“Let’s Head Out!”

William Busse

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.