Resolved: That municipal affairs should be divorced from party politics, and that it is desirable that some workable method be devised for the selection of candidates for municipal office which shall be entirely independent of the party machinery.

May Estelle Cook, From “Little Old Oak Park”

The above resolution appears on the last page of Little Old Oak Park, which I recently re-read. Curious about its source, I sought the assistance of the Oak Park River Forest History Museum.

Rachel Berlinski was able to discover in the archives of the “Scoville Institute” (aka the Oak Park Public Library) a newspaper, the “Oak Park Times,” dated Feb. 8, 1900. A front page article reports:

“The citizens meeting in Kenilworth Hall on Monday night … H.R. Hamilton stated the object of the meeting by reading the following resolution(s) whose adoption he moved.

“Whereas, at a mass meeting of citizens held at Scoville Institute on Dec. 23, 1898, the following resolution was unanimously adopted — namely:

RESOLVED, That municipal affairs should be divorced from party politics, and that it is desirable that some workable method be devised for the selection of candidates for municipal office which shall be entirely independent of the party machinery; and

Whereas, Said resolution was unanimously confirmed at a subsequent mass meeting held at the High School building in Oak Park on Dec. 29, 1898, for the purpose of nominating town officers for the Town of Oak Park; and

Whereas we are in full accord with said resolution, and believe that the “workable method” for which a desire was expressed therein should be at once devised and put into practice; therefore be it

RESOLVED, 1. That we hereby adopt and confirm the above resolution.”

(His resolution won approval)

I’m just sayin’ …

Jay Champelli, Oak Park

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