OLPL will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 25 and Friday, Nov 26 for Thanksgiving.

Oak Lawn Local History

Meet Jean Crockett!

Hi! My name is Jean Crockett and I am the new Archivist-Local History Librarian for the Local History area on the second floor of the Library. Istarted my new position in July and have been learning a lot about Oak Lawn history. Prior to this, I was the Archivist for Lombard Historical Society in Lombard, Illinois and I also worked in Adult Services at Villa Park Public Library in Villa Park, Illinois. Come up and say “Hi” sometime and share your Oak Lawn stories with me. I look forward to meeting more residents and hearing their stories of growing up and living in this beautiful community.

Explore the Local History Collection

Search the Local History collection online and view more than 21,000 unique items including photos, documents, objects, yearbooks, telephone books and much more!

Oak Lawn Newspaper Index

Check out the Library’s local newspaper index containing more than 87,000 references from 1988-present.

Oak Lawn Obituary Index

Check out the Library’s local obituary index containing references to more than 245,000 obits and death notices from 1985-present.


View digitized microfilm from the Oak Lawn Independent and the Village View newspapers! Issues range from 1933-2014 and are hosted by the Internet Archive.

Oak Lawn History Books

Discover the history of Oak Lawn through the Images of America series by Arcadia Publishing! Both titles are available for checkout at the library or copies can be purchased online.

Chicago History Books

Browse the library’s online catalog to find hundreds of books exploring the history of Chicago and its suburbs!

History Spotlight: Early Oak Lawn Postcards

Cook Avenue School, Circa 1910.

Opened in 1906, Cook Avenue School was the first multi-room educational facility in the village. Several years after this image was taken a second story was added. 

Cook Avenue Homes, 1910

Looking north, this postcard features homes situated along Cook Avenue. The home on the left, constructed by William H. Gaddis, is still located at 9632 South Cook.

Behrend's Hardware, Circa 1912

Located at 5300 West 95th Street, Behrend’s Hardware was an early Oak Lawn businesses. The store sold a number of different items including agricultural implements.

Oak Lawn Congregational Church, 1917

Built in the late 19th Century, the Oak Lawn Congregational Church was located at 9424 South 54th Avenue. Today this structure is a private residence. 

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If you have a question, please email localhistory@olpl.org or fill out the form below.

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