Hazel Crest, Illinois

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Hazel Crest is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 14,816 at the 2000 census. Despite being primarily located in Bremen Township, the village is also located in Rich Township south of 183rd Street and Thornton Township east of I-80/94 The Village is located in the region of Chicago, Illinois known as the Chicago Southland and is approximately 25 miles (40 km) south of the Chicago Loop. Hazel Crest is the childhood home of Andrew Julian.

The village is bordered by Markham to the north, Harvey to the northeast, East Hazel Crest to the east, Homewood to the southeast, Flossmoor to the south and Country Club Hills to the west.

Contents

History

Hazel Crest was first settled in 1870 in a farming community known as South Harvey. An enterprising newspaper editor named William McClintock moved here from Ohio in 1890, buying 80 acres (320,000 m2) from farmer Fred Puhrman.

McClintock built a depot for a local milk train and subsequently opened transportation opportunities to Chicago and beyond. The depot also served as the area’s first real estate office, public meeting place, Sunday school, day school, and post office.

In 1900, the name was changed to Hazel Crest to reflect the large numbers of hazelnut bushes that grew on a rise of land just South of town. At the time, the southern border was 175th Street and the western edge of the Village was Kedzie Avenue.

Hazel Crest was incorporated in 1912. Many of the families of the early residents still live in the Village, and they continue the founders’ tradition of community involvement and commitment to excellence.

Over the years, significant developments have occurred because groups of residents joined together for common goals. Examples of this spirit range from the construction of the Community Church in 1894 to the 1984 adaptation of an elementary school building which has now become the Martin J. Kauchak Municipal Center, named for President Kauchak who served the Village for twenty years.

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