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Dimensions of Life in Mount Prospect

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  1. 75th Busse Family Reunion Photograph
    A framed photograph of the 75th Busse Family Reunion taken in July 1923 near Mount Prospect. The members of the Busse family were instrumental in the founding and development of Mount Prospect. The photograph was taken by a photographer from Johnson Studio in Des Plaines. The photograph was reframed in 1998.

  2. American Legion Auxiliary Membership List
    A framed document of the charter membership roll for the American Legion Auxiliary Post No. 525. This group was formed in Mount Prospect around 1935. The American Legion Post 525 itself was formed in 1930. Many similar community organizations were created at this time to foster social engagement during the difficult years of the Great Depression. Founded in 1919, the American Legion Auxiliary is the world's largest women's patriotic service organization.

  3. Apron
    A full apron handmade by Lena Friedrichs. Lena was a member of the St. Paul's Ladies Aid Society and helped to support the community of Mount Prospect

  4. Arlington Beverage Company Bottle
    A bottle of sparking/seltzer water made by the Arlington Club Beverage Company. The company was located in Mount Prospect from 1964-1981.

  5. Bell
    Brass handbell from the extensive collection of Gladys M. Ackley. She was a teacher in School District 57 at Lincoln and Sunset Parks Schools from the mid-1940s to the 1960s. She also worked as a children's librarian at Mount Prospect Public Library. Mrs. Ackley collected bells during her travels and would display them at community events.

  6. Bicentennial Sign
    A wooden sign handmade to celebrate the Bicentennial of the United States in 1976. The sign was placed on the St. Johns Lutheran School museum that was then managed by the Mount Prospect Historical Society.

  7. Busse Dry Goods Clothes Brush
    A clothes brush that was given to customers of William Busse Jr. Dry Goods Store. The store was located on the 100 block of South Main Street in Mount Prospect. It was owned and operated by William Busse Jr., the son of Cook County Commissioner William Busse in the 1910s and 1920s.

  8. Busse Family Trunk
    Large, handmade, wooden trunk brought by Friedrich and Johanna Katz Busse family when they came to the United States from Hanover, Germany in 1848. Their descendants went on to start farms, businesses, political institutions and schools through out the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. The words "Kirche" and "Henjes" and the date "1843" are written in German script on the lid of the trunk. Christian, oldest son of Johanna and Friedrich, married Frederika Henjes in Germany in 1848 before they came to the United States. The word "Kirche" is German for church. The style of the trunk indicates it may have been given as a present.

  9. Cape
    A black silk ruffled cape worn by Emalie Augusta Bahr-Moehling, the wife of John Conrad Moehling, in the late 1880s. John C. Moehling was Mount Prospect's first postmaster and first general store owner.

  10. Century of Progress Toy Bus
    This cast iron toy bus is a souvenir from the Century of Progress World's Fair in 1933. The fair was held in Chicago and people from all over Illinois attended it. This souvenir belonged to Mount Prospect resident George R. Busse who was five at the time of the fair.

  11. Christian Chaplain Stole
    Christian chaplain black and gold stole acquired by Reverend Edwin I. Stevens while he served in World War II. He was the first pastor of South Church in Mount Prospect. Stevens served as an army chaplain for three years, spending 15 months of that time in England.

  12. Civil War Era Gun
    German made, flintlock .75 caliber musket with 30 3/4" barrel. It was found in the barn of Otto Busse. The farm where the barn was located was originally owned by Christian and Frederika Busse who settled in the Mount Prospect area in the 1850s. The gun was manufactured in Potsdam, Germany, a large gun manufacturing center. Thousands of similar guns were purchased by the U. S. Army during the American Civil War.

  13. Colson Flyer Tricycle
    A blue Colson Company Flyer tricycle used during the 1920s. The Colson Company in Elyria, Ohio began making a variety of tricycles in 1917.

  14. Cornet
    Silver cornet and its case which belonged to Herman Meyn of Mount Prospect. He played this instrument in the Mount Prospect Citizen's Band during the 1920s. The cornet was made by the Richard Wunderlich Company of Chicago.

  15. Crofoot Company Screen Tacker and Box
    Screen tacker and box of staples made by the crofoot Company. This company operated in Mount Prospect at Elm and Evergreen Streets from 1923 until the 1940s. It was started by John B. Crofoot and his son, Elisha; C. E. Hallen; and others. After the deaths of John and Elisha in the 1930s, Mrs. John Crofoot served as president of the corporation for a time. She sold her share to C. A. Hills, her nephew, but served as president of the company's Board of Directors until her death in 1946.

  16. Curling Iron
    Metal curling iron made in Germany used by the Herman Haas family in the early twentieth century in Mount Prospect.

  17. Elk Grove Township Ballot Box
    Large, rust-colored, rectangular wooden ballot box used by election officials in Elk Grove Township, Illinois. A large portion of Mount Prospect is in Elk Grove Township. In rural areas such as that around Mount Prospect, township governments were very active. On one side of the box are stenciled the words "Elk Grove Twp." On top of the box is a metal handle for carrying and the front has a hinged door with a lock. The box may be homemade. This box was used for elections in the township in the early part of the twentieth century before Cook County took over administering elections prior to 1980.

  18. Elk Grove Township Survey Map, 1908
    Framed, official United States Survey map of Elk Grove Township, Illinois. The survey was originally complete in 1842. This copy was produced in 1908. It was presented to the Mount Prospect Historical Society by John P. Moehling, son of John C. Moehling, an early resident of Mount Prospect.

  19. Finials from Busse Building
    Hand-carved, wooden finials that were placed at the tops of two eaves of the Busse Building that stood on Main Street in downtown Mount Prospect from 1927 to 2014. This building housed many different types of businesses over these years. It was partially destroyed by fire on February 2, 2014 and subsequently torn down.

  20. Friedrich and Johanna Busse Tombstone
    Large tombstone memorializing Friedrich and Johanna Busse. The stone is divided in half by two indented lines that run down the middle. On the right side is information for Friedrich. He was born on April 21, 1800 and died on November 9, 1877. On the left side of the stone is information about Johanna. She was born on May 19, 1809 and died on April 20, 1878. There are two images inscribed on the stone. The one on the left is a hand with the index finger raised. This symbolizes the pathway to heaven. The image on the right is of two hands clasped as in a handshake. This symbolizes farewell and the hopes of meeting again in eternity. Friedrich and Johanna were early settlers in Elk Grove Township, arriving in the area in 1848. The stone was the first to mark their grave in St. John's Lutheran Church Cemetery. It was replaced by a newer one and the original was given to the Mount Prospect Historical Society.

  21. George L. Busse Company Pencil
    Small pencil advertising the George L. Busse Company. It was a real estate and insurance company established in Mount Prospect in 1923. Its office was located at 12 East Busse Avenue. The company was very active during the building boom times of Mount Prospect in the 1920s and in the post-World War II years.

  22. George Whittenberg Plaque
    Wooden plaque presented to George Whittenberg on November 1, 1965. Whittenberg was a long-time chief of the Mount Prospect Police Department. The plaque was given in recognition of Whittenberg's service to the Mount Prospect Park District which was established in 1955. The names of the Park District Board of Commissioners area also written on the plaque.

  23. Guardsmen Junior Drum and Bugle Corps Jacket
    Uniform jacket worn by Larry Johnson who was a member of the Guardsmen Junior Drum and Bugle Corps. The Corps was founded in 1961 by Mrs. Pat Lindbergh. It was originally only open to girls but in 1963 boys became able to join.

  24. Hayfork
    Large tool used to lift hay bales into a hay loft. It was used on farms in the Mount Prospect area in the late 19th century and early 20 th century.

  25. Horsehair Mittens
    Large, dark brown, horsehair mittens lined with brown corduroy. The palm and finger are made of leather. The mittens were worn by George Busse of Mount Prospect when he drove in a wagon during the early part of the twentieth century.

  26. Horsehair Mittens
    Large dark brown, horsehair mittens lined with brown corduroy. The palm and finger are made of leather. The mittens were worn by George Busse when he drove in a wagon in the Mount Prospect area during the early part of the 20th century.

  27. Ida Deeke Meyn Wedding Dress
    Ivory satin wedding gown owned by Ida Deeke Meyn, wife of Mount Prospect mayor Herman Meyn. The dress has long, tapered sleeves with lace trim and button cuff, lace around the neck and shoulders, and an empire waistline. The shoes were part of Ida's wedding attire. They are of white silk with rhinestones on the toes and leather sole and heels. Ida and Herman were married on December 30, 1911.

  28. Jewish Chaplain Stole
    A silk Jewish chaplain stole acquired by the Rev. Edwin I. Stevens during World War II. He was the first pastor of South Baptist Church in Mount Prospect. Stevens served as an army chaplain for three years, spending 15 months of that time in England.

  29. John C. Moehling Postal Certificate
    Large (12 x 16 in) unframed certificate of appointment as first postmaster of Mount Prospect which was presented to John C. Moehling (1850-1939) in 1886. The post office was located in the general store built by Moehling on the northeast corner of Main Street and Northwest Highway in Mount Prospect. The certificate is signed by Postmaster General William F. Vilas. Moehling promoted the growth of Mount Prospect by working to get a new railroad depot built, participating in politics, helping to found the first school district and enticing other businessmen to settle in the town.

  30. John P. Moehling Photograph
    A framed photograph of John P. Moehling (1875-1947) as a young man. A gold plate on the frame states: "Police Magistrate 1917-1929". Moehling was the first police magistrate in Mount Prospect. He also served as village collector, acted as a Democratic election judge and was a charter member of the Mount Prospect Lions Club.

  31. Land Grant, 1848
    Framed land grant issued to Joseph A. Barnes in 1848. It was signed by President James K. Polk. Barnes, a New York native, was among the first wave of "Yankees" from the east coast were the first white settlers in the area around present-day Mount Prospect. Below the grant is a survey map of Barnes' property dated 1870. Barnes lived and farmed in Elk Grove Township until his death in 1881.

  32. Lena Friedrichs Watch
    This 10K gold filled wristwatch was given to Lena Friedrichs from her husband, Dietrich Friedrichs, as a gift for their 40th wedding anniversary in 1944. The watch was made by the Elgin National Watch Company. The engraving on the back of the watch reads "Dick to Lena 1904-1944."

  33. Library Date Plates
    Hard covered folder containing metal date plates similar to those that were stamped on circulation cards when the items were checked out of the Mount Prospect Public Library. This mechanized system was used prior to the implementation of a computerized circulation system in the late 1970s. A note attached to the folder was written by one of the librarians working at that time, Sharon Grieger. The plates are stamped with dates for the first six months of 1977.

  34. Library Fine Counter
    Wood and plastic device used by the staff of the Mount Prospect Public Library to calculate the amount of a patron's overdue fine.

  35. Louis Busse Family Photograph
    A large, framed photograph of Louis C. Busse and his family. In the photograph Louis Busse and his wife, Christine Kirchoff Busse, are both sitting. Standing in front of them is Ernst Busse. Standing to the left of Louis is Christine Busse Behrens. Those standing in the back are, left to right, Louis F. Busse, Sophia Busse Meier, William Busse, Edward Busse, George Busse, Johanna Busse Redeker and August Busse. Louis Busse came with his parents Friedrich and Johanna from Germany in 1848 when he was eleven years old. The family bought a farm in Elk Grove Township. Louis was primarily a farmer but also operated a creamery and general store and served as a Highway Commissioner in Elk Grove Township for 27 years. His oldest son, William, would be instrumental in the founding and development of Mount Prospect.

  36. Magic Lantern Kit
    German-made magic lantern slide projector kit. The lanterns were popular at the turn of the twentieth century. Images were projected from glass slides onto a wall. This magic lantern is equipped with 37 slides and several blank slides for creating original images.

  37. Mantle Clock
    Mantle clock made by the Seth Thomas Clock Company. It is a Sheffield Adamantine Eight Day model. Dietrich and Lena Friedrichs of Mount Prospect received it as a wedding gift. Their wedding took place on April 3, 1904.

  38. Marine Band Harmonica
    A Marine Band 10 pipe harmonica owned by Dietrich Friedrichs of Mount Prospect. It was made by the Hohner company which was started in Germany in 1857 by Matthias Hohner. The Marine Band is its base model chromatic harmonica line.

  39. McKinley Mourning Badge
    A badge worn by William Busse, a Cook County Commissioner and Mount Prospect resident, to the funeral of President William McKinley in 1901. The badge consists of a small pin with a photograph of the President attached to fringed fabric stamped with the words "In Memoriam President William McKinley Sept. 19, 1901 Cook County Commissioner Chicago, Ill."

  40. Moehling Real Estate Broker License
    Framed real estate broker certificate awarded to John Philip Moehling on May 10, 1927. The certificate was signed by A. M. Shelton, director of the Illinois Department of Registration and Education.

  41. Montgomery Ward Violin and Case
    Violin and case that belonged to Dietrich Friedrichs, an early resident of Mount Prospect. Dietrich played this violin at community concerts, dances and other gatherings. The violin was purchased from Montgomery Ward and Company in Chicago. Craftsmen sold their goods through major retailers such as Montgomery Ward at the turn of the 20th century under labels such as Thornward.

  42. Mount Prospect Citizens Band Uniform
    A uniform worn by William Genrich, a member of the Mount Prospect Citizens Band. The uniform consists of a dark green jacket and trousers. There are gold braids on the epaulets, sleeves, and down the front of the jacket as well as on the sides of the trousers. The uniform was manufactured by Men's Clothing in Chicago. The Citizens Band performed in parades in Mount Prospect during the 1920s

  43. Mount Prospect Map, 1873
    This is one of the earliest known maps of Mount Prospect. It was part of the vision of Ezra Eggleston who named Mount Prospect and planned to make it grow. The Great Fire in Chicago and the Panic of 1873 ended this dream. The street names chosen by Eggleston did not get preserved. He did successfully bring a railroad station to Mount Prospect which would be important to the town's future development.

  44. Mount Prospect Volunteer Fireman Hat
    The cap worn by Clarence Winkelman as part of his Mount Prospect Volunteer Fire Department uniform. The hat is made of navy blue serge lined with imitation leather and has a plastic visor. The volunteer fire department in Mount Prospect was formed in 1913. Winkelman served with the department during the 1950s.

  45. Mutual County Fire Insurance Company Officers Poster
    A large poster prepared in 1985 depicting photographs of officers and staff of the Mutual County Fire Insurance Company. The company was established by farmers in the townships of Maine, Northfield, Wheeling, Elk Grove, Leyden and Niles in January 1875. It was originally called the Maine Mutual Fire and Lightning Company. The name was changed in 1878 to Des Plaines and Cook County Farmers Mutual Fire Insurance Company. The main office of the company was moved to Mount Prospect in January 1926. The formal name was changed to Mutual County Fire Insurance Company of Mount Prospect, Illinois in 1936. In 1950 it was the second largest mutual insurance company in Illinois. Several Mount Prospect residents served on its board of directors. George Busse served as secretary for 33 years. The geographical limits of the company were eventually extended to include townships in Lake and Du Page Counties. It merged with the Schaumburg Mutual Fire Insurance Company in 1958. The company merged with the Rockford Mutual Insurance Company in 1985.

  46. Photograph of Mount Prospect Houses
    Hand-tinted, framed photograph of three houses located on the northeast corner of Owen and Busse Streets as they appeared in the 1920s. The first house was owned by George Busse and the second by Walter Mueller. The original owner of the third house is not known.

  47. Police Magistrate Certificate, 1917
    A certificate dated 1917 which names John P. Moehling as the first police magistrate of Mount Prospect. He served as magistrate until 1929. An official police department in Mount Prospect was formed in 1924.

  48. Postal Cabinet
    Wooden cabinet with 65 pigeon holes which was used in the first general store in Mount Prospect on Main Street and Northwest Highway. John C. Moehling, the first Mount Prospect postmaster, used this cabinet to manage the mail coming in and going out of the village. The general store opened in 1882. Moehling became the postmaster in 1886.

  49. Railroad Torch
    A torch used by railroad workers as a light source in Mount Prospect. It is made of a metal tube which held the oil, a wooden base which stabilizes the tube and a wick at the top of the tube which would be lit to provide light. The tube has a handle. Mount Prospect became a stop on the Illinois Wisconsin Railroad in the early 1880s.

  50. Saint John's Lutheran Church Photograph
    A black and white photograph of the interior of St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mount Prospect. This photograph was taken in 1891. St. John's, founded in 1848, was the first Lutheran church built to serve people in the area near Mount Prospect in Elk Grove Township. The minister in the photograph is unidentified. The photograph was donated to the Mount Prospect Historical Society by Gertrude Francek whose ancestor, Henry Conrad Moehling, joined the church in 1849.

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