Photo Record

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Catalog Number 1997.005.010
Object Name Print, Photographic
Description Sepia tone photograph of Elk Grove Village's first family recieving a commemorative golden key from first Village President, Charles "Chic" Hodlmair, October 1957. First home purchased at 72 Forest Lane.

From left to right: Dorothy Hauff (hostess from Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce), Lucille Stewart (hostess from Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce), Barbara Walsh holding Steven (son), Francis Walsh, Charles "Chic" Hodlmair. In foreground are children Diana (5), Audrey (3), and Karen (4). In background on left is D.C. Woley (Sales Manager for Centex Construction Company) and Clyde Smith (Centex Construction Superintendent).

Collection Schuette Biermann Farmhouse Collection
Notes The Walshes and their four children originally lived in Ravenswood. They purchased their new Centex home in Elk Grove Village on April 3, 1957, four days after the model homes opened to the public. Dorothy Hauff (Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce) and Lucille Stewart (Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce) presented the Walsh family with a planter for their new home.

Charles A. Hodlmair, known as Chic, served as Village President (Mayor) of Elk Grove Village from 1956 to 1961. Hodlmair later served as Elk Grove Township Assessor, a post he held for twenty-two years.

Hodlmair was born in Chicago, May 18, 1913. In 1919, his family moved to Des Plaines where he grew up and remained a resident for many years. In 1942, he joined the Ben F. Eidamiller realty and insurance firm in Des Plaines and within two years became a partner.

His vision was to establish a town that would be one third residential, one third industrial and one third parks and schools. He shared his ideas with Centex Corporation of Texas, the largest house builder in nation at the time. The very first steps in the development of a town involved acquiring land and building homes. Land acquisition was Hodlmair's responsibility and several land purchases listed Charles A. Hodlmair and wife, Ruth, as the buyers.

To meet the State of Illinois minimum requirements for the number of residents in order to consider incorporation, friends and relatives of the Hodlmairs moved into the empty farmhouses on the newly purchased land and a successful vote was taken in July 1956 to incorporate as the Village of Elk Grove. Incorporation was official on July 17, 1956. The population at the time was 117 with 64 registered voters. A village president (Hodlmair) and a village board of trustees were subsequently elected to handle the affairs of the recently incorporated village.

In early October 1956, Centex announced that in about 60 days it would begin construction on 6000 new homes. The next May, Centex provided the following details. There would be four basic models of a ranch-style house design ranging from $17,500 to $19,950 in price including enclosed garages. A built-in oven and range with hood and fan, disposal unit, automatic washer/dryer, and a built-in attic TV antenna would all be included in the price.

Less than two years after retiring from Elk Grove Township Assessor, Charles A. Hodlmair, still an Elk Grove Village resident, passed away in late May, 1986.
Source George Cassara