Making news in 1911

Appeared in the Gazette: Spring 1999

These excerpts from a Winnetka Village Council pamphlet offer some insights into the operation of a modern community, c. 1911:

“A horse fire department can leave the Village Hall in one minute. Formerly a reward was offered to anyone in town who could first find a horse, run it over to the Village Hall, and hitch it up while a house was burning down.”

“One thousand feet of new hose have been purchased. There have been liberal improvements in the fire telephone service. Constant police attendance at the Village Hall, ready to respond on bicycle at an instant’s notice, both day and night. There has been an increase of active police officers in the Village to five instead of two as formerly (a portion of this expense by private subscription but under Village supervision).”

“The Water and Light Properties at the foot of North Avenue [now Tower Road] have been reconstructed. This plant is pronounced by engineers to be among the finest ever constructed of its size and is practically smokeless. It is a splendid monument to the ability of a community to construct and operate its own plants.”

“We have 230 street lamps independent of railroad lights.”

“Fire hydrants have been increased from 229 to 244.”


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