Located in the state of Illinois, was a village named Dunkley’s Grove that got its name from an early settler named Hezekiah Dunkley. Later on, it was named Addison, after a village in England, but its roots are in the German and Lutheran traditions.
Around the 1840s, it had a population of 200 people, was filled with Germans and was a well planned village that was proud of a cobbler’s shop, a general store and a blacksmith shop as well. Currently known as Lake Street is where the carriages stopped to change the horses.
Training the orphans of Addison:
A training school opened up in Addison around the early 1860s. The Evangelical Lutheran Church, established and orphanage to teach important skills to the orphans where they received training up to the age of 14 years and then had to go and work with the families living in the area to earn a living.
The Kinderheim Picnic:
From 1877 onwards an Orphan Festival was conducted by the Orphan Home Association. It later came to be known as the Kinderheim Festival and people came in large numbers to attend this event. The listened to music, hymns, watched the baseball game and were also allowed to visit the grounds.
Since this festival attracted so many people, it became evident, that railroads were needed to manage the incoming and outgoing crowds. This lead to the establishment of the Addison Railroad Company by 5 residents of the Village and they entered into an agreement with the Illinois Central Railroad to maintain the railway lines. This was a good decision as it further lead to more people visiting the festival in the village. In fact, the crowd of 5,000 that visited the local festival now doubled up to 10,000.
A village ahead of its times:
Addison was a village that seemed to be much ahead of its time. The residents were willing to train the orphans and also look after disturbed children, so that their future could be saved from getting ruined. We like to think we keep this tradition alive by helping people who are looking for injured at work attorneys in Addison.
In 1913, the Lutheran seminary moved to another location and the Chicago Mission City Society took over its buildings and opened a centre to look after the troubled children who were sent by the courts of law. This led to the opening of the Addison Manual Training School for the Boys and the Industrial School for Girls. Together, these two buildings were known as the Kinderheim.
In 1925, another centre, that could handle a larger number of children opened up just next to the Orphan Home. These two institutes later on combined to form the Lutheran Child Welfare Association and another centre for emotionally disturbed kids was opened later as well.
The women of Addison were as bright and hardworking as the men. Two women’s clubs helped bring in the money to convert a boring railroad freight station into one of the most happening centres in the village.
Growth in real estate:
The Normandy Manor was built in 1953 over a whopping 40 acres in Addison. This construction developed a huge name and soon, many people started coming to Addison to make new beginning and the village started to grow and develop along with building new schools in Addison. With the Green Meadows Estates offering new houses and a shopping centre in the 1050s, the village that had a population of a meager 813 in 1950, grew to 35,914 in 2000.
For the entertainment of the adults and the children, there was an amusement park named Adventureland within the village in the 1960s and the next decade.
The Addison Industrial Commission was established and while single-family housing dominated the north-west section of the village, the authorities decided to come up with a different research and industrial area.
And soon, towards the end of the 1980s, the village had around 1,000 firms manufacturing products, providing services and creating employment for the local residents. In fact, this area, the Addison Industrial District was the spot that was selected for the reconstruction of the Comiskey Park but the idea was later turned down.
Addison was a village that was filled with hardworking and thoughtful residents. That can be the only reason why the residents helped set up institutes for the children who needed help, so that their lives could be changed for good.