Edison Park, Chicago
|Community Area 09 - Edison Park|
Fieldhouse in Edison Park on the Northwest Highway
Location within the city of Chicago
|• Total||1.17 sq mi (3.03 km2)|
|Educational Attainment 2015|
|• High School Diploma or Higher||94.8%|
|• Bachelor's Degree or Higher||46.3%|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (CST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|ZIP Codes||part of 60631|
|Median household income||$86,300|
|Source: U.S. Census, Record Information Services|
It consists entirely of the Edison Park neighborhood, and is named after Thomas Alva Edison, who gave his blessing to this community namesake in 1890. According to the 2000 Census, its population is 11,259. Edison Park has one of the highest concentrations of Irish ancestry in Chicago, where they make up over three-fourths of the neighborhood's population.
Located between the Des Plaines River and the Chicago River this area served as a local watershed divide. The Chicago River flowed into Lake Michigan, which connected to the Atlantic Ocean through the Great Lakes. The Des Plaines River feeds into the Illinois River and the Mississippi River to reach the Gulf of Mexico. Like nearby Portage Park, Edison Park was a common portage for early travelers, who would carry their canoes across it.
Edison Park's settlement history dates back to 1834 and the arrival of pioneers John and Katherine Ebinger along with their 21 year old son Christian Ebinger and his new bride, the former Barbara Ruehle. The Ebingers had emigrated from Stuttgart, Germany to Ann Arbor, Michigan, and then to Chicago seeking suitable farmland, but had found it too swampy. As they traveled northwest from Chicago on the Indian trail to Milwaukee, Wisconsin (now Milwaukee Avenue), they crossed the North Branch of the Chicago River. However, their only horse was bitten by a snake and died, leaving them stranded. Consequently, the Ebingers decided to settle between what became Touhy and Devon Avenues. They laid claim to 80 acres around their single-story 12x14 foot cabin, and were soon joined by Christian's older brothers (Frederick and John) along with their sister Elizabeth and her husband John Plank. That area eventually became Niles Township, but as their joint families expanded, the Ebingers moved across Harlem Avenue into what became Maine Township. Barbara Ruehle Ebinger gave birth to a son, Christian Jr., in November 1834. He became the first white child born in the area, which became known as "Dutchman's Point" because of their German ancestry. The senior Christian Ebinger was a friend of local Native Americans in the area, among them Chief Blackhawk and Billy Caldwell. Christian Ebinger Jr. became the first minister to be ordained in their German Evangelical Association, and then was elected the Village Collector (1852), Village Assessor (1952-1865) and Highway Commissioner (1854-1858); he died in 1879, survived by seven children, including another Christian Ebinger.
Eventually, Chicago grew and annexed part of Ebinger's homestead. Germans began moving into nearby Norwood Park (originally settled by English immigrants; but the German Evangelicals established a church as well as a Sunday School in the Ebinger home). Developers targeted the area circa 1868, Norwood Park incorporated out of Niles Township in 1874, and was annexed to Chicago in 1893. It was a stop on the Chicago and Milwaukee Railroad (later the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad line) before Park Ridge, Illinois (in Maine Township and also partly from what was once Ebinger property), and became a streetcar suburb in the 20th century. Today, its oldest church building, a frame construction dating from 1894 and now known as One Hope United Methodist Church, traces its ministry's beginnings to Christian Ebinger (Methodists having united with the historic United Brethren congregation circa 1960), and a modern Ebinger descendant became a Methodist pastor near Baltimore, Maryland.
Adjacent to the north, Edison Park (originally known as "Canfield") also developed around an intermediate railway stop between Norwood Park and Park Ridge. It incorporated as a village in 1881 and developers promoted the availability of electricity; with the blessing of Thomas Alva Edison it renamed itself Edison Park in 1890. Chicago annexed Edison Park on November 8, 1910. A local public elementary school was named after Christian Ebinger. According to the 2000 Census discussed below, Edison Park's population is 11,259.
One tradition in the community since 1972 is the Edison Park Festival, an end-of-summer weekend sponsored by the Edison Park Chamber of Commerce, combining merchant sidewalk sales, entertainment, a parade, Taste of Chicago and arts and crafts. It is an opportunity to introduce visitors to the benefits and beauty of the Edison Park community. The EP Fest is celebrated every year in mid-August.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
According to a 2016 analysis by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, there were 11,208 people and 4,400 households in Edison Park. The racial makeup of the area was 87.3% White, 1.1% African American, 1.5% Asian, and 0.7% from other races. Hispanic or Latino residents of any race were 9.5% of the population. In the area, the population was spread out with 21.9% under the age of 19, 19.5% from 20 to 34, 23.7% from 35 to 49, 19.6% from 50 to 64, and 15.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years.
The median household income was $86,300 compared to a median income of $47,831 for Chicago at-large. The area had an Income distribution in which 8.2% of households earned less than $25,000 annually; 19.7% of households earned between $25,000 and $49,999; 14.7% of households earned between $50,000 and $74,999; 16.4% of households earned between $75,000 and $99,999; 16.6% of households earned between $100,000 and $149,999 and 24.4% of households earned more than $150,000. This is compared to a distribution of 28.8%, 22.8%, 16.1%, 10.7%, 11.3% and 10.3% for Chicago at large.
Edison Park has the lowest violent crime rate of any Chicago neighborhood. Ranked as one of the best neighborhoods in Chicago, Edison Park also boasts a variety of restaurants and bars.
- Adam Emory Albright, painter. He resided in Edison Park until moving to Warrenville, Illinois later in life.
- Leonard Crunelle, sculptor and protege of Lorado Taft.
- John Mulroe, Democratic member of the Illinois Senate since 2011. He is a resident of Edison Park.
- Anthony Napolitano, alderman for Chicago's 41st ward since 2015. A resident, he is also the council sole Republican.
- Mary O'Connor, alderman for Chicago's 41st ward from 2011-2015. She is an Edison Park resident and served as president of the local chamber of commerce prior to her tenure as alderman.
- Timothy P. Sheehan, Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from 1951 to 1959 and Republican candidate for Mayor of Chicago against Richard J. Daley in 1959.
- "Community Demographic Snapshot: Edison Park" (PDF). Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. June 2016. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
- Paral, Rob. "Chicago Census Data". Archived from the original on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
- Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 114.
- Dorothy Tyse, The Village of Niles, Illinois: 1899-1974 (Village of Niles, 1974), p. 7
- Tyse p. 7
- 2002 NRIS available at http://gis.hpa.state.il.us/pdfs/221924.pdf
- Paral, Rob. "Chicago Community Areas Historical Data". Chicago Community Areas Historical Data. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
- "Adam Emory Albright (1862 - 1957)". Museum of Wisconsin Art. June 2, 2011. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
- Zangs, Mary (2014). The Chicago 77: A Community Area Handbook. Charleston, SC 29403: The History Press. pp. 190–193. ISBN 978-1-62619-612-4.
- "Senator John G. Mulroe (D) - Previous General Assembly (97th) 10th District". Retrieved July 3, 2017.
- Dyja, Thomas L. (April 8, 2013). The Third Coast: When Chicago Built the American Dream. Westminster, London, England: Penguin Books. Retrieved July 3, 2017.