Rogers Park, Westridge celebrate local Social Service

“Service to one’s neighbors” is being highlighted in an exhibit at the Rogers Park/Westridge Historical Society Museum at 7344 N. Western Ave.  

“Service to one’s neighbors is the soul of any thriving community” says Jacque Day, former president of the historical society and developer of this exhibit.   Originally the intent of this exhibit was to focus on the social justice movement.   But as Day began digging deeper, she began bringing into the work, the ordinary people of the neighborhood who changed this community by helping others.   Rogers Park and Westridge are two of the most diverse neighborhoods in the city of Chicago.   This diversity is at the heart of the spirit of reaching out  to your  neighbor, who may speak a different language than you.

The exhibit honors Paul P. Harris, who in 1900 formed a service-oriented professional organization which eventually became the first Rotary Club; Herbert Williams, who at the beginning in 1933, operated a news stand at Rogers Avenue and Sheridan Road that continued for 50 years. In the ’50’s, he drove children to and from St. Jerome’s school before it had bus service.   Many other former residents of the neighborhood are honored, including former 49th Ward Alderman and current Cook County Clerk David Orr, for his communtiy activism.   Equal rights activist Sister Ann Ida Gannon, President of Progressive Mundelein College was honored, as well as Dr. Bertha Bush, a Woman’s Club member, who assisted at Northwestern University Settlement House teaching english to immigrants.  

Historical photos of the neighborhood from the  early 1900’s are abundant, but the exhibit  takes the neighborhood  even further back to  its earliest residents, the Native Americans.   The Indian-owned land changed hands through three treaties. Indian Boundary Park was named after one of these treaties.

Exhibit Information:   Rogers Park/Westridge Historical Society Museum, 7344 N. Western Avenue, Chicago. 773-764-4078. There is no closing date for this exhibit.   Museum hours are 1 to 5pm Wednesdays and Fridays, and 7 to 9 pm the first Thursday of every month.

For a full article on this exhibit, visit www.chicagojournal.com.

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