Western Springs, IL
Located between Ogden Avenue and Plainfield Road, formerly old plank roads for traders, trappers, and stage coaches, Western Springs grew as a community of Quaker farmers replacing the prairie homes of Potawatomi Indians. In the early 1880's, these roads connected Chicago with such settlements as the Lawton Tavern in Lyons, The Brush Hill settlement at Fullersburg, and the Vial Tavern located directly south of the village on what is now Plainfield Road. The Vial homestead, sixteen feet square, also served as mail stop, hotel and the final stop of the Potawatomies in 1837, when they broke camp to leave this area for a reservation in the west.
The first post office in the village was established in 1873. Previously, mail had been carried from Chicago by men who worked there.
On December 12, 1885, 59 Quakers huddled in the chilly railroad station and voted 34 to 25 to incorporate as the Village of Western Springs. The ratio of the vote reflects, even then, the sturdy settlers intention to preserve the smalltown community spirit, so unique there today.
Western Springs today bears little resemblance to the glacial sea that once covered this area, remnants of which were often found before the level of Spring Rock Park was raised. Today, it is a residential community of over 14,000 with the feeling of small town community life - a refuge for its many commuting families. Careful planning has nurtured a busy suburban community with lovely tree-lined streets and little local industry, unique in civic pride and spirit.
With its schools, churches, library and theater (the Theater of Western Springs has been dubbed the Cadillac of Community Theater by the Chicago Tribune), the Village offers educational opportunities for all. Two swimming pools and six parks provide the facilities for excellent recreational activities. The neighborhood caucus system offers a single slate of officers to voters. All village trustees, committee and board members serve without pay.