Many children were brought into this world by Mrs. Andrew Landman, a midwife who moved to Palatine after her family lost everything in the Chicago Fire of 1873. She delivered babies on the second floor of the Harmening house which was at the southwest corner of Bothwell Street and Palatine Road. It is worth noting that when Mrs. Landman’s granddaughter was born, she entrusted the case to a new doctor in town, Dr. Carl Starck. Dr. Starck practiced medicine at the building still standing at the southeast corner of Brockway Street and Slade Street.
Clarinda Cady is thought to be the first white child born in Palatine Township. She married Morton Pinney and is buried at Hillside Cemetery. This rare film is from her 90th birthday in 1928. Her daughter Addie is the only other person known in the footage. She can be seen walking Clarinda out of the house in Palatine. Clarinda’s niece’s or grand-niece’s husband shot the film presumably at their home which was located at 222 North Plum Grove Road. The family is descended from pioneer settlers Ezekiel and Adaline Cady who came to Deer Grove in 1837. Clarinda was their youngest child. To see the film please paste the following into YouTube’s address bar: ObaP7uJjYzs. The video was donated by Judith Schreiber, a Cady descendant.
For a hundred years the phrase “auto coaster” meant a child’s toy wagon. In modern times it refers to an on-the-road accessory for holding a drink. But for a few months in the summer of 1929 it meant a roller coaster in which you used your own car! At River Road and Irving Park Boulevard the Suburban Amusement Company used 200,000 feet of number one pine lumber to construct what it called an “auto coaster”. For just ten cents you could enjoy the thrills of “mountain driving” in your own vehicle. The Whoopee Auto Coaster at Waukegan Road near Willow Road delivered the same excitement over a “mile-long plank road”. The Lake County Sheriff reported many accidents. Thrill-seekers beware!
The Northwest Tollway in 1958 and Route 53 in 1963 brought tremendous growth and development to the suburbs. Both had been in the planning stages for many decades. To raise the roadbed over other roads, fill was excavated creating a number of artificial lakes. Route 53 ran right through a subdivision just north of Northwest Highway. Pretty little Bluebell Estates was only seven years old when its houses had to be moved to Leonard Road. The planned extension of Route 53 north of Lake Cook Road has for years been a battleground between the State of Illinois and the Village of Long Grove. The expressway would split the bucolic village in two.
The spreading popularity of the automobile put pressure on Cook County to improve its roads. Chicagoans were eager to step back in time and visit the surrounding “cow towns”. In 1919 Cook County Board Commissioner and Mount Prospect Village President, William Busse, got together with Arlington Heights Village President Al Volz and decided to build Northwest Highway. The road had been nothing but a pair of wagon ruts for many decades. But Palatine and Barrington were not cooperative. They didn’t want to raise taxes to pay for the necessary street sewers. So Cook County built the road around those two downtowns. Almost immediately the road was flooded on Sundays with city gawkers.
Why do our roads go this way and that? It often depends on who created them. Large animals and the Indians who hunted them are probably responsible for the gentle curves of Algonquin Road and Dundee Road. The original trails tended to go around obstacles. The federal government built military roads such as Army Trail Road, Lake Street and Rand Road. Early farmers wanted roads such as Freeman and Baldwin to meander past neighbor homes. Baldwin once followed Northwest Highway east from Quentin Road to what is now Clark Street, Carpenter Street and finally Williams Drive. Palatine Township used survey lines to supervise the construction of Quentin Road and Roselle Road.
The northwest suburban area of Chicago knows its history because of the leadership of a single family, the Paddocks. Their newspapers under the umbrella of Paddock Publications have recorded for all time the events, the stories and the heartbeat of our communities. Each member of the Paddock family past and present has taken an interest in the citizens around them, asked and written about their lives, their loves and their hopes. And, most importantly, for the sake of history the family has safeguarded their treasure trove of information, placing it on microfilm and online for all to see and use. Thank you Paddock family!
Elmer Gleich had zero success getting the Village of Palatine to approve his plan for apartments called Darien Fields. Palatine Golf Course at the northwest corner of Hicks Road and Baldwin Road was developed by Gleich’s successors. The Illinois State Highway Dept. was real eager to build the Rand-Golf Expressway. It was supposed to lie parallel and a little north of those two roads, but would have required demolishing thousands of homes. Four Seasons Nursing Centers of America received approval to build at the northeast corner of Quentin Road and Illinois Avenue. But neighborhood opposition eventually prevailed.
The imagination soars…Walter Swanson picked a bad year, 1929, to build his dream block northeast of Wilson Street and Brockway Street. Old homes were torn down to accomodate a magnificent building with stores, offices and flats. But the Great Depression collapsed the plan and left a hole in the ground for the next 23 years. Albert Riley was going to build King Arthur Apartments at 400 South Plum Grove Road in 1963. A year later Bee Gee Builders wanted to create Castle Court in the same location. Neither was. Palatine officials wanted to place a mall in the downtown area in 1965 like the one in Kalamazoo, Michigan, but the idea died aborning.
With business in the doldrums in 1835, the three Lebanon, New Hampshire, brothers decided to strike out for the West. Their father gave them each a thousand dollars. Having heard that Indian lands east of the Mississippi River were opening up, the Ela brothers set out. The youngest, George, chose an area the Indians called Deer Grove, just southwest of present-day Quentin Road and Lake Cook Road. He farmed there for nine years. 156 years later an archaeologist discovered remnants of that first homestead in Palatine Township: a square nail, handforged door hinge, doorlock, harness rivets, trigger guard, bridle cheek piece, barrel hoop, cattle nosering, pocket knife and handforged chains.