Collection high.rec - Records

Ordinances, Resolutions Ordinances, Resolutions Collector's Book for the City of Highland Park, Lake County, Ill. for the Year 1872

Identity area

Reference code

high.rec

Title

Records

Date(s)

  • Bulk, 1869-1909 (Creation)
  • 1869-1985 (Creation)

Level of description

Collection

Extent and medium

13.0 Linear feet

Context area

Name of creator

(1869-)

Administrative history

On March 11, 1869, the Illinois legislature granted a charter to the City of Highland Park. The city was laid out in four wards, and a mayor and eight aldermen were elected on April 13. Highland Park’s first city council comprised Mayor Hawkins and Aldermen George Hammer, Thomas S. Dickerson, Milton H. Baker, Henry Mowers, George Grussing, William Osterman, Jacob S. Curtis and A.O. Fay. Mr. Fay was the first city treasurer; George Williams served as city clerk; Lucius Field, police magistrate and Jonas Steers, city assessor.

Highland Park was within the district designated in 1831 as Cook County. By March, 1837, the northern section of the county comprised the 350 inhabitants required for independent government. Highland Park was included in Lake precinct of McHenry County until March 1, 1839 when Lake County was established east of the Fox River. Early settlers, primarily Irish and German began arriving in the early 1840s, establishing farms in the open countryside west of Green Bay Road. The construction of the Chicago and Milwaukee Railroad in 1856 brought new opportunities. The financial panic of 1873 brought a halt to the area’s development, and not until the 1880s the City restarted expanding economically. The population, however, continued growing from 1,154 inhabitants in 1880 to 2,163 in 1890. The creation of a literary society in 1874 that would lead weekly lectures on current issues warranted the necessity for a reading room and a library. In 1887 the city council favored a petition for a public reading room. Miss Marsalene Green was appointed the first librarian in April, 1888. The Andrew Carnegie Library served Highland Park from 1906 until 1931 when the limestone building at Laurel and St. Johns Avenues was opened to the public.

The police force was established as one of the first departments in 1869 when James Ayres was appointed marshal and Peter Hoffman was employed as the lone patrolman. During the extensive service of Chief Edward Moroney, 1919-1940, a police station was established at the City Hall; a radio system was installed at the station, and squad cars were equipped with two-way radio sets.

Highland Park’s first fire department consisted of six volunteers selected in 1889 by H. H. Edwards. The first official chief was Andrew Bock, appointed in 1889. A volunteer department at Ravinia was formed in 1910 and supervised by Lawrence Buck and George Wallace Carr.

The second city department originated in the 1870s when John Duffy was named superintendent of streets. The first paved streets, 1893, were Sheridan Road, Laurel and Prospect Avenues. Incandescent lamps were introduced in June of 1889 at Elisha Gray’s state. To illuminate the grounds, the men employed a wiring system consisting of paraffin and other materials which Professor Gray had been using for experiments with an electric printer.

Despite problems encountered by summer draughts and epidemics, citizens hesitated to undertake the expense of a water plant until 1893 when Archibald Fletcher was elected mayor. The sanitary sewer system has grown from three units, installed in 1893, to 60 miles of sewer mains which connect with five disposal plants. Prior to 1919 the collection and disposal of sewage was handled by separate sewer districts which employed such methods as partial treatment and the dumping of raw sewage into Lake Michigan.

Highland Park’s Board of Health originated in 1879 when a special meeting was called to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. James McDonald, a merchant, and Dr. Warren Sweetland, a pharmacist, were among the first board members. By March, 1837, the northern section of the county comprised the 350 inhabitants required for independent government. Highland Park was included in Lake precinct of McHenry County until March 1, 1839 when Lake County was established east of the Fox River. Early settlers, primarily Irish and German began arriving in the early 1840s, establishing farms in the open countryside west of Green Bay Road. The construction of the Chicago and Milwaukee Railroad in 1856 brought new opportunities. On March 11, 1869, the Illinois legislature granted a charter to the City of Highland Park. The city was laid out in four wards, and a mayor and eight aldermen were elected on April 13. Highland Park’s first city council comprised Mayor Hawkins and Aldermen George Hammer, Thomas S. Dickerson, Milton H. Baker, Henry Mowers, George Grussing, William Osterman, Jacob S. Curtis and A.O. Fay. Mr. Fay was the first city treasurer; George Williams served as city clerk; Lucius Field, police magistrate and Jonas Steers, city assessor. The financial panic of 1873 brought a halt to the area’s development, and not until the 1880s the City restarted expanding economically. The population, however, continued growing from 1,154 inhabitants in 1880 to 2,163 in 1890. The creation of a literary society in 1874 that would lead weekly lectures on current issues warranted the necessity for a reading room and a library. In 1887 the city council favored a petition for a public reading room. Miss Marsalene Green was appointed the first librarian in April, 1888. The Andrew Carnegie Library served Highland Park from 1906 until 1931 when the limestone building at Laurel and St. Johns Avenues was opened to the public.

The second city department originated in the 1870s when John Duffy was named superintendent of streets. The first paved streets, 1893, were Sheridan Road, Laurel and Prospect Avenues. Incandescent lamps were introduced in June of 1889 at Elisha Gray’s state. To illuminate the grounds, the men employed a wiring system consisting of paraffin and other materials which Professor Gray had been using for experiments with an electric printer.
Despite problems encountered by summer draughts and epidemics, citizens hesitated to undertake the expense of a water plant until 1893 when Archibald Fletcher was elected mayor. The sanitary sewer system has grown from three units, installed in 1893, to 60 miles of sewer mains which connect with five disposal plants. Prior to 1919 the collection and disposal of sewage was handled by separate sewer districts which employed such methods as partial treatment and the dumping of raw sewage into Lake Michigan.

Highland Park’s Board of Health originated in 1879 when a special meeting was called to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. James McDonald, a merchant, and Dr. Warren Sweetland, a pharmacist, were among the first board members.

Archival history

Transferred from City of Highland Park, Illinois administration.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Transferred to the Highland Park Historical Society by City officials, 1966-1970.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The collection is arranged chronologically and consists of 11 series: City Clerk’s Office, City Council and Mayor’s Office, City Treasurer’s Office, Comptroller’s Office, Water Department, Pavement, Public Library, Police Department, Street Lighting, Elections and Board of Health.

A large part of the collection consists of correspondence to the City Clerk and to the Mayor’s Office, providing an excellent insight on the local issues and daily life, except for the years of 1923-1924. The collection includes the original resignation letter from Mayor William W. Boyington, dated March 27th, 1876. Notably interesting is a letter denying citizenship to a socialist in October of 1921, and a Jens Jensen letter. The City Council and Mayor’s Office series is also rich in material related to city ordinances and resolutions. Abundant financial records, statements and reports from the City Clerk’s Office, Mayor’s Office, Comptroller’s Office and City Treasurer’s Office are located throughout the collection; however, incomplete and interspersed with gaps throughout the years.

The collection also comprises material related to the creation of the Public Library; and records of the Police Department; being particularly strong in the areas of public works and local improvement, which includes correspondence and petitions, contracts and ordinances for water mains, street lighting, sidewalk and pavement.

Series 1. City Clerk’s Office, ca. 1869-1951 (Boxes 1-3, 8).

Series 1 consists of correspondence, administrative records that include hunting license applications (1916-1917), permission to excavate in streets (ca. 1911, 1915, 1936), and sewer construction permits (1891-1903), financial records including annual reports, annual statements (1872-1899), and journal of proceedings (1931). Also included are official oaths and bonds (ca. 1869-1915), warranty deeds and affidavits. The series also contains correspondence and materials related to the City Day for the students of American Government of the High School, in which they take over as far as possible the functions of certain offices (1949-1951).

Series 2. City Council/Mayor’s Office, ca. 1869-1972, 1947-1950 (Boxes 1-2, 5 and 8).

Series 2 contains correspondence, petitions, resignations, suspensions and office appointments. Also present are minutes of meetings (1870-1878, 1889, 1912), a transcript of a conference held at the City Hall in 1950, annual mayor’s reports (1890-1891), and address by Mayor R. G. Evans upon entering office in 1895. The series also includes reports to the City Council by the City Attorney (1883), City Engineer (1894), Committee on Bridges (1893), City Marshall (1897), and Committee on Public Works (1895, 1900). The series also contains Ordinances and Resolutions (1869-1914, 1947-1950), including Alcohol Ordinance with related correspondence and photograph (1972). Also included are correspondence between the mayor and the American Legion (1947-1950); and correspondence related to the Traffic Commission, zoning and parking issues (1948-1951).

Series 3. City Treasurer’s Office, 1869-1927 (Boxes 3-4).

Series 3 consists of financial records and statements that include reports of City Treasurer, City Collector, Finance Committee, Reports of Comptroller, Statement of City Taxes and Delinquent City Taxes, and Report of Auditing Committee. The series also contains financial reports from the Defense Council (1917-1918) and balance sheets (1927, 1931).

Series 4. Comptroller’s Office, ca. 1894-1938 (box 4 and 7).

Series 4 consists of financial statements of the office of City Comptroller (1907-1908) and a City Hall Inventory (1915). The series also contains incomplete payroll records (1894-1912) that include the Police and Fire Departments, election judges and clerks. The series also contains Installment Special Assessment Vouchers (1891-1896), Special Assessment Rebate Vouchers (1916, 1920), reports of Special Assessment Accounts (1912, 1922), Special Assessment Receipts (1929-1938), and some related correspondence.

Series 5. Water Department, 1888-1919 (Boxes 4-5).

Series 5 consists of Reports of City Tapper (1901), the ordinance authorizing the construction, maintenance and operation of the Water Works to supply the city of Highland Park and its inhabitants with water (1888), assessments, contracts and proposals for water mains, ordinances for main water pipes, including the assessment, ordinance, proposal and contract for Central Avenue (1894). The series also contains correspondence related to excessive water bills, and several analytical reports (1900-1919) from The Columbus Laboratories attesting to the quality of the drinking water. Materials related to the Fire & Water Committee include minutes of meetings (1893), reports, petitions, correspondence, estimates and proposals for the building of water pipes and sewer systems. The series also contains materials related to the Sewer Committee that include reports and correspondence, and reports of the Chief Engineer of Water Works.

Series 6. Pavement, ca. 1876-1950 (Boxes 5-7).

Series 6 consists of sidewalk and pavement petitions and related correspondence, estimates, contracts, sidewalk ordinances, bill of costs, special tax lists, warrants, assessments for grading and paving, including assessment for the construction of the Ravine Drive and a wooden bridge and pavement on Central Avenue, and the contract for paving Laurel Avenue (1891). Also included are other documents such as quit-claim deed (1876), Contractor’s Bond (undated), and Contract for Public Works (1893), and statements of the amount of special assessments collected. The series also consists of correspondence, petitions, reports and estimates directed to the Board of Local Improvement, also referred to as the Street and Alley Committee (1877-1917), and correspondence from the Commissioner of Public Works (1911-1919).

Series 7. Library, ca. 1890-1949 (Boxes 7).
Series 7 consists of correspondence, receipts, copy of the ordinance for the erection of a Public Library building, ordinance providing for the sale of the old library building (1905), and a report of the public library for the year ending in May of 1911. Also included is a photograph of the Peter Voulkos’ outdoor sculpture, correspondence, dinner invitation and newspaper clippings related to the erection of the sculpture (1970-1974).

Series 8. Police Department, ca. 1869-1951 (Boxes 8).

Series 8 consists of correspondence, petitions, requests for officer appointee, recommendations, resignations and reports of City Marshall.

Series 9. Street Lighting, ca. 1876-1950 (Box 8).

Series 9 consists mainly of correspondence and petitions, a contract between the City and Joseph Pluard for lighting street lamps (1876), assessment of costs of electric lights (1894), and reports from the Finance Committee for electric lighting (1895-1898).

Series 10, Elections, ca. 1869-1921 (Box 8).

Series 10 consists of correspondence, Poll Lists, Poll Books, Report of Special Committee created to investigate illegal voting (1871), reports of committees appointed to canvass the ballots, election notices, ballots, tallies, Nomination Certificates for City or Village Officers, objections, withdrawals, Reports of Tellers, and reports of election expenses. Also included are booklets about the Illinois Primary Election Laws (1910) and Suggestions on Primary Law (1912).

Series 11. Board of Health, ca. 1890-1950 (Box 8)
Series 11 contains Official Reports of Contagious Diseases issued by doctors stating the name of the sick person, address, disease and remarks. Also included are results of analysis of milk samples issued by the Columbus Laboratories in Chicago, reports of the sanitary analysis of the Lake Michigan water, correspondence, and a Report of Board of Engineers North Shore Sanitary District (1916). Permission and confidentiality agreement is required to view Series 11.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Ten cubic feet have been separated from the collection.

Accruals

System of arrangement

The collection is arranged in 11 series:
Series 1 : City Clerk’s Office, ca. 1869-1951 (Boxes 1-3)..
Series 2 : City Council/Mayor’s Office, ca. 1869-1972 (Boxes 1-2, 5 and 8)..
Series 3 : City Treasurer’s Office, 1869-1927 (Boxes 3-4)..
Series 4 : Comptroller’s Office, ca. 1894-1938 (Boxes es4 and 7).
Series 5 : Water Department, 1888-1919 (Boxes 4-5).
Series 6 : Pavement, ca. 1876-1950 (Boxes 5-7).
Series 7 : Library, ca. 1890-1974 (Boxes 7).
Series 8 : Police Department, ca. 1869-1951 (Boxes 8).
Series 9 : Street Lighting, ca. 1876-1950 (Boxes 8).
Series 10 : Elections, ca. 1869-1921 (Boxes 8).
Series 11 : Board of Health, ca. 1890-1950 (Boxes 8).

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Series 11 : Board of Health requires clearance and confidentiality clearance.

Conditions governing reproduction

Please consult copyright and institutional policies.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Fragile documents.

Finding aids

Allied materials area

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Publication note

Bibliography:
Johnas, Julia. Images of America – Highland Park Settlement to the 1920s. Chicago: Arcadia Publishing, 2007.
Witelle, Marvyn. Pioneer to Commuter – The Story of Highland Park. Rotary Club of Highland Park Illinois: 1958.

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Archivist's note


Processed by Claudia Nickson.

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