Mount Prospect

The early settlers of the Mount Prospect area arrived from Hanover, Germany and established homesteads in the early 1830’s following the signing of a treaty with the Potawatamie Indians. In 1851, the settlers laid railroad tracks alongside their farmlands in what is now Des Plaines, Mount Prospect, and Arlington Heights. An early settler, Ezra Eggleston, sought to convince the Chicago Northwestern Railway to establish a train stop to encourage development. According to local history, Mr. Eggleston named the community Mount Prospect because it was situated on one of Cook County’s highest points, and he had “high hopes” for the community.

Today, downtown Mount Prospect serves the needs of the community with such facilities as the Post Office, Library, Village Hall, Senior Center, banking and financial services, personal services, and quality restaurants. The downtown area provides an attractive environment for pedestrians, shoppers, businesses and such events as the Fourth of July parade and a farmer’s market. It is no surprise that residents of Mount Prospect stay in the community after raising their children, often moving to other housing types within town. Mount Prospect has consistently sought a good balance between residential neighborhoods, business centers and commercial facets.

Businesses contribute 46% of the Village’s property taxes. They provide jobs in Mount Prospect for more than 33,000 people. They support local community organizations. The Mount Prospect Chamber and the Village has initiated a Shop Mount Prospect program to encourage residents to shop in Mount Prospect and keep their tax dollars at home. Shopping in Mount Prospect is one of the most meaningful ways a resident can support the community and increase our tax base. The Mount Prospect Chamber is a voluntary business association whose mission is to promote, support and assist the local business community through effective communication and quality services. Chamber activities are as varied as its members, but always reflect its mission. The Chamber and the Village work jointly to encourage existing businesses to grow and expand within Mount Prospect, and to attract new businesses to the community. Networking, advertising opportunities, promotional assistance, luncheon meetings, educational seminars and business development are all part of the many benefits and services offered to members. The Chamber sponsors a Welcome Neighbor Program that not only welcomes newcomers with information about their new hometown, but also informs them of Chamber businesses and their products and services. In addition, the Chamber monitors legislation on the local, state and federal levels. It then disseminates the information to the businesses and, when necessary, takes appropriate action to protect the interests of the business community. The Chamber also acts as a referral service to the residents who are seeking specific products or services. A myriad of businesses ranging from Fortune 500 companies to family-owned establishments and home-based businesses are proud to call Mount Prospect “home.” The Village’s diverse, healthy business climate is augmented and maintained through initiatives between the Village and the Mount Prospect Chamber. These initiatives include business retention and attraction efforts, business assistance and economic development programs.

Convenience is the hallmark of shopping in Mount Prospect. Often quality shopping is within walking distance. The downtown district provides convenience goods interspersed with banks, restaurants and services. Many downtown businesses are family-owned specialty shops that have been in the community for generations. Mount Prospect is home to the 1.4 million square foot Randhurst Shopping Center. Celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, Randhurst was the first enclosed regional shopping center in Chicagoland and now is host to over 140 specialty shops and services. Mount Prospect residents also enjoy the convenience of several other shopping plazas. In total, Mount Prospect boasts over 2.8 million square feet of shops and services; plenty for any shopping adventure.

Schools:

School Address Phone Grade
Euclid Elementary School 1211 N Wheeling Rd, Mount Prospect, IL 60056 (847) 259-3303 Elementary Schools
Fairview Elementary School 300 N Fairview St, Mount Prospect, IL 60056 (847) 394-7320 Elementary Schools
Forest View Elementary School 1901 W Estates Dr, Mount Prospect, IL 60056 (847) 593-4359 Elementary Schools
Indian Grove School 1340 N Burning Bush Ln, Mount Prospect, IL 60056 (847) 298-1976 Elementary Schools
John Jay Elementary School 1835 W Pheasant Trl, Mount Prospect, IL 60056 (847) 593-4385 Elementary Schools
Robert Frost School 1308 S Cypress Dr, Mount Prospect, IL 60056 (847) 593-4378 Elementary Schools
Westbrook Elementary School 103 S Busse Rd, Mount Prospect, IL 60056 (847) 394-7340 Elementary Schools
Westbrook Elementary School 701 W Gregory St, Mount Prospect, IL 60056 (847) 394-7340 Elementary Schools
Prospect High School 801 W Kensington Rd, Mount Prospect, IL 60056 (847) 718-5200 High Schools
Holmes Junior High School 1900 W Lonnquist Blvd, Mount Prospect, IL 60056 (847) 593-4390 Middle Schools
Lincoln Junior High School 700 W Lincoln St, Mount Prospect, IL 60056 (847) 394-7350 Middle Schools
River Trails Middle School 1000 N Wolf Rd, Mount Prospect, IL 60056 (847) 298-1750 Middle Schools
Mount Prospect History

“The heart of downtown Mt.Prospect started in 1833 when Yankee farmers established homes after signing a Potawatomi treaty. Until 1843, New Englanders cleared and farmed the land. Many of these settlers moved west for larger claims. They were replaced by German immigrants. These immigrants planted the roots of a small rural community. The Illinois & Wisconsin Railroad ran through Mt. Prospect in 1854. The train finally made its first stop in the year 1886. Because of this some Yankee families moved to the neighboring towns of Arlington Heights and Des Plaines. They were looking for access to broader markets. As a result, more German and Irish families bought up the available homes.

Real estate agent Ezra Carpenter Eggleston built a subdivision in 1871. It was four blocks large and located on farmland just south of the railroad. The area was named Mt. Prospect because it sat on the highest point in Cook County. The area was not a success and Eggleston went bankrupt. The area turned around when a railroad station was established.

In 1900 the community wanted to incorporate but it needed to have 300 residents which it did not have. It took seventeen years and then finally in May of 1917, the village quickly incorporated when a newborn infant became the 300th resident. During the years from 1917-1929, Mt. Prospect experienced population growth and business expansion. The population reached 1,225 by 1930. Even though the area was mostly farmland, a small industrial district appeared north of the railroad that included a creamery, a hardware store, a general store, farm machinery retailers, and a coal yard.

The population increased 370% during the 1950’s reaching 18,906. This growth prompted village officials to adopt a council manager form of government. Also during this growth period, both the Randhurst Shopping Center (1962) and the Kensington Center (1974) opened for business. During the late 1970’s a federal agreement allowed the construction of low-income housing on unincorporated land between Arlington Heights and Mt. Prospect. Village leaders maintained Mt. Prospect as a residential community made up primarily of middle class white families. The village’s Chamber of Commerce started a downtown revitalization campaign by 1992. The slogan for the campaign was to “keep the small in small town”.”

Mount Prospect Trivia & Fun Facts

“The “”Bluesmobile”” in the 1980 Blues Brothers movie was made up to be an old Mount Prospect police car. Dan Aykroyd later said that he used the village’s police department because he heard that in the early days, “”they were a tough group that did not take any attitude from folks from the big city.””

In 1962, Randhurst Mall was built, which was the largest enclosed air conditioned space in America at the time. It included a bomb shelter which was designed to hold the entire population of Mount Prospect.

Mount Prospect is the central location of the first few books of the Left Behind series of novels.

Historical tornado activity in this area is 58% greater than the overall U.S. average.

Elevation of this area is 665 feet.

Ancestries: German (21.3%), Polish (16.4%), Irish (13.5%), Italian (11.0%), English (5.6%), Greek (2.9%)”