Does MPHS have photographs: Yes
Interviewer: Carol Ventura
Date of Interview: December 6, 1993
Oral History Text:
CAROL VENTURA: My name is Carol Ventura, it’s December 6, 1993 and I am interviewing Alice Teichert, a resident of Mt. Prospect. Thank you very much for agreeing to be interviewed and for signing the consent form. Just for the information, would you state your full name, including your maiden name.
TEICHERT: My name is Alice L. Teichert. My maiden name was Jones.
VENTURA: Where were you born?
TEICHERT: I was born in Lima, Illinois.
VENTURA: When were you born?
TEICHERT: On October 16, 1924.
VENTURA: And your parents’ names?
TEICHERT: My father’s name was Charles Remington Jones, and my mother’s –I don’t care to give her maiden name. The bank always asks your mother’s maiden name, and I don’t feel that I should disclose that.
VENTURA: That’s a very valid point. Your mother’s name was Alice Jones.
TEICHERT: It was Alice, also.
VENTURA: When did you move to Mt. Prospect?
TEICHERT: We moved to Mt. Prospect April 22, 1956.
VENTURA: Was your husband an attorney at that time?
TEICHERT: Yes, he was. He had just passed the bar about a year before. We moved here with our three children. My youngest daughter was about five months old –no, seven months old, I guess. She was born in November, and we were here in April.
VENTURA: You have two sons, is that correct?
TEICHERT: Yes, two sons.
VENTURA: And how old were your sons?
TEICHERT: The oldest was eight and the other son was five.
VENTURA: What are your children’s names?
TEICHERT: My children’s names –the oldest is Robert Dale, Jr., and William Douglas and Nancy Ann.
VENTURA: What is your present address?
TEICHERT: 1205 West Robin Lane, Mt. Prospect. Our former address in Mt. Prospect was 515 North Wille Street. We lived on the north side in a Brickman home, which was a very nice, very well-built home. We had property in Northbrook, a half an acre lot, but when we priced the houses there to build one, they were quite expensive. And then my brother-in-law, Bob’s brother, and sister-in-law lived on Wille Street. They had just purchased a home on Wille Street –600 North Wille–and we went to visit them and we just loved Mt. Prospect. We loved the homes and everything, so we built one in the next block.
VENTURA: So that was in 1956 when you first moved here?
TEICHERT: Right. We sold the other lot and we moved here.
VENTURA: So you built a new home?
TEICHERT: Yes. We moved into a new home. We made a lot of nice friends. People were very friendly and very nice. I notice in there you’re talking about the different stores in town. I remember on Wednesday afternoon you could not find any store open in town.
VENTURA: Oh, really? Why?
TEICHERT: Maybe the grocery store. Everyone closed –all the paint stores and everything. They all closed on Wednesday afternoon. I don’t know why. The only store that was around that I could take the children and just mosey around and just look into –you know –was a Ben Franklin.
VENTURA: Oh, yes. I remember the Ben Franklin –dime stores, right?
TEICHERT: Yes, it was. Ben Franklin, right on Route 83. Much later the Prospect Day paper moved into that place. It was right off Northwest Highway. That’s the only place I could go shopping because we didn’t have a Randhurst, we didn’t have anything around here. The nearest shopping center, I guess, was Old Orchard.
VENTURA: Was Golf-Mill established then?
TEICHERT: I don’t know.
VENTURA: I’m not sure when Golf-Mill came into being. Old Orchard is older.
TEICHERT: I only remember my husband gave me instructions as to how to get to Old Orchard because I’m really not good at directions.
VENTURA: So you did drive then, when you moved here?
TEICHERT: Oh, yes.
VENTURA: And you had a car at your disposal?
TEICHERT: Yes. In fact, we had a Buick. We’ve always had Buicks. We purchased another Buick from –it was Busse Buick we used to have. We’ve always done our purchasing from the Buick. Now it’s Mitchell Buick, and they’ve been very nice all the time to us. But each time we purchased a car it had a different name, but it was the same place.
VENTURA: One time it was Busse Buick.
TEICHERT: Well, they moved to different places. And I remember Kieffer’s Drugstore. There was another –there was a little drugstore on the corner of Route 83 and Prospect that you could sit at a counter and have a soda or a malted milk or something like that. And I remember my son Robbie had a tooth that had grown from the upper part of his palate, you know, and he had the tooth pulled and then for a little –well, to celebrate because he was so nice and everything, a little treat for him, my husband took him there to have a malt. Everything was quite different then. I think there were either 8,000 or 10,000 people here at the time.
VENTURA: In Mt. Prospect, yes.
TEICHERT: I’m glad that it’s grown, though, because I think we have a lot of places to shop and things now that we didn’t have then. Of course, we have the beautiful library.
VENTURA: That’s true.
TEICHERT: We didn’t have that then.
VENTURA: We have a lot of wonderful facilities here, really, that weren’t here at the beginning.
TEICHERT: Oh, yes –Randhurst, now, Mayor Slaver built in his time when he was mayor. He was one responsible. Well, each time they say the mayors are responsible for certain things.
VENTURA: Since your husband was the mayor, we’re going to get into some of the things that took place and the changes that took place while your husband was mayor.
TEICHERT: Oh, good.
VENTURA: In fact, now, if you want to talk about –during what years was your husband…?
TEICHERT: Well, he was a trustee. First he ran for office in 1963.
VENTURA: That was about six years after you moved to Mt. Prospect.
TEICHERT: Yes, 1956.
VENTURA: He was an attorney here first, locally?
TEICHERT: No, he worked for Ekco Housewares in Franklin Park.
VENTURA: As an attorney for them?
TEICHERT: As an attorney, yes. In fact, he was heading up the patent department there, and then American Home Products bought this company later, but he was still the attorney for Ekco Products. But anyway, let’s see, in 1963 he ran as a trustee with two other men –John Edder and –isn’t that terrible, I can’t remember those names.
VENTURA: That’s all right. So he ran for trustee first.
TEICHERT: Yes, with two other men.
VENTURA: And then he served as trustee for a while?
TEICHERT: No, they lost. And so, in 1965 he ran with some other men as trustee on a slate with –oh, I know. The first one he ran with Bob Jackson, who was president of the park board later, and John Edder and Bob. I think the reason they weren’t elected is because they were really sort of green and unknowledgeable about it –about politics. We just thought it was a little town that you just ran for office. We didn’t realize that there were a lot of things going on that you weren’t aware of.
VENTURA: So then he ran again?
TEICHERT: Yes, and then he ran again with Dan Congrave and Joe Gratani and –I can’t remember the other man. But anyway, they ran on a slate and they won and Dan Congrave was the mayor.
VENTURA: And you husband was a trustee then.
TEICHERT: Yes. After about a year or so, I think my husband realized that a lot of things were done that maybe weren’t approved by him. He wasn’t approving them, and Joe Gratani, also, and so my husband decided that –and with the urging of other people –to run for mayor instead the next time that we had. So, he ran for mayor alone against a slate of Mayor Congrave’s.
VENTURA: What year was that?
TEICHERT: That was in 1967 –no 1969.
VENTURA: Did he win that time, then?
TEICHERT: Oh, yes, but he just ran alone. No one thought he would ever win. We called it “the impossible dream.”
VENTURA: But he obviously had a good slate, and one that people felt. …
TEICHERT: He didn’t have a slate –well, yes.
VENTURA: I mean what he was purporting to do for the village.
TEICHERT: In fact, well, there were a lot of things I guess I really shouldn’t talk about.
VENTURA: That’s all right.
TEICHERT: But anyway, people just really didn’t like what was happening in town.
VENTURA: They wanted some change.
TEICHERT: And my husband wanted to have –we had a referendum before he was mayor, this was, to have home rule and to have a village and to have the type of government we have, by the people, and to keep this a village. The other, Mayor Con grave and his group, they wanted it to become a city and to have precinct captains, and Mayor Congrave, I think, at the time wanted to become a full-time mayor. I’m not sure, but I believe that was what he would have liked to have become –you know, a full-time mayor. We felt that if you have a village government by the people that you have a different type of government. We have our mayor, and the trustees are not employees of the village. And then you have the village-manager-type system, which was what we had the referendum on, where the village manager is the top.
VENTURA: He is an employee.
TEICHERT: Yes. He’s an employee and he’s paid the top salary. He is like the president of a company, and he runs everything. He hires and fires, and he’s educated –trained in this line.
VENTURA: But then your husband as mayor is…
TEICHERT: But the mayor and that, they would be like the board. ..
VENTURA: The CEO or something.
TEICHERT: …in a company. They would make the laws, and so forth, but they were not involved in the everyday fixing of streets and the day-to-day decisions.
VENTURA: Sure. They spent their time on the broader picture, I assume.
TEICHERT: Yes. And so, we did have a referendum by the people that said we should have the village-manager-type government in Mt. Prospect, which kept us a village. And, oh, we had to go into court and everything because there was a lot of opposition against having the village manager system against a city –city against village.
VENTURA: As compared to a city.
TEICHERT: That’s why I get a little upset when I hear people call our town a city, because it isn’t.
VENTURA: We know all the struggle that…
TEICHERT: We fought really hard to keep it a village.
VENTURA: Well, I think when people say that they’re just using it as a generic term.
TEICHERT: Ch, yes. They don’t understand.
VENTURA: But when you’ve fought so hard for something. ..
TEICHERT: But they also thought that the mayor was like Mayor Daley, you know –I mean, in charge of everything, which he is not. But he makes the laws only.
VENTURA: So how many years. ..?
TEICHERT: He was mayor for two terms –for eight years.
VENTURA: What were some of the changes that took place in the village?
TEICHERT: Well, the first thing was, we had so much flooding going on. The first thing he did was, on Weller Creek that runs through town, they had to do a lot of changing on Weller Creek and take trees down, and so forth. He formed a flood committee, “Clean Streams” –a clean streams and drainage committee which looked into all these different homes. And then over on Busse and Lonquist, and everything, he and the park district and a developer put that lake –you know, that Clearwater Park –in, and that served as a little pond, you know.
VENTURA: A retention pond?
TEICHERT: And as a retention pond, also. That kept 1,000 people’s homes from flooding.
VENTURA: Isn’t that amazing.
TEICHERT: Because I remember when he was first elected and there would be rainstorms, people would call in the middle of the night and he’d go out there and make sure the sandbags were there, and they were helping them. I said, “Well, what can you do out there in the middle of the night?” He said, “Nothing but hold their hands and let them know that I really care.” And he really did. He loved doing it, and he was very farsighted, I think, about –well, building the library. At the time the bank was moving from there offices, which is now our village hall, and so at the time that this space was open, when Central School was down, National Tea Company wanted to buy this land.
VENTURA: Oh, they did? To put a National store on?
TEICHERT: Yes, and can you imagine, because right across the street, over where that mushroom farm or the onion farm was over there, that was an A&P store. Then we had a Meeske’s down on Route 83, and then we had a Jewel over on Northwest Highway, and then this would have been the National Tea Company. I mean, right in the center of our town? It just wasn’t plausible. The library really –they thought the little library over there could be used as a senior citizens building.
VENTURA: Now, where was the first library –the little library?
TEICHERT: Well, I’m talking about the senior citizens building. That was the library.
VENTURA: Okay, what we now use as the senior citizens.
TEICHERT: That was the library.
VENTURA: That was the library initially.
TEICHERT: But during the time my husband was mayor, when he became mayor it seemed like there were so many adjustments to be made because so many people wanted to be annexed to our community.
VENTURA: Oh, to Mt. Prospect?
TEICHERT: Because Prospect Heights was deciding whether they wanted to have their own mayor and so forth and so on. They weren’t incorporated, I don’t believe. And so they were changing their type of government, or doing something, and a lot of the people didn’t want to go into Prospect Heights or didn’t want to accept that part. They wanted to come into Mt. Prospect. It just seemed like the growth was so big. And then everybody was fighting to get down to United Airlines and to…
VENTURA: And to have that part of their village?
TEICHERT: …seal off the oil fields and everything, too. And so, there was a tremendous growth when my husband was mayor, on the north and the south sides. That’s where we had the most growth at the time, I mean through all the years, and that sort of sealed off our…
VENTURA: During his eight years.
TEICHERT: Yes, and that sort of sealed off all the land, though, from other people. The oil fields there, I remember there was one man that was holding up –if he would come into Mt. Prospect, all of the oil fields would be encircled by Mt. Prospect, you know. Nobody could touch it. And Des Plaines wanted it, and all different….
TEICHERT: And so, this man had a house and a little land, and he didn’t –just a little part on the map, and he didn’t want to annex to anyone. But then my husband went and talked to him, and he liked him so much that he decided. …
VENTURA: He liked your husband?
TEICHERT: Yes. He decided he’d like to come into Mt. Prospect, and so there it was all sealed. We were so happy.
VENTURA: Now, that’s all around? Why don’t you tell people, for the record, where that area is.
TEICHERT: Well, it’s way south, near United Airlines.
VENTURA: Isn’t it around Higgins Road?
TEICHERT: Yes, where the oil fields are, and everything, and they never wanted to incorporate or anything because they had their own fire department and things like that –you know, United Airlines did. But then I guess they decided recently and the oil field came into Mt. Prospect now. So my husband won’t get credit for that.
VENTURA: No, it’s a little too late. But he initiated it, which is too bad.
TEICHERT: Yes, he initiated all the industrial land over off of Rand Road –you know the industrial complex there?
TEICHERT: That came into Mt. Prospect. There was like Northern Illinois Gas, or something.
VENTURA: Yes. That definitely helps the tax base to have all of those industries.
TEICHERT: Oh, yes, but see, then the next mayor comes along and he gets credit for that.
TEICHERT: One thing I am proud of right away is, he took care of the S-curve.
VENTURA: On Route 83?
TEICHERT: By St. Raymond’s on 83 there was a death place. I mean, there were so many accidents there, and everything. No one could get a light at the time from the state. I don’t know, my husband just seemed to, like, “Well, we’ll just go and find out about why we can’t get a light.”
VENTURA: He wouldn’t take no for an answer.
TEICHERT: No, and he just seemed to do that. He was so –well, of course, I love him, so that’s why –but he was very charming.
VENTURA: It sounds as though he was.
TEICHERT: He really was.
VENTURA: Sure, and very caring about people.
TEICHERT: So he was able to get a light put in there, and, of course, that changed the whole thing because that was very. ..
VENTURA: Very dangerous.
TEICHERT: They changed the S-curve and it was a lot better then.
VENTURA: Right. Now, did you say they had to do a referendum to get the library, too?
TEICHERT: No. You see, my husband at the time –well, whenever the library or whenever –I don’t think the library has ever had a referendum passed. Maybe they never will. People don’t seem to care if you have enough books.
VENTURA: They don’t want their taxes raised.
TEICHERT: And years ago there was a little problem there because the library was like a separate –well, they still are separate from the village.
VENTURA: A separate entity.
TEICHERT: The thing is, at the time there was a little political stuff going on where the people and the library, years and years ago, this was like, “We don’t have to tell you what our budget is or how much we are spending,” but the village has to give them money. They would make out a budget, they’d bring it to the village, and then the village would approve of their budget. ..
VENTURA: Appropriate the money for it.
TEICHERT: …and give it to them.
VENTURA: But they didn’t want to tell what they were using it for.
TEICHERT: But there was this battle going on all the time — “Well, we don’t have to tell you what our –you are not in control of the library.” I mean, there were a lot of problems before Bob was mayor.
VENTURA: And a lot of headaches, I’m sure.
TEICHERT: Yes. So, whenever they would have a referendum where they would want something, it wouldn’t pass. Even the schools won’t pass, you know.
TEICHERT: So I think at the time we needed a new village hall, and the bank was building that nice, big building they have.
VENTURA: Where they are now.
TEICHERT: They said the village could buy their old bank building. At the time they needed a new library here, and the senior citizens needed a place to meet because all of the churches and everything were always coming to Bob and saying,”Why can’t we have a senior center where all of the groups can meet and where we can all have. ..?” So it just seemed like a wonderful idea, just to build the library –to buy this land and build the library –and buy the old bank building for the village hall so that the police and fire department could have more room than that old building, because that’s where our village hall was. It was so cramped and so crowded. It really was small for the town. So the village board approved of it.
VENTURA: That’s wonderful.
TEICHERT: And they didn’t have a referendum, but then the people were really mad at my husband.
VENTURA: Were they?
TEICHERT: Yes, because they felt that they should have had a referendum for the library. Well, we wouldn’t have had it.
VENTURA: We wouldn’t be sitting here today.
TEICHERT: No, and we wouldn’t have had the village hall. We wouldn’t have had anything.
VENTURA: Right, and the senior center.
TEICHERT: You know, it’s like the library, how much did it cost? Three million dollars. Do you think that library would be built today –I mean, can you imagine the cost? I think the whole thing was a little over three million dollars, for that bank building. ..
VENTURA: The senior center and the library –for all three.
TEICHERT: I mean, all together, and my goodness.
VENTURA: You wouldn’t be able to touch the land now for. ..
TEICHERT: People were saying, “Well, why don’t you just build a second story on that old” –you know, the senior citizen building –“and make that the library.” And we’re saying, “That is not going to serve all the people that we have in the community now –54,000 people.” That served people when they were 10,000 people.
VENTURA: It’s a good thing that you and your husband were that farsighted that you could see that that wasn’t going to be enough for the village.
TEICHERT: He took a lot. He didn’t run after that, not because of that. And everybody said that if he had run again he probably wouldn’t be elected because of the library. I don’t believe that and neither did he, but it’s just that he had spent…
VENTURA: Eight years is a long time.
TEICHERT: …twelve years. Well, he was a trustee for four years.
VENTURA: He was a trustee first, right.
TEICHERT: And then eight years. You know, that’s a part-time job, and at the time it took so much time because of all the annexations and all the different things going on.
VENTURA: So he still was working and he had his family.
TEICHERT: He had to work and he had the family and everything.
VENTURA: Twelve years of public service is a long time.
TEICHERT: That was an awful lot. And now, there is hardly anything to do, really, in town.
VENTURA: Sure, because we don’t have any more land.
TEICHERT: And also he was the liquor commissioner.
VENTURA: All kinds of everything.
TEICHERT: Yes. But it was a very wonderful time, serving the community.
VENTURA: A time of a lot of change.
TEICHERT: And even today so many people are so nice to me, and they’ve always been nice to Bob. They still called him mayor, and he was very proud of the things that he did.
VENTURA: Well, I’m sure that in retrospect people appreciated what he did and saw the value in it. Sometimes, unfortunately, when we’re doing things people who are not as farsighted can’t appreciate what we’re doing.
TEICHERT: But, I’ll tell you, if the library has a referendum again it won’t pass, even for more books. I don’t know why that is.
VENTURA: Well, as you said, people don’t want to spend. If you ask them if they would spend more money, they tend to say no.
TEICHERT: You know, that is a shame. But see, my husband was not going to go on to any other political future. I mean, he had nothing else in mind. And so, he was able to really be farsighted and say, “Well, I think this is best for my town. I don’t have to worry about being elected again or doing anything because 11m not going on to any state. …”[Side B]
TEICHERT: To finish off that, I think that he felt that he would do what he felt would benefit the village more. You have to look ahead. He knew that we needed these things, and so I think that’s why –and the village board knew it, also. They had to approve it, of course, and so they did. I think it was wonderful.
VENTURA: It was, and we as residents have a great deal to be thankful for, for his foresight and for doing it.
TEICHERT: I think so, too. There are so many things that he did do –another thing that he did was, someone just told me the other day, George March. He said, “I remember when Bob Epley and George” –Bob Epley was the village manager at the time, and he and my husband went downtown to the MSD — Metropolitan Sanitary District –and they were going to decided about a deep tunnel plan. Well, Des Plaines did not want it, but Arlington Heights and Mt. Prospect, we wanted the deep tunnel plan for flooding and so forth. He said my husband made the most wonderful speech about why it should be put in the northwest suburbs, and they gave it to the northwest suburbs and they started the deep tunnel plan.
VENTURA: And that has made a dramatic difference.
TEICHERT: Oh, it really has. The only thing we felt that, we wanted to go to Lake Michigan for water instead of Chicago because we didn’t feel that Chicago should be able to turn our spigot on and off or price us. Lake Michigan would have been better.
TEICHERT: And there are a lot of things I can’t think of right now.
VENTURA: It must have been an interesting time for you, and also for the children.
TEICHERT: Ch, yes, well, the children –one thing, though, that I remember about Mt. Prospect when the kids were younger was midget football –Mt. Prospect Midget Football we had. That was the most wonderful group of people you’d ever want to meet.
VENTURA: Was that through the park district or through the school?
TEICHERT: Through the park district. They played over at Lions Park. Actually, my husband wrote up the by-laws and everything for that. I’m not sure ~- midget football was not governed by the park district?
VENTURA: No. Your husband set up the fields.
TEICHERT: It was an individual thing. It wasn’t by the park district. It was a group of people just like the softball group. My husband started that, too. Well, he didn’t start midget football because there were some other people that started that, but the softball, they just got together and they would play up at Prospect High School, and then finally the park district got involved with twelve-inch softball.
VENTURA: And made it more organized.
TEICHERT: I mean sixteen-inch softball. Then they started getting together, and now they have a huge softball tournament and [other] tournaments. They play every night almost. My husband played softball all through the years until he was about sixty years old.
VENTURA: Oh, did he!
TEICHERT: Yes. He loved softball.
VENTURA: What schools did your children go to? What grade school?
TEICHERT: Robbie and Bill and Nancy, they all went to Fairview.
VENTURA: Where is that located?
TEICHERT: That’s on the north side. That was on Memory Lane. The Fairview School –Memory Lane and what other?
TEICHERT: I think it was Isabella ____________.
TEICHERT: No, not Isabella. That runs the same as…
TEICHERT: Maybe we’re not on Fairview.
TEICHERT: I can’t think. It’s up by Prospect High School on the north side.
VENTURA: Okay, and then they all went to Prospect High School?
TEICHERT: No, Robbie went to Prospect for a year or two years. They went to Central School, too. Rob and Bill went to Central.
VENTURA: Was that a junior high?
TEICHERT: That was a junior high. And my daughter Nancy went to Gregory School, which was off of 83. It’s near Rand Road. Now they’ve sold it because some other church group bought it.
VENTURA: The church group that had it, yes.
TEICHERT: It was Schroeder’s farm. That’s another thing. They sold Schroeder’s farm –they took their farm away, and everything –to build this Gregory School which only served the community for, I don’t know, seven to ten years.
VENTURA: Oh, really? And then it was sold to the church?
TEICHERT: And then they sold it because there weren’t enough children to go to school.
VENTURA: They didn’t need the school, yes.
TEICHERT: I think that’s what happened with this referendum. People were thinking. First you have too many schools, then you don’t have enough. Like Forest View School, they’ve sold that. That’s where both of my sons graduated from.
VENTURA: Oh, so they went to Prospect first, and then to Forest View?
TEICHERT: Robbie went to Prospect first. Bill went all the way through Forest View, and so did Nancy, but Robbie graduated from Forest View, too. Now they don’t have any school left. Forest View is gone.
VENTURA: That’s true. Where did you do most of your shopping? Did you shop downtown in Mt. Prospect?
TEICHERT: Oh, yes, a lot. Novak & Parker.
VENTURA: Groceries, you mentioned earlier.
TEICHERT: Groceries –Jewel and Meeske’s, and then there was a little delicatessen, and Golden Delicatessen, and that’s where the parking lot is at…
VENTURA: Oh, for the train station?
TEICHERT: …83 and. ..
TEICHERT: No, that’s not Emerson. What’s that little street that goes past the Old Town Inn?
VENTURA: Is that Wille?
TEICHERT: What street is that?
VENTURA: I don’t know. That little short street.
TEICHERT: I’m forgetful. Anyway, that little, short street that goes, and Golden’s was there. They had a delicatessen, and you could go there anytime –you know, like Sundays if your aunts or uncles or anybody would come out to visit, you could always run to Golden’s and. ..
VENTURA: They were open.
TEICHERT: …they had salads and all kinds of things that you could hurry up and get, you know. They knew everybody in town. Bill Golden, I still see him around.
VENTURA: What about hardware?
TEICHERT: Oh, Busse-Bierman Hardware. They were always very nice. –
VENTURA: Where were they located?
TEICHERT: They were located –well, they’re still there, where they are now, right by Old Town.
VENTURA: Oh, by the tavern –that little hardware.
TEICHERT: Yes, that little hardware store.
VENTURA: That is a great little [hardware store].
TEICHERT: And there was a paint store on 83, right under the Republicans’ building, under there. That used to go for paint. I can’t remember that man’s name.
TEICHERT: Come over here. I can’t hear you.
TEICHERT: __________ Colletsen’s, where the Chinese restaurant is now?
VENTURA: Oh, Alice’s?
TEICHERT: Yes. That was like for men and boys ____________.
VENTURA: That was a clothing store.
TEICHERT: And the Gift Box was next to that.
TEICHERT: Ch, the Gift Box. Yes, that always was a place –later on, of course…
VENTURA: The bakery –Continental?
TEICHERT: No, it was next door to…?
VENTURA: No, how long has that Continental Bakery. ..?
TEICHERT: That was Meeske’s.
VENTURA: That’s where Meeske’s was, before Continental took it over. Well, I imagine that as the wife of the mayor that you went to a lot of social functions.
TEICHERT: Ch, yes.
VENTURA: Was that an interesting time for you?
TEICHERT: Ch, it really was. I remember after Bob was elected there was a big ball –we called it a citizens’ ball –at Randhurst, and they were so nice to us. Randhurst was always wonderful to us. We had a big ball, right on the floor. I think it was over by Montgomery Ward’s –that area there –with a big band, and all the citizens came.
VENTURA: Ch, how interesting.
TEICHERT: That was really nice. And there were a lot of other things. All of the different groups, like Lions Club and all of them, are always so nice to me. When they invited Bob for dinner or something, they would invite me also, which was very nice. The mayor before, apparently –I don’t think his wife liked to attend some of those.
VENTURA: Perhaps she didn’t like socializing or didn’t feel comfortable with it, or something.
TEICHERT: Well, it wasn’t really socializing because half of the time. ..
VENTURA: You had to listen to all those meetings.
TEICHERT: …you’d go to homeowners groups, and so forth, and then the wife would sit alone while the husband would be encircled by people in that community talking about a hole in their street or what they needed for their area. And then sometimes it got a little boring because it seemed like after a while it got to be that you felt very left out. Those were the homeowners’ dinners and dances. And then, too, you would attend so many of those things that you would lose your own friends and being with your real good friends.
VENTURA: Sure, because you only have so much time.
TEICHERT: Yes. That’s another reason why I guess he decided not to run again. We wanted to get back into our own life.
VENTURA: You had mentioned, was it your sister who lived here on Wille before you came out?
TEICHERT: No, it was Bob’s brother and sister-in-law.
VENTURA: So you did have family close.
TEICHERT: Oh, yes, and they still lived here. When we moved out here, though, it was so –it was like moving out into the country. My mother used to say, “Oh, you’re moving way out there into the sticks, away from Chicago. It’s so far in the country.”
VENTURA: It was very different because there was a lot of farming. I have relatives who moved to Arlington Heights — what is now Arlington Heights –many years ago in the early fifties, and we all were from Chicago. We used to say, “We’re going out to the farm.” Now, they didn’t farm, but it was all farm land when you drove out here. So yes, this did seem like a long way away from the city.
TEICHERT: Yes, that’s the big change.
VENTURA: There are no more farms.
TEICHERT: No, but it’s so wonderful to have a Randhurst.
VENTURA: Ch, yes. Randhurst made a big difference.
TEICHERT: Ch, it really did. I’ll never forget that. And to have a hospital, Northwest Community Hospital. We didn’t have a hospital around, either.
VENTURA: When did that come into the area? Do you recall?
TEICHERT: Northwest Community Hospital –when was the hospital built?
VENTURA: Was that in the sixties also?
TEICHERT: I remember when we lived on Wille Street they came around asking for donations. They were talking about building a hospital. And then you had to promise to pay so much a month to contribute to …
VENTURA: Oh, a pledge.
TEICHERT: …a pledge for a hospital. You know, when you’ve just built a new house and all the things.
VENTURA: And you have a young family.
TEICHERT: Well, we did pledge. I don’t remember exactly, but I thought, Oh, my gosh, how are we going to…? My husband said, “We have to pledge money,” because, one time my Nancy fell out of the buggy while I was sprinkling the dirt because we were trying to germinate the lawn –you know, the grass seed –and the spray was going on her so I put her behind me in the buggy and was spraying. All of a sudden she had turned over and fallen out of the buggy and she cut her head open on the brake on the buggy. I didn’t know where to take her. I had to take her to some clinic. The people across the street helped me. We went to some clinic in Prospect Heights.
VENTURA: Oh, really, so there wasn’t any. …
VENTURA: So Holy Family wasn’t around ______________?
TEICHERT: Well, that was pretty far away from where we lived.
TEICHERT: I don’t know, when you’re first here –we had only been here a month or so, because we didn’t have grass then. Nowadays my son Robbie works over at Northwest Community, and my daughter, Nancy, has just graduated nursing and she just passed the state board this last summer.
VENTURA: That’s wonderful.
TEICHERT: They were so wonderful to my husband when he passed away, at Northwest. We’ve always been very proud of having contributed even a small amount to Northwest Community. I mean, all those different things. Oh, I remember Kruse’s, over where Mr. & Mrs. P.?
VENTURA: Yes. Kruse’s had a restaurant.
TEICHERT: We had every Sunday after midget football –all the kids played midget football, and I was president of the women’s auxiliary for two years, and we had all these little girls. We had twelve teams –senior teams and junior teams–and we were such a wonderful group of people. Oh, I just loved those people. In fact, a lot of people said if it weren’t for midget football my husband wouldn’t have been elected –midget football and St. Raymond’s church, even though we’re not Catholic.
VENTURA: Oh, really? But you were so involved.
TEICHERT: But St. Raymond’s, they were always wonderful to us, too.
VENTURA: So then you’d all go into Kruse’s after football?
TEICHERT: Oh, yes, after football, and we’d have chicken and dumpling soup –homemade chicken and dumpling soup and hamburgers. All the kids, you know. This was the place to go after midget football in the afternoon. Then we had dinner-dances and floor shows that I put on when I was the president.
VENTURA: From the auxiliary?
TEICHERT: Yes, for all the football people. First it grew from, we started at Old Orchard and we had a dinner-dance — no, we started at Salt Creek where we just had a dance, then we had the floor show and we’d have all the coaches dressed up in white cheerleader skirts, and they wore strainers from Ekco and T-shirts, and then they’d put on some kind of funny wigs, and then they’d have on their regular old men’s shoes or boots or whatever they wore. They weren’t dressed like women, they just looked so funny. Some of them were like high school teachers and doctors. I remember Dr. Wayne and all of these different people –Dr. Cochero and all of them. They were all involved, and they’d get into this floor show and do cheerleading, and then all the mothers would do their cheerleading. We had a wonderful, wonderful floor show, and it got so big we had to have it at Chevy Chase.
VENTURA: Oh, did you? It got too big for Old Orchard –for the country club at Old Orchard?
TEICHERT: Oh, yes. Two years we had it there, and I remember I was so proud. In the ladies’ room I heard these women talking. They had invited other people from other towns to come, and they said, “And wait until you see the floor show. It is so funny.” We all had a good time. That was a good time of life.
VENTURA: Is there anyone thing that you would want the children who live in Mt. Prospect to remember about the history of their hometown?
TEICHERT: Well, I think that I’d like them to –first of all, if they look at that history book that was put together by the historical society, I wish they would go to the village hall and see a nice picture of my husband.
VENTURA: That picture in there is not complimentary.
TEICHERT: No, it was not. It was terrible.
VENTURA: Didn’t you mention that there were several items in there that weren’t correct that you would like to…?
TEICHERT: No, it wasn’t that it wasn’t correct. My husband started the paramedics in Mt. Prospect, too. I mean, there were a lot of different things. I think they only touched on the library, but they didn’t touch on that we did have a referendum and he really started the referendum for the village-manager type of government in our community.
VENTURA: Right, as we discussed earlier.
TEICHERT: Which is very important to our whole community.
TEICHERT: Because I’d like the children to know what kind of government this is. This is not city government where you have precincts and trustees who only care about a certain little part of their community. Also, it’s not controlled by any political party. We do not run on a political party, Republicans or Democrats. You just run as a citizen. That’s very important to know that.
VENTURA: And that’s a very important fact for the young children, too, to remember.
TEICHERT: And then there were so many people who gave so much time, and they still do –that work on committees and things that you’re doing now, too. You give up time because you love this community and you care about what the past is and the present and what the future will be.
VENTURA: Sure, certainly.
TEICHERT: I just hope they remember that.
VENTURA: You really have broadened the knowledge, I think, for the students or for any of the people in the community who want to listen, because I think it really was very, very interesting, what you had to say about the village and what was going on at that time. So I’d like to thank you very much for doing this interview.
TEICHERT: Well, thank you, Carol. It was a pleasure.
VENTURA: It was very nice.