which was known as Kolze. In 1886 the railroad came to Kolze and the groves along the Des Plaines River near Kolze became popular spots for weekend excursions promoted by the railways. Hikers walked along the river to picnic grounds, dance pavilions, and saloons. The Schiller Liedertafel, a German singing society, frequented the area, and the picnic groves soon adopted the name of Schiller Woods.
The village incorporated in 1914 as Kolze, and was renamed Schiller Park in 1926. In 1932, Julia Kolze, daughter-in-law of the founder, became the first woman village president or mayor in Illinois. Her avowed strategy was to employ kitchen table economics, running government on a budget the way she ran her household. Schiller Park was also home to headquarters of crime figures Roger Touhy (The Arch roadhouse) and to Al Capone (The Great Escape restaurant).
The Village of Schiller Park has a grant program for single-family, two-flat, and three-flat owner occupied homes to install a sewer check valve device. The program provides the resident a grant of 50% of the cost up to a maximum of $1,500. Park’s Plumbing offers just the right solution to basement flooding caused by sewer backup with a patented Double-Guard valve.
Check Valve Grant Program Application
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