The first known settler in Oak Lawn, Illinois was John Simpson. In 1842, he traded his gold watch for the bank stock to purchase property near 93rd Street and Central Avenue. He settled there with his wife and children in the home he built in the fall of 1858. This property is now known as Homestead Barr.
By 1860, Black Oaks Grove, later Oak Lawn, had its first school (Northeast corner of 95th Street and 55th Avenue).
Following the Civil War, a large number of German immigrants were drawn to settle in the area and organized Trinity Lutheran Church (presently the site of Max Madsen's 5000 W. 95th Street).
For a short time, early in the 1880's, Oak Lawn was named after a woman. The Wabash Railroad Station Master, Henry Crouch, applied for and received a post office here, naming it after his wife, Agnes. The Wabash Railroad laid the tracks, ready for service in 1881.
On February 4, 1909, the first citizens' meeting was held in Larson's Hall, 2nd floor (now the St. James Place Tavern, formerly the Oak Lawn Family Shoe Store, 5305 W. 95th ST.) to plan for Oak Lawn to become an incorporated area. The boundaries at the time were 87th Street North, 99th Street South, 48th Street (Cicero) East and 56th Avenue (Central) West. Incorporation was granted May 13, 1909. The population was 287.
Reference: Village of Oak Lawn
Village President: Ernest Kolb Population: 56,380 (1996)
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