Forest Park State Bank 1920

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By Historical Society

One hundred years ago this month the "Dry Law" went into effect, and Forest Park saloon keepers faced a major shift in their business models. Some remained open as soft drink parlors, some relied more on their restaurant business, some converted into grocery stores and others closed all together.

The same week that marked the prohibition of alcohol, construction and facade work began on the Forest Park State Bank. Located at 7401 Madison, the Forest Park State Bank was the oldest bank in Proviso Township, with roots going back to in 1897. It was originally known as the Roos and Sharade, then A. Roos and Sons, Bankers and then Harlem State Savings Bank.

While the first floor was used for banking, the second floor had offices which included the private lending library run by Meta Roos and other women from Harlem. It also housed the physician office of Dr. Clarence Hemingway, father of Ernest Hemingway.

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