The collection is arranged chronologically and consists of 11 series: City Clerk’s Office, City Council and Mayor’s Office, City Treasurer’s Office, Comptroller’s Office, Water Department, Pavement, Public Library, Police Department, Street Lighting, Elections and Board of Health.
A large part of the collection consists of correspondence to the City Clerk and to the Mayor’s Office, providing an excellent insight on the local issues and daily life, except for the years of 1923-1924. The collection includes the original resignation letter from Mayor William W. Boyington, dated March 27th, 1876. Notably interesting is a letter denying citizenship to a socialist in October of 1921, and a Jens Jensen letter. The City Council and Mayor’s Office series is also rich in material related to city ordinances and resolutions. Abundant financial records, statements and reports from the City Clerk’s Office, Mayor’s Office, Comptroller’s Office and City Treasurer’s Office are located throughout the collection; however, incomplete and interspersed with gaps throughout the years.
The collection also comprises material related to the creation of the Public Library; and records of the Police Department; being particularly strong in the areas of public works and local improvement, which includes correspondence and petitions, contracts and ordinances for water mains, street lighting, sidewalk and pavement.
Series 1. City Clerk’s Office, ca. 1869-1951 (Boxes 1-3, 8).
Series 1 consists of correspondence, administrative records that include hunting license applications (1916-1917), permission to excavate in streets (ca. 1911, 1915, 1936), and sewer construction permits (1891-1903), financial records including annual reports, annual statements (1872-1899), and journal of proceedings (1931). Also included are official oaths and bonds (ca. 1869-1915), warranty deeds and affidavits. The series also contains correspondence and materials related to the City Day for the students of American Government of the High School, in which they take over as far as possible the functions of certain offices (1949-1951).
Series 2. City Council/Mayor’s Office, ca. 1869-1972, 1947-1950 (Boxes 1-2, 5 and 8).
Series 2 contains correspondence, petitions, resignations, suspensions and office appointments. Also present are minutes of meetings (1870-1878, 1889, 1912), a transcript of a conference held at the City Hall in 1950, annual mayor’s reports (1890-1891), and address by Mayor R. G. Evans upon entering office in 1895. The series also includes reports to the City Council by the City Attorney (1883), City Engineer (1894), Committee on Bridges (1893), City Marshall (1897), and Committee on Public Works (1895, 1900). The series also contains Ordinances and Resolutions (1869-1914, 1947-1950), including Alcohol Ordinance with related correspondence and photograph (1972). Also included are correspondence between the mayor and the American Legion (1947-1950); and correspondence related to the Traffic Commission, zoning and parking issues (1948-1951).
Series 3. City Treasurer’s Office, 1869-1927 (Boxes 3-4).
Series 3 consists of financial records and statements that include reports of City Treasurer, City Collector, Finance Committee, Reports of Comptroller, Statement of City Taxes and Delinquent City Taxes, and Report of Auditing Committee. The series also contains financial reports from the Defense Council (1917-1918) and balance sheets (1927, 1931).
Series 4. Comptroller’s Office, ca. 1894-1938 (box 4 and 7).
Series 4 consists of financial statements of the office of City Comptroller (1907-1908) and a City Hall Inventory (1915). The series also contains incomplete payroll records (1894-1912) that include the Police and Fire Departments, election judges and clerks. The series also contains Installment Special Assessment Vouchers (1891-1896), Special Assessment Rebate Vouchers (1916, 1920), reports of Special Assessment Accounts (1912, 1922), Special Assessment Receipts (1929-1938), and some related correspondence.
Series 5. Water Department, 1888-1919 (Boxes 4-5).
Series 5 consists of Reports of City Tapper (1901), the ordinance authorizing the construction, maintenance and operation of the Water Works to supply the city of Highland Park and its inhabitants with water (1888), assessments, contracts and proposals for water mains, ordinances for main water pipes, including the assessment, ordinance, proposal and contract for Central Avenue (1894). The series also contains correspondence related to excessive water bills, and several analytical reports (1900-1919) from The Columbus Laboratories attesting to the quality of the drinking water. Materials related to the Fire & Water Committee include minutes of meetings (1893), reports, petitions, correspondence, estimates and proposals for the building of water pipes and sewer systems. The series also contains materials related to the Sewer Committee that include reports and correspondence, and reports of the Chief Engineer of Water Works.
Series 6. Pavement, ca. 1876-1950 (Boxes 5-7).
Series 6 consists of sidewalk and pavement petitions and related correspondence, estimates, contracts, sidewalk ordinances, bill of costs, special tax lists, warrants, assessments for grading and paving, including assessment for the construction of the Ravine Drive and a wooden bridge and pavement on Central Avenue, and the contract for paving Laurel Avenue (1891). Also included are other documents such as quit-claim deed (1876), Contractor’s Bond (undated), and Contract for Public Works (1893), and statements of the amount of special assessments collected. The series also consists of correspondence, petitions, reports and estimates directed to the Board of Local Improvement, also referred to as the Street and Alley Committee (1877-1917), and correspondence from the Commissioner of Public Works (1911-1919).
Series 7. Library, ca. 1890-1949 (Boxes 7).
Series 7 consists of correspondence, receipts, copy of the ordinance for the erection of a Public Library building, ordinance providing for the sale of the old library building (1905), and a report of the public library for the year ending in May of 1911. Also included is a photograph of the Peter Voulkos’ outdoor sculpture, correspondence, dinner invitation and newspaper clippings related to the erection of the sculpture (1970-1974).
Series 8. Police Department, ca. 1869-1951 (Boxes 8).
Series 8 consists of correspondence, petitions, requests for officer appointee, recommendations, resignations and reports of City Marshall.
Series 9. Street Lighting, ca. 1876-1950 (Box 8).
Series 9 consists mainly of correspondence and petitions, a contract between the City and Joseph Pluard for lighting street lamps (1876), assessment of costs of electric lights (1894), and reports from the Finance Committee for electric lighting (1895-1898).
Series 10, Elections, ca. 1869-1921 (Box 8).
Series 10 consists of correspondence, Poll Lists, Poll Books, Report of Special Committee created to investigate illegal voting (1871), reports of committees appointed to canvass the ballots, election notices, ballots, tallies, Nomination Certificates for City or Village Officers, objections, withdrawals, Reports of Tellers, and reports of election expenses. Also included are booklets about the Illinois Primary Election Laws (1910) and Suggestions on Primary Law (1912).
Series 11. Board of Health, ca. 1890-1950 (Box 8)
Series 11 contains Official Reports of Contagious Diseases issued by doctors stating the name of the sick person, address, disease and remarks. Also included are results of analysis of milk samples issued by the Columbus Laboratories in Chicago, reports of the sanitary analysis of the Lake Michigan water, correspondence, and a Report of Board of Engineers North Shore Sanitary District (1916). Permission and confidentiality agreement is required to view Series 11.