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In 1816, the first inhabitants, Potawatomi Indians, leave the area after Indian Boundary Treaty. In 1856, German immigrants arrive; European farming settlement begins. In 1873, Halfway House Saloon opens as first commercial establishment. In 1911, the village incorporated with 359 residents. The village was first named Tessville after Johann Tess, the first European to settle the area. In 1932, Lincoln Avenue becomes a state highway. In1936, the name changes from Tessville to Lincolnwood. The name is derived, not directly from the name of the 16th president, but from Lincoln Avenue, which is itself named for former President Lincoln and bisects the community. The name also reflects the planting of 10,000 elm trees along streets in the village during the Great Depression, an effort made possible through the Works Progress Administration. In 1938, Lincolnwood Elementary School District 74 opens.
Housing More than half of all houses in Lincolnwood in 2017 were constructed between 1940 and 1959. In 1942, Bell & Howell opens facilities, encouraging other businesses to move into the village. In 1950, population grows to 3,072. In 1951, Edens Expressway opens. In 1960 Population reaches more than 11,700. The Purple Hotel is constructed at the intersection of Lincoln and Touhy avenues. Named for the color of its brick, it becomes a long-standing icon.
In 1970, Village of Lincolnwood reaches peak population of 12,929. In 1978, Lincolnwood Library District formed; Lincolnwood Chamber of Commerce & Industry created. Development In the mid-to-late-1980s, the village sees a few multistory condominium buildings. By 1990, the community is fully built out, and redevelopment starts in earnest. The Lincolnwood Town Center, a 100-store regional mall, is built on the former Bell & Howell headquarters property at McCormick Boulevard and Touhy Avenue, a new village hall complex is built along Lincoln Avenue and the village establishes its first fire department, having relied previously on the City of Chicago for fire service. This wave of redevelopment sees a number of new buildings constructed with Prairie-style architecture.
By 1995, under the efforts of Mayor Madeleine Grant, the first woman president of the village, an economic development commission is formed to help foster continued community redevelopment and to ensure a strong local tax base. Mayor Grant also expands citizen participation in village government by creating several other citizen-led advisory boards.
Since 2000 The village has continued to redevelop itself by spearheading construction of a new business roadway in the Lincolnwood Business Park, creating public parking lots, developing local and regional recreational paths, making enhancements to the Touhy-Crawford Business District and establishing a plan for the revitalization of Lincoln Avenue. Also, the village has attracted new retail business and new health care facilities, as well as new facilities for existing or expanding businesses.
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