History of Melrose Park


The community of Melrose Park, Illinois dates back to the year 1882 when a group of settlers from Proviso Township decided they wanted to legally create their own municipality. Before the village’s establishment, the land had been inhabited by large grassy fields, wildflowers and wildlife. The only trees that could be found were along the stream. Indians traveled around the area but none lived in the vicinity. The closest villages where around Forest Park and Elmhurst. By the year 1832, General Winfield Scott's army has reached Chicago.

At the time the area became an official town, only 482 people were counted among the population. By 1871, Allen Eaton and Edward Cuyler formed Melrose Realty Co. and from that name, Melrose Park, IL history was made. Where though did the name Melrose come from? There were already several Melrose communities set up throughout the states. They are believed to be connected with a pioneer from Melrose, Massachusetts. The original use of the name Melrose is derived from Melrose Abbey, Scotland, which has roots in Catholicism.

The intention of Eaton and Cuyler was to develop the land west of the Maywood area. From those humble beginnings came the rest of Melrose Park, IL history. The Population surged and shrunk according to ebbs and tides of the 20th century. The economy boomed during the First World War and continued to enjoy success all the way to WWII.

The history of Melrose Park, Illinois culminates in the new era, as the village starts to focus efforts on promoting tourism with many major cosmetic improvements and the addition of family-friendly attractions. The village is also honored to count the Weiss Family of Melrose Park as a sixth generation family, with roots dating back to 1848. The Weiss Family represents the many pioneer families that came to a small area of land over 150 years ago.

If you are interested in the history of this village then look up the Melrose Park Historical Society. The society frequently collects and sorts historical materials for public display.

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