Home » Illinois » Western Springs

James W. Loewen (1942-2021)

We mourn the loss of our friend and colleague and remain committed to the work he began.

Western Springs

Illinois

Basic Information

Type of Place
Independent City or Town
Metro Area
W. Chicago
Politics c. 1860?
Unions, Organized Labor?

Sundown Town Status

Confirmed Sundown Town?
Surely
Was there an ordinance?
Sign?
Don’t Know
Year of Greatest Interest
Still Sundown?
Surely Not

Census Information

The available census data from 1860 to the present
Total White Black Asian Native Hispanic Other BHshld
1860
1870
1880
1890
1900
1910
1920
1930
1940
1950
1960
1970
1980
1990
2000
2010
2020

Method of Exclusion

  • Threat of Violence

Main Ethnic Group(s)

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black

Comments

August 2007

My grandmother lived there as a child, before moving back into the city. It’s quiet and now wealthy (used to be much more blue collar when I was a kid.) And it’s white.

When I was a kid, there was a black family who moved in across the
street. We played with the boy, who was a couple years older than I and
a couple years younger than my brother (his sister was older than my
brother and not in our play set). I don’t recall him going to our public
school, though, and they didn’t live there long. They moved, and I later
learned it was because of threats and hostility towards them. (They did
keep a menacing german shepherd who scared the beejezus out of me when I
would walk home from school. I bet it was a good deterrent from petty
mischief.)

There was another family, a white family with a few kids, who adopted a
black baby girl. They, too, left town due to hostility and threats.

My sister lives there now, and my niece works at a butcher shop
in town (highly regarded in the suburbs.) One of the butchers (white) is married to a black woman, and one day (probably last year) she was
waiting outside the shop for her husband to get off work. She was merely sitting on a bench on the sidewalk, and a cop came by and asked her her business. She said she was waiting for her husband, he said something along the lines of “oh, we had a call,” and that was it. She doesn’t pick him up at work any longer.

Around 1950, a black surgeon bought a lot. The Park District responded by condemning the lot for a park. The owner of the lot sued and won. He built on the lot and lived there.