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Edison Park
Cook County, IL


With the two rivers only about six miles apart, this area was one of the portage points for early travelers who would carry their canoes across to the other water corridor.


Inventor Thomas Alva Edison, who gave his blessing to this community namesake in 1890. It has been part of Chicago since 1910.



Edison Park's settlement history dates back to 1834, with the arrival of pioneer Christian Ebinger Sr., 21, and his family: parents John and Katherine Ebinger and his new bride, Barbara. Traveling northwest from Chicago on the Indian trail to Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Milwaukee Avenue), their single horse was bitten by a snake and died, leaving them stranded. The Ebingers decided to settle there, between Touhy and Devon, west of the North Branch of the Chicago River where they were joined by Christian's older brothers Frederick and John and their sister Elizabeth (Mrs. John) Plank. Christian and Barbara's farm, which extended west of modern Harlem Avenue, north of Pratt Avenue, was the first in what is modern Edison Park. Their eldest child, Christian Ebinger Jr., was the first white child born in the area, in1834.

This settlement of German families was dubbed "Dutchman's Point" (also the predecessor of modern Niles) and was a stopping place for other pioneer travelers along the Milwaukee corridor, one of the few "dry" (less soggy) routes out of the somewhat swampy prairie surrounding Chicago. It became the core of modern Niles as well as the first pre-Edison Park settlement.

Later arrivals, the Friedrich Blume and Jacob Wingert families, settled south of Pratt Avenue west of Harlem Avenue, and participated in the German Evangelical Association church, founded by the area's early circuit riders and maintained in a Sunday School at the Ebingers' settlement. That church is now part of the merged congregations of New Hope United Methodist Church in Norwood Park. Rev. Christian Ebinger Sr. was the first pastor ordained in the denomination in Illinois.

The John Wingert House, on Canfield, just north of Talcott Avenue, one of Edison Park's two city-designated landmarks, was the home of Jacob's Wingert's son John and the Blumes' eldest daughter, Dorothea.

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