Dr. Alfred Wolfarth

Does MPHS have photographs: Misc. Images

Address in Mount Prospect: 113 W. Prospect

Birth Date: Circa 1899

Death Date:

Marriage
Date:

Spouse: Caroline

Children: Robert (maybe others)

Interesting information on life, career, accomplishments

Dr. Wolfarth was the second doctor in Mount Prospect. His first office was in the Busse Building in Busse Ave, directly above Busse-Biermann Hardware. Working with Dr. Louise Koester, the only other doctor in Mount Prospect, a small hospital was set up for car accidents and emergencies. Dr. Wolfarth supplemented his local business by also being the physician on call for the Mount Prospect Fire Department and the Chicago Northwestern Railroad. During World War II, Dr. Wolfarth left Mount Prospect and served as a doctor at an evacuation hospital for troops of General George Patton. In 1957, he and his wife, son and family friend decided to sail across the Atlantic on a 43 foot boat. They sailed from Germany to New York and then up the Hudson and the Erie Canal to the great lakes and Chicago. This traced the path that many settlers in Mount Prospect would have taken. None of the four people on the boat had extensive experience sailing, so this was a pretty brave trip. It took them four months and 8,000 miles.

William Wille

Does MPHS have photographs: Yes

Address in Mount Prospect:

Birth Date: November 26, 1846, Germany

Death Date: September 21, 1927, Elk Grove, Cook, IL

Marriage
Date: October 28, 1881, Elk Grove, Cook, IL

Spouse: Engel “Ella” Wille (nee Seegers)

Children: Albert, Clara, Sophie, Christ, Adolph, Edwin, Elmer, Luella and Fred (birth order)

Interesting information on life, career, accomplishments

William Wille was one of the most influential people in the development of Mount Prospect. He had a number of different jobs over the years, but he was always involved in community matters. In 1880 he started Wille’s Cheese Factory at the intersection of Northwest Highway, Busse Ave and Wille Street. He would buy milk from local farmers, turn it into cheese and butter and then take it into Chicago for sale. After about twenty years of doing this he got tired of all the trips in and out of the city, particularly in bad weather, and closed the business in 1902. In 1895 he and William Busse were the primary forces behind getting School District 57 founded. After it was founded, W. Wille and W. Busse both donated land to create a small campus for the first school. William Wille was hired to build the first school, the Central School. This one room school house is still standing today, demonstrating his workmanship. In 1905 Wille and Busse teamed up again and re-subdivided the original Eggleston triangle, making the plots more attractive and bringing in new residents. In the early 1900 William Wille also built and started Wille’s Tavern, which he ran up until prohibition, when he gave it to his son who made it into Wille’s Buffet. William Wille also built Wille hall, which was basically the first community building in Mount Prospect. It was used by clubs for meetings and also for local dances and gatherings.

 

Adolph Wille

Does MPHS have photographs: Yes

Address in Mount Prospect:

Birth Date: March 24, 1893

Death Date: December 1986

Marriage
Date: January 26, 1917

Spouse: Velda (Knigge) Wille

Children: June, Marvella, R’Dell, Ruth, and Beverly Ann

Interesting information on life, career, accomplishments

Adolph Wille was the son of William Wille, one of Mount Prospect’s founding fathers. He is best known for running Wille’s Tavern for many years. He took over the business that was started by his father. During prohibition, he made it into a lunch counter, called Wille’s Buffet, and made supplemental income by working as Mount Prospect’s first licensed barber and also helping his brothers Edwin and Chris in the Wille Construction Company. Below is a selection from an oral history interview with Adolph Wille from the 1970s.

 

Adolph Willie; Interviewed by Helen Becker; December 6, 1977

Complete transcript available at the Mount Prospect Public Library.

AW: “I was born here in Mount Prospect, March 24, 1893. There were no streets, only roads: Central Road north of town and Elmhurst Road west of town, and two short roads in town — one road from the depot to Elmhurst Road and the other road from the railroad to Central Road. We lived on the road from the depot to Elmhurst Road in an old [creamery] which my dad owned. The farmers sold him the milk and he would make butter and cheese and take it into Chicago with a team and wagon. In the spring when the roads were muddy he would often get stuck in a mud hole. Then he would have to unload enough butter and cheese until the team would be able to pull the wagon out of the hole, and then he would reload the load again. He got tired of doing it so often so he closed the creamery and quit the business. My dad also did carpenter work, so he went into the building business. For years we built a lot of homes in Mount Prospect. The early residents that I remember were Moehling, Meyn, Busse and John Bauer, the first tavern in town, and the farmers in town were the Pohlman farm on the east side of town, the Schaeffer farm on the south side of town, the Hertl farm on the west side of town, and the Katz farm on the north side of town. Our children are all living in Mount Prospect: Mrs. June Schaeffer at 217 North Maple Street, Mrs. Marvella Moore at 211 North Maple Street, Mr. Ardell A. Wille at 101 North Pine Street, and Mrs. Ruth Cullen at 105 North Pine Street.”

George Whittenberg

Does MPHS have photographs: Yes

Address in Mount Prospect: 4 S. Edward Street

Birth Date: August 1, 1900

Death Date: November 10, 1969

Marriage
Date:

Spouse: Irma (Thill) Whittenberg

Children: Arlene

Interesting information on life, career, accomplishments

George Whittenberg was the second police officer in Mount Prospect and the second Chief of Police. He was hired by William Mulso, Mount Prospect’s first Police Chief, who was also the entire police force from 1924 until he hired Whittenberg in 1932. Five years later Whittenberg became the chief of police, a position he held until he retired. Whittenberg was originally hired, in part, because he could ride a motorcycle and the police department had one motorcycle and one 1929 Pontiac. George Whittenberg served on the Mount Prospect Police Department for 33 years, and was the Chief of Police for most of that time. He resigned his post in 1965, having seen the community change dramatically during his tenure. When he took the job, there were no paved roads and the population was about 1200. By the time he retired, the population was over 25,000, Mount Prospect was twice as large, and the police force had grown from two officers to close to thirty. Four years after he retired, he died. His funeral procession included fifty cars that passed by the Police Station one last time. Whittenberg was a long time member of the Mount Prospect Lions Club, and following his death, the Lions donated $6000 to the village to erect a memorial. In 1975 the village built a waterfall and fountain at the base of the water tower, as a memorial to his years of service. The memorial stood very close to the police station in which Whittenberg had spent so much time, but was later demolished.

Herbert A. Van Driel

Does MPHS have photographs: Yes

Address in Mount Prospect: 215 S. Emerson

Birth Date: 1900

Death Date: November 30, 1970

Marriage
Date:

Spouse: Helen

Children: Marryanne and Herbert J.

Interesting information on life, career, accomplishments

Herb Van Driel started working in a drug store in 1913. He bought his own store in Chicago in 1927 and claimed that in this store he sold cigarettes and gum to John Dillinger. Herb Van Driel moved to Mount Prospect in the early 1940s. He bought an existing drug store at the corner of Emerson and Northwest Highway. When Van Driel came to Mount Prospect, the two doctors in town already had an agreement with another pharmacist. So Van Driel branched out and added a lunch counter, serving ham sandwiches and home made pies. He said that in the first few years most of his business was in food. While there was rationing during World War Two, Van Driel was a distributor for different foods and cigarettes and was able to establish himself as one of the important businesses in town. He later went on to be one of the founding members of the second incarnation of the Mount Prospect Chamber of Commerce (originally founded in 1926, dissolved in 1932 then founded again in 1947). He was also a member of the Chicago Retail Druggist Association, National Association of Retail Druggists, The Mount Prospect Lions Club, and the Des Plaines Elks Lodge. In 1968 he sold the business, although it still maintains his name. He died in 1970.

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