Franklin Park Founding Families

C. Henry and Mathilda Boesenberg

Charles Henry Boesenberg moved to this area around 1880, and opened a Cheese Factory and General Store on Mannheim Road. He served as postmaster for the Mannheim Post Office from 1889-1893.

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John and Catherine Didier

John Didier was born on Aug. 1866, and married Catherine Wieland (born September 1870) in November 1890. They had 14 children.

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Dr. Harold and Ada Dodge

Harold Dodge, Franklin Park’s first medical doctor, graduated from Rush Medical College in 1890. Dr. Dodge married Ada in 1982, and began his practice here in 1893 — going on to deliver three generations of Franklin Parkers.

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Hiram Draper

Hiram Draper was born to William and Mary Ann Draper in 1851. William Draper was born in England in 1808, but came to this area in 1837 and purchased 500 acres of land.

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Mathias and Mary Herff

Mathias and Mary Herff bought the Popp farmhouse and forty-two acres on Grand Ave in 1918. They were both born in Luxembourg, and had originally settled in Chicago prior to moving to Franklin Park.

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Christian and Andrea Jensen

Christian and Andrea Jensen’s first farm was at Wolf Rd. and Franklin Ave. Later they had a farm at Belmont Ave. and Mannheim Rd., and finally moved to one at Fullerton Ave. and Mannheim Rd.

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Henry Kirchhoff

Henry Kirchhoff was born in Bennevos, Germany in 1835. The son of Henry and Christine Kirchhoff, he came to the United States in 1846. In 1861 he married Anna Maria Franzen (of Manheim, IL), with whom he had twelve children.

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Mike and Rose Latoria

Michael Latoria left Italy with his family at the age of 14. Once in America, he headed right for Chicago, where he later met his wife, Rose.

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Charles Martens

Charles Martens purchased land north of the Milwaukee Railroad tracks and east of Rose Street in 1847. Mr. Martens became Franklin Park’s first Village President on August 4, 1892.

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Ernst Pflug

Ernst Pflug was born on July 6, 1834. He and his father Ernst (who went by the name Friedrich or Fred when he arrived here) came to Franklin Park from Lodingsen, Germany in 1847.

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John Adam Popp

John Adam Popp was born in Bavaria, Germany in 1815, and left Germany when he was 17 years old. He first traveled through Europe, and in 1847 came to Chicago.

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Alexander Robinson and Francis Ragor

Alexander Robinson was born of an Indian mother and Scotch father in upper Michigan. He was instrumental in negotiating the 1812 Treaty of St. Louis and the 1829 Treaty of Prairie du Chien.

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Christian and Sophia Schierhorn

Christian and Sophia Schierhorn came here from Germany in 1850. They built a log cabin on land they purchased at Belmont Ave. and River Rd. (85 acres @ $26.00/acre in 1861, and 7 ½ acres @ $35.00/acre in 1863). Later, a log house was built on this property.

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John and Dorothea Schultz

John Schultz was born in Bremen, Germany in 1837. When he was 13 years old, he and his family came to the United States.

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