Park Forest

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The information contained in this presentation are copies of original documents and is based on information obtained from historical files of the Village of Park Forest, documents in the Park Forest [Public] Library and private citizens. This packet was produced with the help of Park Forest Historical Society Archivist Jane Nicoll in preparation for a program in February 1999 as a part of the 50th Anniversary of Park Forest.

The original copy is located at the Park Forest Public Library, Park Forest Illinois, Ref 977.31 SCO Local History.

Contents of Park Forest African American Pioneers, When and How we Entered 1958-1968 are:

1. Negroes in Residence in Park Forest as of January 1, 1969-By Street. This includes the date these families moved in (p. 4)

2. Policy on Minority Group Residence Adopted September 25, 1959. [which was unanimously adopted by the Commission on Human Relations at its September 1959 meeting.] (p. 13)

3. First Park Forest African American Co-op Residents, List from (Feb. 1964-1968). Includes some memos to Human Relations Commission. (p. 20)

4. (Section cover labeled: Federal Laws Affecting Housing) Fair Housing Ordinance, Village of Park Forest (Illinois), approved 1-29-1968. References 1963 Executive Order to affirmatively market VA and FHA Foreclosures, and 1964 Civil Rights Act. (p. 29)

5. Hello Dr. Wilson: Integration Comes to Park Forest. (December, 1959) (p. 33)

6. First Park Forest African-American Homeowners. A retyped list of the Negroes in Residence list. Includes memos and letters between Human Relation Commission Members, as a sample of what information was shared about new African American residents. (p. 38)

7. Human Relations Commission 1953. Includes a letter from John L. Scott, Village Manager about an incident in July 1959 when there was a rumored home sale to a Negro and memos from John Scott, Village Manager and Robert A. Dinerstein on how Village Employees should respond to the first Negro resident, which followed that incident later in July 1959. (p. 50)

8. William Simpson, Pioneer Resident and Community Activist. Mr. Simpson for years objected to and protested Integration Maintenance. (p. 58)


This is a digitized photocopy of a self-printed booklet (8 1/2" x 11"), originally printed on colored paper. 60 p. File size: 2.8 MB. PDF file was optimized for the Web.

The Park Forest Local History Collection and Archive has many other materials on the integration of Park Forest, including materials related to Integration Maintenance, a controversial program which operated here in the 1960s through 1980s to 1990s. Visit the Park Forest Historical Society web site:

Credit: Park Forest Historical Society Archives. Digitization and public posting in OPUS is done as a cooperative project of the Park Forest Historical Society Archives, and the Governors State University Archives.