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Local News

100 years: Timeline shows Villa Park through the decades

1849: Galena & Chicago Union Railroad begins service.

1908: Villa Park subdivision is formed.

1910: Ardmore subdivision is formed.

1914: Residents living in the two subdivisions agree to incorporate as the village of Ardmore on Aug. 8.

1914: William H. Calhoun elected first village president on Sept. 12.

1916: Resident Jeanette Bates is appointed the first village attorney. The following year she is appointed assistant attorney general for Illinois, the first female in an attorney general's office in the country.

1917: Ardmore is renamed village of Villa Park on Sept. 17. First post office is established.

1917: Gottlieb Steiner, of the Switzerland-based Wander Company, opens an American-based manufacturing location for Ovaltine, which would grow to be the village's largest industry.

1920: Twenty-six World War I soldiers from Villa Park become charter members of the Villa Park American Legion Post 652.

1920-25: Villa Park's population doubles in the wake of World War I.

1922: Villa Park Woman's Club is founded.

1923: Villa Park Argus newspaper (now Villa Park Suburban Life) begins as Villa Park Weekly News.

1924: York High School opens for Elmhurst and Villa Park children.

1928: Woman's Club establishes one-room Villa Park Library at 317 S. Ardmore Ave.

1929: Villa Park Village Hall opens.

1930: Villa Park Welfare Association established to aid the town's poor.

1935: Villa Park VFW Post 2801 established.

1948: Villa Park Chamber of Commerce established.

1956: Villa Park Public Library opens at current location, 305 S. Ardmore Ave.

1957: Chicago Aurora & Elgin railroad ceases passenger service; route is reconstructed as Illinois Prairie Path.

1959: Willowbrook High School opens to alleviate overcrowding at York.

1963: Dick Portillo, owner of Portillo's, opens first hot dog stand, known as "The Dog House," on North Avenue.

1965: The Park Development Program begins with 10 parks on 45-acres.

1965: Village celebrates its Golden Jubilee; population hits 25,000.

1977: The Villa Park Historical Society is incorporated.

1983: The Odeum Sports & Expo center opens.

1983: School District 45 celebrates 125 years.

1988: Ovaltine factory closes and is transformed into loft apartments.

1990: Population reaches 22,253.

2000: Villa Park named a "mature" suburb; population 22,075.

2011: Ardmore School celebrates centennial year.

2012: A fire destroys Villa Park VFW Post 2801. It was later rebuilt.

2014: The village of Villa Park will officially reach its centennial milestone on Aug. 8

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