Ninety-nine years ago today, the first Forest Park Review was first published. The front page of the first edition announced:
“The Forest Park and Proviso Weekly appears this week under a new management. It also appears under a new name, the Forest Park Review. The new publishers have taken over the business because they believe that there are great possibilities here and that Forest Park offers excellent opportunities for a newspaper publisher who is worthy of success and whose efforts are commensurate with the success desired.
“We ask on the start the friendliness of the people of this community until they may determine that we are unworthy of it. We ask the support of those business men whose business will be benefited by the use of our advertising columns. In other words, we ask only the things of which we may prove ourselves worthy.
“The Forest Park Review will be a local paper in every sense of the word. It will endeavor to publish the things that are of real interest to the people of Forest Park and to become a factor in the upbuilding of the community.”
This four-page newspaper was $1 for an annual subscription, which when adjusted for inflation would be $20.24 a year today. The news of the week covered the village council meeting which passed a vegetable law, mentioned the Forest Park Amusement Park, had updates from the war in Europe, request for illumination on the north side of Madison Street between Burkhardt Court and Circle Avenue and a note on three men, two from River Forest and one from Maywood, who were arrested in Forest Park and indicted on a “serious charge.”
Over the next 99 years the Forest Park Review would have different publishers and editors, including Albert L. Hall, Claude Walker, Larry Kaercher, Bob Haeger and Dan Haley. The Forest Park Review is no longer just paper; now it is digital, too, enabling us to be in the palm of your hand any day or time.
Community features have included Personal Observations, Meet Your Forest Park Policeman, New Neighbors Club, From the Pages (decade-by-decade look back on the news) compiled by Nancy Purcell and later Bob Sullivan, Dr. James Murray’s “Your Writing Says,” Sam Zussman’s “Sports Shots,” reporting by Judy Baar Topinka and — for more than 45 years — Jackie Schulz’s “Talk of the Town.”
News has featured stories on elections, park district pool and ice skating rink, schools, new business, old business, hometown heroes, pinball machines, video gambling, churches, history, recreation, civic organizations, thank you letters, upcoming events and obituaries
This year the Forest Park Review welcomed back former editor, Ken Trainor (1989- 1992) and Senior Editor Bob Uphues, who have been leading the news of Forest Park every week.
With strong support from John Rice, Tom Holmes, Alan Brouilette and the Forest Park Review’s team of freelance reporters, photographers, designers, sales reps, IT developer, calendar coordinator, distribution staff and our friends and neighbors throughout Forest Park the news keeps coming.
In 1991 Ken Trainor wrote “[The Forest Park Review] is part soapbox, part community bulletin board, part historical record and part grapevine. It is a forum for disseminating information and also a space for citizens to discuss important issues of the day. Mostly though, it serves two purposes: celebrate what is good about a town and shine a light on what needs to be improved.”
With a 99-year history, the Forest Park Review, “the paper with the personal touch,” continues to bring Forest Parkers closer to their hometown and engage us in the community conversation.
We are hosting a Reader Meet Up event and we hope you join the Forest Park Review staff and contributors at Fat Duck Tavern, 7218 Madison St., on Tuesday, Nov. 17 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
We want to hear from you, get your feedback, swap stories and continue to build our community network. Come out, share and celebrate our 99th year, first drink is on the house.
Jill Wagner is the reader engagement and circulation manager for the Forest Park Review.