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The Village of La Grange -- 1930s and Later

Growth in La Grange took a hit in the Great Depression, but there were some victories. 

As World War II took the area's sons off to war events continued in the village. 

The Postwar Prosperity resulted in an increased in population from 10,479 in 1940 to 12,002 in 1950.  Schools had to expand.  The Board of Education authorized the building of the Goodman Avenue School between Leitch and Edgewood.  The first annual Pet Parade marched won La Grange Road in 1946.

The first hospital had been located at Cossitt Avenue and La Grange Road in a building dating from the 1800s.  It operated under two names, Thornton Villa and the La Grange Sanitarium and Hospital.  It has burned down in 1925 and left a need for local health care for many years.  The Community Memorial General Hospital incorporated in 1946.  Quickly civic and service organization worked together.  Private and corporate donations as well as state and federal funds were used to built the hospital which opened on July 5, 1955.  A Women's Auxiliary was formed to promote and advance the institution.  A 1962 addition made the hospital a modern 225-bed facility.  An enlargement in 1969 increase the facility to accommodate 276 beds.  In 1975 a new wing was added and an expansion of the dietary, intensive care and cardiac care units.

The 1950s was a time of growth in America and in La Grange.  WTAQ aired its first program on October 10, 1950. The Mott Company, a manufacturer of law mowers, moved to La Grange in 1957.  The sales tax revenue passed $78,000 by the middle of the decade.  The population increased to 15,285 by 1960, a ten-year increase of over 3000.

Many factors increased the population of the 50s and the 60s including:

The year 1955 saw the first woman elected to the Village Board of Trustees -- Dorothy Marvil.

By 1970 the population has grown to 17,814 -- a 48 percent increase since 1950, while during the same interval the population of Chicago decreased seven percent.  The population growth in the Village could have been greater if not for the "highest and best use" development policy which emphasized single-family dwellings.  The policy aims were to prevent overcrowding, keep population density down and preserve the quality of life envisioned by Franklin Cossitt. 

Nevertheless, increases in traffic congestion changed shopping habits in favor of neighborhood convenience stores and regional shopping centers.  The Village Board of Trustees in 1970 adopted a plan to revitalize its central business district, but everyone did not agree on the plan.  The plan became the central issue in the elections of 1973.  Compromises were made resulting in the creation of the Calendar Avenue Mall.

In 1909 the La Grange and La Grange Park school districts were consolidated to form District 102.

Other suggestions readings include these newspaper articles:

The primary source of this information includes but is not limited to:

Some of the above information was obtained through the LaGrange Park Public Library.

Last Modified:  07/13/2006