Maywood Public Library building  Maywood Public Library District
Maywood Public Library building
Local History and Geneology

Local History:

The Indexing of Our Materials

The history of the Village of Maywood goes back for over a century. 

When an Information Services staff member is available (708-343-1847 x 73), you may gain access to the Local History Archives Room. Patrons are asked to fill out a short form before obtaining materials from the Local History Archives Room in the Carnegie Building. A staff member will retrieve materials from the Local History Archives Room or accompany a patron who wants to view materials on their own.

Our materials are archived in boxes by broad subjects in our Local History Archives Room in the Carnegie Building.  Many of these boxes have folders containing subheadings of the archived materials held within them.  Boxes that are labeled by letter are located in the south cabinets, while numbered boxes can be found in the northern ones.  A printed listing of which subjects can be found in which boxes is located behind the Reference Desk in the Adult Services Department on the third floor of the Library. 

For example, materials on Colonel William T. Nichols, a Civil War veteran and the founder of Maywood, can be found in Box A, which also has labeled folders filled with biographies, obituaries, and businesses.  Historical information on Checkerboard Field is in Box F, and maps of Maywood are in Box 17.

Some duplicated archived materials can be found at the Reference Desk, such as city directories and information on old houses in the area. This includes copies of city directories and information on old houses. Other information on the history of Maywood can also be found in the vertical file cabinet behind the Reference Desk. 

Old newspapers and yearbooks also reside in the Local History Archives.  Bound copies of our local newspaper, once called the Maywood Herald, though now called the Proviso Herald, are shelved through the room.  Provis, the yearbooks of Proviso East High School, alumni directories, and notebooks with clippings of prominent Maywoodians are shelved in the Northeast corner of the room. 

A bookcase in the Southwest corner of the Local History Archives Room contains printed and audio-visual materials published by residents of Maywood, and other items of historic interest. 

A surname index to Maywoodians mentioned in the Maywood newspapers was done by volunteers for the years of 1894-2002.  This consists of a card index which is organized by year in an old card catalog.  Each card specifies what kind of information is available, such as an obituary, birth, or photograph, along with the date and page number. 

You may read about the history of the Maywood Public Library District hereYou may also want to take a look at the web site of the Franzosenbusch Heritage Society (click here), which includes some of Maywood's history online.  The Encyclopedia of Chicago has also included a brief article on Maywood with some old statistical information that can be viewed here. The Maywood Chamber of Commerce has a useful timeline that can be used to see the development of the Village of Maywood.

If you want to view the video The Historic Homes of Maywood online, please click here.

For information on the Maywood Home for Soldiers' Widows, please visit

For information on the Maywood Bataan Day Organization, please click hereMore information on the Maywood Bataan Day Organization can be found hereThe Maywood Public Library also has material on America's involvement in the Philippines, as seen by clicking here. The mural of the 192nd Tank Battalion can be viewed here.

You can also visit the website, “Men of the 192nd Tank Battalion Company B,” by clicking here.

If you want to learn more about what happened at Bataan in general, you may wish to visit the Defenders of the Philippines website (click here). If you want to browse the Maywood Heralds from 1941-1945, click here for the Illinois Digital Archives website.

To read about the history of Maywood’s Checkerboard Air Field, click here.  You can also read about Bessie Coleman, who flew out of Checkerboard Air Field, at the Bessie Coleman Aerospace Legacy (click here).  

There is a Facebook page on the history of the Maywood Fire Department (click here). For more on the history of the Maywood Fire Department, please visit Sonya2112 at

Another useful online site to visit is the
the Cook County, Illinois, Genealogy Trails website. This website offers its visitors a number of brief biographies, maps, listings of churches and cemeteries in the area, census and crime data, vital data, and city directories.

Click here to see some examples of some of the historical houses and Sears homes that can be found in Maywood. To learn more about Sears and other Mail-Order homes, such as how they are authenticated, when many of them were sold, or how to locate one, please take a look at this article and bibliography by architectural historian Rebecca Hunter entitled “Historical Architectural Research” (click here).

You can also see some resources on historic preservation by clicking here.

Finally, if you want to visit the website of the National Archives, please click here. The National Archives allows users to view American history through photographs, records, and documents online. Veterans can utilize this website for requesting military records.  Teachers can find lesson plans and other useful materials for their classroom.  Weblogs are also available on this site to keep users up to date with the National Archive’s activities.  Lastly, genealogists can find many resources for beginning a family tree, and caring for family records.  

A Brief Breakdown of Our Collection

The Reference Department maintains a collection of old pictures of Maywood, local history clippings, and an index to the local history collection. These are held behind the Reference Desk on the third floor

Maywood Heralds/Proviso Heralds on Microfilm.

You can also view some of our Heralds online on the Illinois Digital Archives website. This website covers the years between 1941-1945.

City Directories for Maywood
1875, 1892, 1898, 1904, 1908

City Directories for Maywood and Melrose Park
1926-1927, 1929-1930

The Maywood Village Directory-1954 

The Festival of Progress-Maywood, Illinois-1938

Maywood Homes and Street Scenes: Photos of houses and streets throughout Maywood’s long history.

Local History Clippings: Write ups, drawings, and maps of Maywood throughout its history.

Proviso East Yearbooks
1916-2001 (Archive Room)

Fred Hampton:
Information on Fred Hampton, a former Maywood resident and graduate of Proviso East High School, can be found in the floating files on the third floor in the Reference Department.  Some of the information on him includes:

  • Fred Hampton’s Graduation picture from Proviso East High School, Provi 1966.

  • Articles from the Proviso Herald on Fred Hampton’s death at the time of his death. Proviso Herald, December 11-25th, 1969

"Maywood Officials Spur Probe of Hampton Case" 

"Congressmen Ask Nixon to Aid Probe of Fred’s Death" 

"The Short Tragic Life of Fred Hampton"

"As Long as One Person is Poor"   

"Fred: Was He Right, or was He Wrong?"

"Fred Hampton: An Obituary"  

"Proviso East Seeks Solutions for Racial Woes"

"Demands for Hampton Probe Continue to Grow" 

"Chabala: ‘A Measure of Control…’"   

"Hampton Probe Units Continue to Grow"  

"Hanrahan Calendar on Hampton Case"


December 11, 1969

December 11, 1969

December 11, 1969

December 11, 1969

December 11, 1969

December 11, 1969

December 18, 1969

December 18, 1969

December 18, 1969

December 25, 1969

December 25, 1969


HAARGIS-Historic Architectural/Archeological Resources (Geographic Information system)

HAARGIS is a useful online tool for learning about historic properties in an area, such as buildings that are on the National Historic Register.  For example, if you wanted to search homes that are listed in the National Register in Maywood, you would:

  1. Click here (

  2. Click on “By National Register” in the right sidebar under “Property Search.”

  3. Click in “City” and hit “Next.”

  4. Type in Maywood and hit “Next.”

  5. Click on “Listed in National Register” and click on “Finish.”

  6. Wait for a brief moment.

  7. When a new map appears in the window that previously had a picture of Illinois, you will see a number of addresses listed at the bottom of the webpage.  For more information on these properties, click on “Report” (clicking on "ID" will change the map above the addresses to show where the property is located.)

After clicking on “Report,” you will often be able to see an image(s) of the property, its class of architecture, wall materials, the name of the architect, and the year of the property’s construction. 


Illinois States Archives’ Online Databases
An online index of regularly used databases, including, but not limited to, Public Domain Land Tract Sales, databases for Illinois veterans, the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, the Illinois Statewide Death Index, and government records that are maintained by the system of the Illinois Regional Archives Depository System (IRAD system)

Illinois Veterans' History Project

The Illinois Veterans’ History Project, which started in 2004, honors the people of Illinois who performed service for their nation by recording their accounts in the armed services.  This database provides users with an index to the stories told by Illinois’ veterans that have been recorded on Illinois Patriot Forms and sent to the Illinois State Archives.  The following links can take you to different parts of the project: